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Opinion

A-League Grand Final preview: Can Western claim first championship, or will City go back to back?

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Roar Guru
27th May, 2022
8

We are down to the final two for the A-League season 2021-22. reigning champions Melbourne City take on cross-town rivals Western United in Saturday night’s A-League Grand Final at AAMI Park.

Western United defied the odds to reach the Grand Final. After 1-0 over Wellington Phoenix in the elimination final, and after losing the first leg of the semi-final 1-0 to the Melbourne Victory, Western United caused a boil-over 4-1 second-leg upset over Melbourne Victory to reach their first ever decider.

It is an incredible achievement considering this is only the club’s third season.

Melbourne City earned their place in the Grand Final following a hard fought semi-final, with a 2-1 victory over Adelaide United.

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City went behind in the 48th minute following a stunning volley from Zach Clough. City found their equaliser from Marco Tilio in the 73rd minute, which sent the game into extra time. Jamie McLaren then sent Melbourne City into their third consecutive Grand Final in the 92nd minute, with his close-range strike.

It looks an enticing contest. Melbourne City aiming to become the first team to become back-to-back premiers and champions (the double). Western United would start underdogs, but if they play the way they did against Melbourne Victory, there is no reason why they can’t win their first-ever title.

Key players include Jamie Mclaren, Mathew Leckie, and Andrew Nabbout for City.

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For United, it’s the likes of Dylan Wenzel-Halls, Neil Kilkenny, and Aleksandar Prijović.

Everyone agrees that Melbourne City are the favourites. They have two years’ worth of Grand Final experience, and this is Western’s first appearance. Melbourne City start favourites at $1.66 to Western United $4.75.

Prediction

Whilst it would be a fairytale for Western United to win their first title and many of us would love to see it, Melbourne City will get the job done. 2-1 the final score.

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