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Talking points preview: City vs Sydney

Here we go, hopefully the penultimate game of our season, but also possibly the final game.

This season has seen us go to new heights in the A-League Men competition, and now we find ourselves only 90 minutes away from a fourth straight Grand Final appearance.

It was a tight affair last week up in Sydney as we faced off in that first-leg draw, but what should we expect from a Sydney side that relishes knockout football? They may not have the legs for the full season at times, but they definitely turn it on at the end of the campaign.

This will be the final game in Melbourne for quite a few of our City boys, with Jordan Bos transferring to Belgium come season end, Thomas Glover exploring other opportunities (Wrexham, obviously), and even Marco Tilio being chased by European sides.

Here are the greatest talking points leading into this one:

Photo: Andrew Wiseman (@wisemansports)

The boycott

This is an absolute can of worms as there are so many different moving parts to the scenario we all find ourselves in. I am all for our official active group Yarra End Collective boycotting the finals, and not attending this Semi-Final. There is a good heap of other non-active fans also not attending, and good on them!

However, there are of course other active groups that are still going to be in the stadium and making noise, such as Riverside 32. Then, of course, The Cove will be attending the Semi-Final, unless... apologies, had to check Twitter to make sure they haven't back-flipped again.

So, will the boycott see any changes in how the APL handles these situations in the future? Probably not, but it is about the principle of the scenario. Danny Townsend can take away our Grand Final, but definitely not our dignity.

Massive inclusion headlines the match

For possibly the last time, Aiden O'Neill makes his way into the squad to step out onto AAMI Park this Friday night. The 24-year-old midfielder has had yet another stellar season and finds himself out of contract at the conclusion of this campaign.

O'Neill has been linked to Patrick Kisnorbo's Troyes side in France, who have been relegated to Ligue 2 after a very poor run of form. While Ligue 2 may not be up to O'Neill's capabilities, it would still be nice for him to link up with his old boss; that's if PK still remains at the club by the commencement of next season.

After Friday, O'Neill will have made 63 appearances for City after joining us in September 2020, further adding to the idea that Melbourne City is the destination of choice for players wanting to build their careers toward Europe.

Welcome to Wrexham

Off-season #SokkahTwitter has already hit the ground running, and it isn't even technically the off-season yet! Parody Twitter account 'Agent A-League' made a report that Tom Glover was signing for Ryan Reynold's club Wrexham who have recently been promoted to League 2 in England.

Hilariously enough, this took off as radio programs, Wrexham fan accounts and large football social accounts picked up on the news, taking it as fact. Tom Glover has in fact set the record straight, even though it arguably never needed to be put to bed officially, considering it was an obvious joke right from the start.

That being said, Glover is definitely leaving at the end of his contract this season, but we'll hope to be seeing the fantastic keeper in a league a little bit better than League 2. At 25, Glover is still considered a young keeper and could test himself across Europe for years to come.

His last match at AAMI Park will be against Sydney FC; let's hope for yet another world-class performance.


Score prediction: City 1 - 0 Sydney

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