Round 4 vs Adelaide.

Melbourne City vs Adelaide United, AAMI Park, Friday 28th of October @ 7:50pm AEST.

UBET Odds.

Melbourne City: $1.75

Perth Glory: $4.20

Anything worth a punt on? – Given the demonstrably incorrect my previous prediction was, I’ll walk back in terms of the ridiculousness of my predictions. Melbourne City to score in both halves for $2.45 seems underpriced.

Last time they met: A 4-1 loss at Coopers Stadium was the disappointing, but not entirely undeserverd end to Melbourne City’s season. Adelaide’s starting line-up for this one will likely include Galekovic, La Rocca, McGowan and Isais from our last meeting, giving a good indication of the change in personal for Adelaide both through transfers and injury, with 4 starting players missing through injury.

Last season’s results: ADL 1:4 MCY (Fitzgerald)                    22.04.2016

                                    MCY 3:2 ADL                                       08.04.2016

                                    ADL 0:1 MCY (Fitzgerald)                   11.03.2016     

Team News.


Melbourne City: This preview was either going to go one of two ways depending on the result of Tuesday night’s game. Either we’d lose and klaxons would start ringing at Melbourne City supporter HQ at our third consecutive loss at the Semi-Final stage of the FFA Cup competition as well as a big question mark being raised over how much could be read into our win at Ettihad. Thankfully we won and the only nagging question I find myself asking is – we can put in an excellent shift against Victory and talk about team unity and belief when a derby makes it easy, but there’s 24 other league games in a season, and dropping points when we shouldn’t has become our speciality in the past few years.

The Perth game indicated the importance of effective possession, especially at home. We had the highest average possession of the season so far, but the difference in what we did with it compared to the first two games of the season was marked. We made nearly twice as many passes, but 1 in 4 of Perths passes were long passes, compared to 1 in 7 in our case. Not that this should be overly surprising, given this is how teams will play us for large portions of this year, especially at home (credit where its due to Kenny Lowe, he’s provided a blueprint to follow for the remainder of the year for teams coming to AAMI). Perth’s heat map of possession and player location is one of the oddest you’ll see all year.

Perth Glory possession heat map.

Perth Glory heat map, attacking goals to the top of the page. (Image provide from


JVS has thus far been loath to change much about his tactics and I don’t think we’ll see much different here, with Bruce Kamau likely to be inserted back into the starting line-up as the only change, depending on how Tim Cahill pulls up on a three day turn around. Players to watch are Muscat and Rose as they reasserted themselves brilliantly after a poor showing against the Glory, hopefully they can both move forward more consistently, Colazo misses after having surgery to repair his inner ear and perhaps the best news to come out of the derby cup win was seeing Ivan Franjic reintroduced to the squad ahead of schedule, even if the current formation that we’re playing doesn’t suit his strengths.

The NYL squad was confirmed this week with many players continuing from last year. Notable exceptions are Stefan Zinni and Phillip Petreski who have been with the club for extended periods of time – it’s been a while since we’ve seen a youngster break from our youth team to move to the firsts. Braeden Crowley (Forward, ex-NQF) and Bradley Clarke (Defender, ex-Dandy City) are the two we’re most likely to see during this season.

Possible Starting 11.


Muscat Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny Brattan


Kamou Cahill Brandan


Adelaide United: Adelaide (as most premiers do) have had a major talent drain over the offseason with Goodwin, Mauk, Djite and Kamau all leaving after having good seasons with the Reds. Combined with the current injury toll and you can understand why they’ve only picked up a point so far this year (worth observing that they picked up 3 points until December last year and managed to pip WSW on goal difference), AAMI park has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for the Reds too, having a better record here than at Coopers. Adelaide have played a 4-3-3 through most of this year and the tricky Sergi Guardiola has lead the line well so far, even if he hasn’t hit the back of the net.


Possible Starting 11:


Elrich McGowan La Rocca Garrucio

Makarounas Isais Holland

Choi Guardiola Kitto

Prediction: Melbourne City 2-1 in a relative squeaker. Adelaide won’t look to move the ball as quickly or as long as Perth did which should, ideally, suit the Melbourne City game plan of quick closing and pressure on the ball, tired legs from a midweek cup game will be the evener.

Can we build an eleven from people who’ve played for both teams? We can get bloody close.

Zullo Malik Marrone Garrucio

Duganzic Reid Mauk Goodwin

Babalj Marino

We’re only a GK short, with room for Iain Ramsay, Brent McGrath, Jacob Melling, Ruon Tonyik and Kristian Sarkies on the bench.



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Round 3 vs Perth Glory

Melbourne City vs Perth Glory, AAMI Park, Friday 21st of October @ 7:50pm AEST.

UBET Odds.

Melbourne City: $1.65

Perth Glory: $4.75

Anything worth a punt on? – While it’s easy to dismiss Perth’s win against Wellington, a large part of the Kiwi side was coming off a 19000km trip from Washington DC and their capitulation against the Central Coast was hardly impressive. Melbourne City by 2+ goals at 2.65

Last time they met: A 2-0 win at AAMI park where Bruno Fornaroli scored two of the more spectacular goals you’re likely to see. While his overhead kick was pure instinct and ability, the free kick to beat Covic was a perfect example of technique and placement. As a bit of a footnote, only 11,273 fans attended that game a in an ominous sign for those expecting 15k+ this Friday night.

Last season’s results: MCY 2:2 GLO (Fornaroli x2)                17.04.2016

                                      GLO 3:2 MCY (Fornaroli, Marino)        03.04.2016

                                      GLO 2:2 MCY (Paartalu, Mooy)             17.10.2015     

Team News.


Melbourne City: What a week, eh? I’ve got no yardstick to measure last Saturdays game against (with the possible exception of a 4-1 win over Brisbane a few years ago), so it’s difficult to know where we go from here. We’ve been installed as favourites across the league and for the first time ever, we’ll be deemed a big scalp from early on in the season. Our record at AAMI park was superb last year, only losing three games in the entirety of last year and looking decidedly deadly against WSW in the FFA cup. The key from here is consistency and stamping complacency out of our game, something which the intensity of Fornaroli and Cahill, and the cool heads of Jakobsen and Kilkenny have the ability to provide. I don’t think we’ll see too many changes this week, Bouzanis gives me serious nerves with how long he holds onto the ball before delivering it but his delivery itself is an improvement on that of Sorenson, Colazo may also miss with an inner ear infection, caused by collective intake of breath of the back of last week leading to a massive change in air pressure. Sorry. I’ve been looking for a way to work that in all week.

Nothing to report team wise at this stage of the season with Y-League usually kicking off in early November so the likes of Tongyik, Arzani and Crowley are unlikely to see much football until then.


Possible Starting 11.


Muscat Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny Brattan


Kamou Cahill Brandan


If it aint broke. Not sure what the situation between the sticks will be, Bouzanis did just about enough to keep his spot in my mind.

Perth Glory: Perth looked good in the opening half of their first game of the season. Calamitous in the second half of the same game and managed to get a draw against an underwhelming Central Coast squad which was summarily walloped the next game. They’ve also been beaten by both of these teams (neither of which is known for their possession football chops) in terms of possession, so the counter attack feeding Castro and over the top to Andy Keogh will likely be their main route towards goal. They’re a team of good quality players going forward, but the defensive flanks of Warren and Risdon who will ideally look to push on will have to be on top of their game for Kamau and Brandan not to cause them major issues. Will be good to see Rhys Williams play as he’s always been a bit of a crowd favorite of mine when he’s pulled on the green and gold a horrific run of injuries at Middlesborough has seen him come home to Perth to join a rapidly growing West Australian contingent at the Glory.


Possible Starting 11:


Risdon Djulbic Williams Warren

Harold Wilson Griffiths Marinkovic



Prediction: Melbourne City 3-0 Perth. Having watched both of the Glory’s games this season I don’t think they’ll have the ability to counter the attacking thrust of Melbourne City on Friday night. Based on this level of blind optimism we’re probably due a crushing defeat.

Played for both clubs: Adrian Zahra – A product of John Vant Schipt’s obsession for turning wingers into fullbacks, Adrian Zahra should be best known to Melbourne Heart fans for  nutmegging Phil Neville when Everton came out a few years ago and made his debut in the first Melbourne Derby, but unfortunately his career will mostly be known for being on the receiving end of a Kevin Muscat challenge which can deemed at best, horrendous (can take small solace in the fact that he was involved in the ending of his career though). His stint at Perth Glory was short lived and he now plies his trade with Port Melbourne.

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Melbourne City Preview – Round 2 @ Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory vs Melbourne City, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 15th of October @ 7:50pm AEST.



Melbourne City: $2.60

Melbourne Victory: $2.45

Anything worth a punt on? – Melbourne City and over 2.5 Goals at $3.85 sounds like good value to me, with these games typically producing goals and I don’t think that either defence is capable of shutting the other attack out completely.

Last time they met: A 2-2 draw at AAMI park in front of nearly 26000 showcased some of the best and worst Melbourne City has to offer, attacking pace and verve and defensive deficiencies which would have been funny, weren’t they so obvious. Bloody glad to see the back of Gui Finkler.

Last season’s results: MCY 2:2 MVC (Fornaroli x2)          13.02.2016

                                    MCY 2:1 MVC (Mauk, Retre)               19.12.2015

                                    MVC 3:2 MCY (Fornaroli, Mauk)       17.10.2015     


Team News

Melbourne City: Strangely, Thomas Sorenson being out has divided people. Apart from his monumental brain fart against Adelaide in the last game of last season, I’ve always thought of him as one of our more reliable players and a vocal leader at the back, but Bouzanis acquitted himself well. Colazo played further forward than I’d expected and created more chances than any other player in the A-League and will probably be kept upfield (much to the chagrin all of those who condensed Josh Rose’ entire performance to a single piece of horrific play). The surprise omission from the starting lineup was Osama Malik but we could see him inserted back into a more traditional back four to counter the threat that Melbourne Victory’s attacking pacey line up will provide (I’d say that we’re more likely to be troubled by the raw pace of Austin then we would have been by the craft of Troisi due to our current fullback situation). Apart from Cahill coming in for Caceras if Timmy pulls up alright from national duty, I don’t think we’ll see too much shuffling of the pack.


Possible Starting 11:


Chapman Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny Brattan


Kamou Cahill Brandan


Line up looks a bit funny, I think Colazo will be a slightly deeper play maker while Cahill will operate in both Midfield and Attack as the situation required.


Melbourne Victory: The Victory had an unlucky 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar up north but were far from convincing in their first hit out of the A-League season. The played a very asymmetric formation which pushed Austin and Georgievski and brought Fahid Ben Khalfallah inside, this would suit our back three down to the ground as it will allow Kilkenny and Brattan to clog up the middle of the park and remove the space that FBK and Marco Rojas thrive on. Bozanic and Valeri will be a solid pair of metronomes in the middle of the park and it promises to be an interesting battle as the midfield has the potential to be seriously overrun with players depending on the formation both teams put out.


Possible Starting 11:


Geria Donachie Baro Georgievski

Varleri Rojas Bozanis

FBK Berisha Austin


Prediction: Melbourne City 2-1 Victory. Can’t see either team not scoring given the lopsided quality both teams have in attack, in saying that Mitch Austin vs Connor Chapman will give me nightmares.


Played for both clubs: Aziz Behich. Probably mostly known to the Melbourne Victory fans as the bloke who had the inability to put a ball away from 3 yards in a grand final became probably the best long term servant that the club has ever had, over 90 odd games he tore up and down the left flank and become a handy defender in addition to a great attacking weapon for Melbourne Heart.

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Melbourne City Preview – Round 1 @ Wellington

Wellington vs Melbourne City, Westpac Stadium, Saturday 8th of October @ 5:35pm AEST.

Join the forum discussion.


UBET Odds.

Melbourne City: $2.05

Wellington Phoenix: $3.50

Anything worth a punt on? – Melbourne City to win both halves at $6.25 seems entirely reasonable. If you ignore the fact that we start the season terribly. And that we don’t play overly well away from home. And that we once drew with this team when they were missing not only 7 players, but also their coach (!). I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

Last time they met: A clinical 3-0 for Melbourne City where we arguably could (should?) have scored more. The game will probably most remembered for my call for goal of the season from Harry Novillo where he finished off an audacious chipped pass from Bruno Fornaroli. Also saw the start of the regulation capitulation that we like to observe at the end of the season.

Last season’s results: MCY 3:0 PHX (Novillo, Fornaroli x2)                28.03.2016

                                        PHX 2:1 MCY (Mooy, in absentia: Defenders) 26.02.2016

                                        MCY 3:1 PHX (Fornaroli, Novillo x2)                 25.01.2016     


Team News.

Melbourne City: It’s difficult not to be excited about the start of the season. It might be the fact that City showed real promise in their last FFA Cup match against the Wanderers, it might be the fact that our off-season goes for 170 days, who knows. But City come into this one with a nearly full strength squad (minus Tim Cahill on international duty and Ivan Franjic whose been rumoured to have a November start date on his season, good news for all involved) and should look to beat Wellington comfortably. Nicholas Colazo will hopefully get a start to show his ability on the left flank as a marauding full back (looked energetic up and down against Auckland City on family day and took his goal well), while Osama Malik finally looked like the player he can be last time out, making forays into midfield to cut balls out, with the defence looking infinitely more solid with Jakobsen at the heart of defence. Connor Chapman as a right back isn’t an overly exciting thought, but he’s been serviceable enough in the absence of Franjic. The front third is loaded with an embarrassment of riches, with Fitzgerald relegated to the bench. The other bench spots are likely to be very defensive and made up of Retre, Muscat and Rose (though I’d like to see Daniel Arzani move onto the pine if Caceras moves into the starting 11 to replace Cahill).

Possible Starting 11.


Chapman Malik Jakobsen Colazo

Kilkenny Brattan

Kamou Caceras Brandan



Wellington Phoenix: The Wellington Phoenix should be an exciting team (at least going forward) this year. But not when they’re decimated by international call ups like they will be on Saturday with Barbarouses, McGlinchey, Ridenton and Durante (and Louis Fenton a late call up to replace Ryan Thomas) all to miss and possibly Krishna too (but for the life of me I can’t determine if Fiji have a game or not in this international break). They’ll also struggle to replace Sigmunds graft in the backline, which will likely see a defence pairing of Dylan Fox and new import Marco Rossi who could have a torrid time against a Melbourne City front 3 who will be keen to get off on the right foot. Ernie Merrick does know how to put out a well drilled side though and Bonevacia and Finkler can be tricky when given space.

Possible Starting 11:


Lowry Fox Rossi Doyle

Parkhouse Bonevacia Rodriguez Lia



Prediction: Melbourne City 3-1 Wellington. Melbourne City should have far too much quality for an undermanned Wellington, we’ll conceded in the 70th-80th minute when the game is done for good measure.


Played for both clubs: Dylan Macallister. An entirely good question of why Dylan Macallister can be asked here. Because of his goal against Victory in the opening round derby of 12-13 season. Still our only winning start to a season in our history. Also managed to get himself sent off within 11 minutes against Perth which is an achievement in itself. Hard to remember but was a very good player for an entertaining Wellington side a few years before. Currently kicking around in the NPL NSW for Rockdale City.

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