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How will Melbourne City adjust for this clash following their victory in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night?

Fri, 2 Dec, 12:00 AM


How will Melbourne City adjust for this clash following their victory in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night?

City won their first piece of silverware in defeating Sydney FC 1-0, condemning that team to their first loss of the season across all competitions.

The win, however, did come at a cost with Socceroo and marquee player Tim Cahill coming off with a knee injury shortly after scoring the only goal of the match.

They have a short turnaround and face Brisbane who are equal on points with them and have registered three straight draws going into this.

City could be a little flat going into this game after having played on Wednesday night. In a lot of cases, playing after such a big occasion can actually lead to teams 'coming down' off a big high. We saw it earlier in the season with City when they smashed Melbourne Victory in the Derby, only to lose to Perth the following week.

It will also be a question of how the players hold up physically after such a big match.

There is a huge doubt on Tim Cahill after he came off and City will miss his combination with the league's leading scorer, Bruno Fornaroli.

John Aloisi's side have been a bit more resilient away from home to start this campaign. That said, they definitely aren't the same team that plays at Suncorp Stadium and getting that intensity, fluency and structure in place for away games is something Aloisi needs to sort out if his team are to be genuine premiership contenders.

So far this season they have had one win, two draws and a loss from their four away games including last week's 1-1 result at Spotless Stadium against the Wanderers.

Last season, Brisbane's three away wins put them second-last in terms of wins away right alongside Sydney and Wellington while only the Mariners (one) were worse.

These teams only played a month ago with Brisbane getting the verdict on that occasion 1-0.

In their last six clashes, the home side has won on four occasions (two for each team) while there has also been two draws thrown in for good measure.

Without a doubt a lot will centre on how Fornaroli recovers from Wednesday's Cup Final. He has scored a whopping 32 goals in 39 games for City including seven in his last 10 games at AAMI Park.

City's depth is greater than that of Brisbane's with players such as Luke Brattan, Ivan Franjic and Fernando Brandan all providing some sort of attacking threat no matter their position on the park.

That is where the game could be won and lost as Brisbane has conceded six of their nine goals in away games. While the defence is something Aloisi wanted to mend in the offseason, and he has to a certain extent, it appears to have come at the expense of the attack. The Roar have only scored eight goals all campaign with only Adelaide (six) and Wellington (seven) having put fewer in the back of the net. Adding to their frustrations on the road is they are averaging less than a goal a game when away from Suncorp Stadium.

THE TIP: Melbourne City

TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: Unders - just 2.16 goals per game have been yielded the last six times these teams have met. Add to the fact Roar keeper Michael Theo has been saving almost everything of late and this one could be really tight

TO SCORE A GOAL: Bruno Fornaroli - his strike rate to start his career in Australia is now better than Mark Viduka's 40 goals in 48 appearances for the Melbourne Knights in the early to mid 90s

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