While it’s almost a given that Sydney FC will run away with the premiership, what we in Australia do is crown as champions the winners of the Grand Final. And while it may remain in fourth position as we speak, there is still a school of thought that Melbourne Victory - just millimetres away from winning last year’s decider - may be the team most capable of beating the Sky Blues in that one-off day in May. The Jets are flying, City is coming good, but Victory’s starting XI is power-packed and, when on song, hard to beat. Kevin Muscat’s men have been in form for a couple of months now, but last Friday’s 3-0 win over Western Sydney was imperious. Sydney, meanwhile, has won just one of its last four games (three draws and a win) which is a mammoth slump by its lofty standards. Victory might just see this as their opportunity to pounce.
Key stat: Including last year’s Grand Final, Sydney FC has won its last five games against Melbourne Victory and has not lost a “Big Blue” since Australia Day two years ago.
Besart Berisha just loves the big stage. He has come in for some criticism of late, but last week at ANZ Stadium produced a high octane performance that also netted a goal. He’s no stranger to scoring big goals against Sydney, either, having opened the scoring in the sides’ last two Grand Final meetings.
Key stat: Despite losing its last five games against Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory scored the first goal in three of those meetings.