Is this a Grand Final preview as sky and city blue collide? Much like there was when these teams met back in Round 5, there is a sense of anticipation about this game as A-League fans wait to see whether there is any side truly capable of matching it with the defending champions. Off the park, Melbourne City has endured a tumultuous time, but on the pitch Warren Joyce’s men seem to have shaken off their November malaise to return to form with two-straight wins. Grand Final preview? Maybe a touch too early to say but you’d be gutsy to bet against Sydney FC being there again as it continues an imperious run of form that last week claimed Western Sydney as a 5-0 roadkill victim.
3 KEY POINTS
- SYDNEY FC has already stretched its advantage atop the table to five points
- After going four games without a win, MELBOURNE CITY has won its past two games and sits in third position on the table
- Ross McCormack’s winner against Central Coast last week was the MELBOURNE CITY striker’s first goal from open play this season
SKY AND CITY BLUE CLOUDED
- Sydney FC defeated Melbourne City 1-0 in a comprehensive display at AAMI Park when these sides met in Round 5
- Melbourne City is one of only three sides to have defeated Sydney since the start of last season, having knocked Graham Arnold’s men off in the 2016 FFA Cup Final
- The split between these sides in games played in Sydney is tight, with both sides having won three of the 10 games between the two in the Harbour City
- Sydney didn’t dispatch City with absolute ease when these teams met in Round 5, but there was a clear gulf in class evident that night and since that time the Sky Blues have seemingly gone to a new level again. City has also improved, but probably not enough to get the win here.
DRAW / SYDNEY
- City has proven to be hard to break down this season, keeping four clean sheets, so will be able to keep itself in the contest for a while before Sydney’s class shines through.
- Was fantastic in helping create several of Sydney’s five goals last week, so will be itching to get on the scoresheet himself this week.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- Even though Sydney has been starting to score for fun lately, you’d back City to keep it tight, while Graham Arnold’s pragmatic style rarely gives up many goals going the other way.