Talking points preview: Macarthur vs City
In what has become normality this season, Melbourne City is faced with yet another quick turnaround. Next up, the Macarthur Bulls.
Despite our gutsy win on Wednesday night, we can’t afford to let our foot off the gas as we are all well aware every point at this stage of the season is worth its weight in gold.
With that said, here are our three things to keep an eye on ahead of our latest fixture:
More of the same on the lineup front
It’s not like we needed any more evidence, but the squad that took to the pitch on Wednesday evening further cemented the faith Patrick Kisnorbo has in the youth at his disposal.
Six players under the age of 21 featured against the Roar and considering City left taking all three points, it makes it hard not to give them another run.
Notable absences from the starting XI such as Scott Jamieson and Carl Jenkinson could very well be an inclusion to the squad, but it's just as likely that PK asks for more of the same as the youngsters continue to cause the coaching staff headaches surrounding their selections.
Step it up a notch
As sweet as the win was against the Roar, Macarthur could very well require City to step it up a gear if we are to walk away with the win.
This is, of course, no disrespect to Brisbane, but we must acknowledge that facing a side sitting second-last presents a much easier task than one eyeing off third spot.
With the likes of Noone, Oar, Davila and Juric just to name a few, it will present an almighty task for a substantially depleted City side.
Are we a chance? Always, but we’ll have to be at our very best if we are to leave our road trip with all six points.
Goals galore? City’s defence has constantly been under the microscope this season and understandably so; 28 goal concessions from 20 games is concerning, we know this.
However, Macarthur has us beat, conceding a whopping 30 goals from 17 games is mind-boggling.
I’m not entirely sure how a side with that sort of defence and a -2 goal difference can be in contention for third spot, but there they are.
What these stats do suggest though is it won’t be a battle of defences on the night.
In fact, with our side, it may be worth just trying to purely out attack them: an "it’s all good if we concede four, as long as we score five"-type mentality. Focusing on defence with a weakened squad against a fellow leaky defence just doesn’t make much sense.
Whilst the defensive numbers may be concerning for fans of either side, a neutral will be licking their lips with this fixture promising goals galore.
With our depleted squad, it's an almighty task that lies before us. However, at this stage of the season, we've got to be backing the boys in no matter the odds that face us.
Score prediction: Macarthur 2-3 City