This game will have plenty of ramifications for the top four when City host Brisbane.
Melbourne City now find themselves in a battle to stay inside the top four after a poor string of results over the last two months. As a result, they are two points behind Brisbane in third spot while they have a two point buffer over the fifth-placed Glory.
City will go into this game with a whopping eight regulars missing from the team that lost 2-1 in the Melbourne Derby last week. Most of those are missing due to suspension including Socceroo Tim Cahill and captain Bruno Fornaroli.
Brisbane has found their feet over the past few weeks but traveled to China midweek for an Asian Champions League Qualifier so how that has affected the side is anyone’s guess.
It was bad enough that they lost to Melbourne Victory but to then have a stack of players suspended was rubbing salt into the wound.
City are without Cahill and Fornaroli as previously mentioned for this game, however, they are also without goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, Manny Muscat, Osama Malik and Michael Jakobsen, the latter through injury, will all be missing.
Considering they’ve only won twice since taking out the FFA Cup back in November, and that was to teams that had men sent off, their form has been terrible and confidence is down. They had the game won last week but faded badly in the last 10 minutes to let Victory secure the win.
Maybe the replacements coming in for this game will give City the lift they need considering they will all be putting their hands up for regular game time going forward.
Brisbane is currently enduring their toughest stretch of the season in terms of scheduling.
Playing their fourth game in 11 days is really stretching John Aloisi’s side especially since they had to travel to Shanghai to play on Tuesday.
Adding to the pressure on the squad is the departure of Dimi Petratos who has linked up with Korean outfit Ulsan effective immediately.
Brisbane held Sydney FC scoreless last week, just the second team this season to do so in the A-league, which followed their 6-0 thumping of Global FC.
HOW IT PANS OUT
Melbourne are going to field an almost brand new team so how coach Michael Valkanis gets them to click during training this week is anyone’s guess.
Brisbane aren’t the best away team in the competition and have struggled when traveling away from Suncorp Stadium, however, their previous away trip saw them snare the points with a late goal in New Zealand to beat Wellington 1-0.
Strangely enough we think Melbourne City could turn things around here.
Even though their team will be fairly inexperienced this game is at AAMI Park which is where most of their best performances have been. They have five wins and two draws at home in 2016/17 and that record is pretty much the only thing keeping them in the top four right now.
Brisbane’s main priority in the off season was to secure the back and while they have done that, it has come at the expense of scoring goals. They have one of the weakest attacks in the comp and average just 1.2 goals per game which drops to a goal a game when playing on the road.
When you combine their impotence along with a big trip to China midweek, along with the loss of Petratos, then City definitely have their chance to secure the points.
Throw in the fact that Brisbane hasn’t beaten City in Melbourne in their past eight visits and all the signs point to a City revival here.
THE TIP: MELBOURNE CITY
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: UNDERS