Talking City's talking points: City vs Perth and Sydney
Our senior sides are set to face the top and bottom teams of their respective leagues this weekend, with Melbourne City taking on Sydney FC in the W-League and Perth Glory in the A-League.
Our Friday night A-League home fixture will see the return of one of the biggest figures in club history, with Bruno Fornaroli set to line up against City for the first time since departing halfway through last year.
For the City girls, it’ll be a huge test of our title credentials when we face Sydney FC on Sunday afternoon away from home. With the two clubs tipped as favourites to feature in the W-League Grand Final, this clash could be a decisive point in our season following a slightly underwhelming start, despite earning seven points from three games.
Here are the three biggest talking points ahead of this week’s fixtures:
The storyline’s already been done to death a bit this week, so we’ll keep it short.
‘El Tuna’ has given Melbourne City fans countless memories throughout his three-and-a-half seasons at the club, from his infamous post-FFA Cup Final victory speech to the high-octane football and spectacular goals he produced particularly in that record-breaking 2015/16 season alongside Aaron Mooy and Harry Novillo.
Those memories don’t change regardless of whichever side of the story you’ve heard regarding his departure.
This Friday night, the Uruguayan returns to the stadium he once set alight with his goalscoring brilliance and is set to receive one hell of a reception – just what type remains to be seen.
The reigning Premiers… are bottom of the table.
Surely one of the talking points of the season as a whole thus far.
Who’d have thought that Perth would be bottom of the table eight rounds into the competition having won the league and made it all the way to the Grand Final last season?
They’ve scored the equal-least goals in the league despite boasting an attacking lineup of Bruno Fornaroli, Chris Ikonomidis and Diego Castro – arguably the league’s best on paper right alongside Nabbout, Kruse and Toivonen for Victory.
To be completely honest though, they actually haven’t been THAT bad.
They have more draws than any other team, forced to share the points against Brisbane, Western United and Newcastle. They defeated Wellington away from home and suffered defeats against Sydney and Victory (fairly forgiveable), as well as Central Coast, with the latter result representing the only truly poor performance in a match they’d have expected to win.
They might be bottom of the league, but it’s still a pretty high ‘floor’ at this stage of the season.
W-League: This is the big test that we’ve been waiting for
Seven points from our first three games would just about be the minimum pass mark in a season where there are multiple realistic contenders who we’ve got to keep up with.
Following unconvincing performances against mid-to-lower-table teams like Newcastle, Canberra and Adelaide, we now face the almighty challenge of travelling interstate to take on reigning Champions Sydney FC.
The goals haven’t been flowing as City fans have come to expect after the massive success of our first three years in the competition and putting them in the back of the net against Sydney won’t be any simple task.
Our finishing MUST improve, especially with the quality of service being provided by star wing-back Ellie Carpenter and the playmaking capabilities of advanced midfielder Emily van Egmond.
With such a formidable task ahead of us, it’s time to see what we’re made of.