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Melbourne City FC
Melbourne City FC
|A. L. Fondre||29'|
A top-of-the-table clash sees reigning A-League champions Sydney FC host title aspirants Melbourne City at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 6:30pm (AEDT).
Consistency and quality is the name of Sydney’s game as they once again set the standard in the new season. The Sky Blues find themselves six points clear at the top of the ladder, scoring the most goals while also conceding the least.
Although they are coming off a 2-2 draw away to Wellington, Sydney remain a class above the rest of the competition and will be expected to bounce back against a dangerous but inconsistent City outfit.
City missed the chance to close the gap on the leaders last weekend when they were beaten 2-1 by noisy neighbours Melbourne Victory in the Christmas derby.
That result – a week after their 4-0 demolition of Newcastle – means one thing: that City are a volatile club on the pitch, prone to moments of brilliance and weakness week to week. This makes them one of the most dangerous yet frustrating teams to watch.
Sydney FC are the complete antithesis to City in this regard. Fans know what they are going to get from the Sky Blues week in, week out and little has changed despite Graham Arnold leaving the coaching helm.
City should appreciate the gravity of the task at hand this week so it wouldn’t surprise to see them turn up with their best form in order to prove a point against the benchmark of the competition.
Indeed, Melbourne City picked up a 2-0 win in their last A-League game against Sydney FC, snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Sky Blues in the process.
The visitors may go the aerial route if they are to get success in this one, having scored a league-high six headed goals so far in 2019/20, more than any other club.
However, Sydney FC’s record at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium is impressive. They have won all of their previous six A-League games at the venue, outscoring their opposition 17-3 in that time.
This is a tricky game to call. Sydney are not unbeatable, but they possess a consistency that no team in the A-League can match. They are a blue-chip team compared to City, whose form is still volatile. City should be expected to put up a fight but Sydney at home remain the team to back.
Sydney to win 2-1.
Kick-off: 6:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Odds: Sydney $1.95, City $3.75, draw $3.30
1. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 2. Patrick Flottmann, 4. Alex Wilkinson (C), 5. Alex Baumjohann, 6. Ryan McGowan, 7. Michael Zullo, 8. Paulo Retre, 9. Adam Le Fondre, 10. Milos Ninkovic, 11. Kosta Barbarouses, 12. Trent Buhagiar, 16. Joel King, 17. Anthony Caceres, 18. Luke Ivanovic, 20. Tom Heward-Belle (GK), 21. Harry van der Saag, 23. Rhyan Grant, 24. Marco Tilio, 25. Ryan Teague, 26. Luke Brattan (2-4 to be omitted).
1. Tom Glover (GK), 2. Scott Galloway, 3. Scott Jamieson (C), 4. Harrison Delbridge, 6. Josh Brillante, 7. Rostyn Griffiths, 8. Javier Cabrera, 9. Jamie Maclaren, 10. Florin Berenguer, 11. Craig Noone, 13. Nathaniel Atkinson, 19. Lachlan Wales, 20. Adrian Luna, 21. Ramy Najjarine, 22. Curtis Good, 23. Dean Bouzanis (GK), 30. Moudi Najjar, 34. Connor Metcalfe, 40. Richard Windbichler, 49. Stefan Colakovski (2-4 to be omitted).