Talking points preview: Macarthur vs City
This Sunday, Melbourne City are tasked against the Macarthur Bulls away at Campbelltown Stadium, a game shaping up to be an enticing one as both sides have plenty to play for.
City will, of course, again be looking to claim valuable points in our quest for the Premier's Plate, while Macarthur is in the thick of a tight battle for sixth spot, currently sitting in ninth place. However, with only four points between sixth and tenth place, every point is priceless for Macarthur, so they shouldn’t be expected to roll over easily.
Here are three things to look forward to ahead of Sunday's fixture:
This fixture promises goals, as it's statistically the league’s best attack against the league’s worst defence.
It’s actually quite amazing Macarthur is still in contention for Finals football when you look at their stats. The Bulls currently sit with a -13 goal difference with a whopping 38 goals conceded so far this season. On average, the Bulls concede 1.9 goals a game which again sees them place dead last in that stat. In comparison City currently sit first in goals scored, averaging 2.4 goals a game with a total of 46 scored.
As we know however, despite a much better showing last week, City also has struggled to keep the ball out of our own net this season, so this game really isn’t looking like it will be a battle of defences. Last time the two sides met, City ran out 6-1 winners, so if that scoreline and statistics are anything to go by, it could be a case of goals galore.
After a very evident switch in playstyle last week, it will be interesting to see how Rado goes into this one. With our defence seeming uncomfortably accessible to score against, does he look to exploit that, or will we again look to keep things nice and tight?
Time will tell, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Arzani vs Bos
The battle down the left-hand side is looking to be a mouth-watering one, as Jordan Bos and Daniel Arzani will likely go head-to-head.
Bos’ attacking output this season has been widely applauded, and rightfully so, however, I think the task of containing Arzani will be a good test for the defensive aspect of Bos’ game. Whilst Arzani can often lack consistency, he still has managed to create 9 ‘big chances’ this season, with only Craig Goodwin ahead of him on 10.
We expect Jordy to do what he does best, and that's to be aggressive, take the ball at his feet, and penetrate enemy lines. He will, however, have to be switched on for the full 90, as Arzani at his best isn’t someone you want to take lightly.
Both players are terrific with the ball at their feet, and if both play to the best of their ability, it should be a great watch.
Jamie is often a victim of his own brilliance, and this case is an example of that.
J-Mac’s output since he arrived at City four years ago has been nothing short of remarkable, so when he does go a couple of games without a goal, we notice it. Jamie has now gone two games without finding the back of the net but has also only scored in one fixture out of the last five, which was his brace against Sydney.
In that time, he’s drawn blanks against Perth, Victory, Adelaide and Brisbane. In each of those blanks, City has scored 2 or more goals, so the chances are there, he’s just not scoring them.
The visible frustration after his missed spot kick against the Roar was quite out of character for someone who is normally not too fussed when he misses, as he knows the next one isn’t too far away. It may just suggest that there is now some very real annoyance growing for our #9, especially with the all-time A-league Men's scoring record in touching distance.
I actually think this works for us, as a pissed-off Jamie coming up against the league's worst defence excites me.
There is absolutely zero doubt in the ability of our main man; it's not a matter of if the floodgates will open back up, but when. I think Macarthur is one of the best opportunities he’ll get, and I think Jamie knows it.
Keep an eye on him this weekend, as he’ll be licking his lips at the chance to bag a few more to add to his ever-growing tally.
Whether it’s the promise of mass goals, two ballers going toe to toe or just the race for the Plate, there is so much to look forward to ahead of Sunday’s fixture.
City answered a few concerns last week, boasts a great record against the Bulls, and has proven it knows how to find the net against the league's newest franchise.
All things considered, anything less than three points will feel like a loss.
Score prediction: Macarthur 1-5 City