Talking points preview: City vs Sydney
Tomorrow afternoon, we make a statement to the league. We are not going to lose points, drop form, or give up ground as much as our chasers may wish.
Sydney FC are coming into this one with some solid form behind them, winning three out of their last five games; now is the perfect time for that form to come to an end. Not only do we have the Melbourne Derby to bounce back from, but Sydney were the ones that put a blight on our record back in December, when they delivered our first loss of the season.
Now is the time to bounce back and march towards that third straight Premier's Plate that fellow Talking City writer Josh Gribling claimed is ours to lose earlier in the week.
Here are the three talking points leading into this top-six clash:
Time to stomp out the competition
It is only logical to believe that the players will be itching to get out there tomorrow afternoon and really put Sydney to the test, especially after the Melbourne Derby loss.
Our tactical method relies on our players to be energetic, focusing on moving the ball around the box until we break through, manufacturing a half-chance through our play. This is what was expected in the Derby, and while the result did not flatter us, the key system still worked. We dominated possession and shots, and also managed to play our way.
We need to do this right from the outset against Sydney, but force an outcome similar to the Macarthur game a few weeks back.
Be ruthless, put them on the back foot, and never drop the gear.
Jamie is on the prowl
May lord have mercy on the opposition that faces us in the next few weeks, for Jamie Maclaren does not normally go too long without bagging a few goals. With it being two match days without scoring, one would contend that Sydney may be in trouble here.
For reference, Maclaren has only gone longer than two games without scoring for us twice in his years at Melbourne City (FBRef.com): only a five-game stretch back in 2019, and a three-game drought in 2020. Incredible.
With Jordy Bos supporting well on the overlap lately, it will not be surprising to see the youngster find Maclaren tomorrow afternoon, which the City faithful will be hoping they see quite a few times.
After all, he scores when he wants.
Bay 17 lives on
After some confusion resulting from the retirement of the City Terrace leadership group, our active support seems to remain in Bay 17, as it rightfully should be.
After some awkwardness surrounding a 'Bay 12 Corner', the majority of active supporters will seemingly still be in Bay 17 behind the goal. Things should be clarified over the coming months as we learn more about the new leadership and see how they're able to impact the atmosphere in upcoming matches.
One thing remains clear though, we must remain faithful to the players, and continue to support them to the best of our abilities. They deserve the best after the quality that they've provided us over the years.
Score prediction: City 4 - 2 Sydney