Melbourne City Preview – Round 2 @ Melbourne Victory

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

 

UBET Odds

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:

Bouzanis

Chapman Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny Brattan

Colazo

Kamou Cahill Brandan

Fornaroli.

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:

Thomas

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.

Sorenson

Chapman Malik Jakobsen Colazo

Kilkenny Brattan

Kamou Caceras Brandan

Fornaroli.

 

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:

Moss

Lowry Fox Rossi Doyle

Parkhouse Bonevacia Rodriguez Lia

Finkler

Watson

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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Melbourne City vs Sydney FC Preview

After another late slip up last week against Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne City face a tough challenge at home against Sydney FC.

It was the same old story for Melbourne City last week, leading 2-1 until the Mariners converted the last chance of the game to secure a 2-2 draw in stoppage time. Aaron Mooy returns for Melbourne City, but even with his addition it’s hard to be optimistic about Melbourne City. It’s all been covered before, and unless a major change happens it’s going to be a tough season for Melbourne.

Sydney FC come into this game off the back of a couple of scoreless draws, but those games were against two of the other top teams this season in Victory and Adelaide United. Hard to see Sydney not getting back to their winning ways tonight. Their defence should be too strong, and they should be able to do enough to score against the shaky Melbourne defence.

Line ups
Melbourne City Squad:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
6.Aaron MOOY
7.Iain RAMSAY
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
19.Ben GARUCCIO
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
25.Jacob MELLING
26.Marc MARINO
27.Ross ARCHIBALD
28.Liam MILLER
two to be omitted

Ins:
6.Aaron MOOY (returns from international duty)
19.Ben GARUCCIO (promoted)

Outs:
Nil

Sydney FC squad:
1.Ivan NECEVSKI (GK)
2.Sebastian RYALL
3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI
4.Pedj BOJIC
6.Nikola PETKOVIC
8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC
9.Shane SMELTZ
11.Bernie IBINI
12.Hagi GLIGOR
13.Christopher NAUMOFF
14.Alex BROSQUE (C)
16.Alex GERSBACH
17.Terry ANTONIS
18.Peter TRIANTIS
19.Nick CARLE
20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK)
21.Mark JANKO
22.Ali ABBAS
two to be omitted

Ins:
21.Mark JANKO (return from international duty)
17.Terry ANTONIS (returns from international duty)

Outs:
Nil

Prediction
Sydney FC should be too good for Melbourne City today. City will struggle to score so we have this down as 1-0 for Sydney.

Betting Odds
Melbourne City are the favourites today, paying $2.40. Sydney FC look good value at $2.80 and the draw is paying $3.35.

Match Details
Who: Melbourne City vs Sydney FC
When: 7:30 PM, Saturday 22nd October 2014
Where: AAMI Park

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Melbourne City vs Central Coast Mariners Preview

Having recorded their first win of the season last week, Melbourne City will be looking to push on at home as they welcome a struggling Central Coast Mariners side to AAMI Park.

A solid 3-1 win away from home last week will no doubt have helped Melbourne City’s confidence. But given Brisbane’s own struggles, and the influence which poor goalkeeping from the opposition had on Melbourne’s win, it’s hard to read too much into last week’s result. This week Melbourne City will be without their best player so far this season, Aaron Mooy, which is a big blow for the side. The question for Melbourne is, who will step up in Mooy’s absence? Perhaps it will be new signing Liam Miller, who looks to be a tidy acquisition on paper. A proven player at A-League level with plenty of experience, he certainly can add something to the midfield. Redmayne’s surprisingly brilliant performance last week was another crucial element to City winning. The fans will certainly be hoping today’s game features the Redmayne from last week rather than the Redmayne from earlier in the season. Iain Ramsay being seemingly back in the starting line up will be a concern for Melbourne City.

Central Coast Mariners have had a slow start to the season as well, but it’s still hard to tell where they stand exactly. They’ve had three losses against good sides, and a win against Newcastle who may be the weakest side in the competition. How they’ll play against Melbourne City is anyone’s guess. They’ve struggled to score so far this season, but is that virtue of playing three games against good opposition, or is it down to some fundamental squad or tactical deficiency? It’s not easy to predict what we will get here from the Mariners, but their defence does looks solid, so they may only need one goal here.

Line ups
Melbourne City Squad:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
7.Iain RAMSAY
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
19.Ben GARUCCIO
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
25 Jacob MELLING
26.Marc MARINO
27.Ross ARCHIBALD
28.Liam MILLER
one to be omitted

Ins:
19.Ben GARUCCIO (promoted)
28.Liam MILLER (National Replacement Player)

Outs:
6.Aaron MOOY (international duty)

Central Coast Mariners Squad:
1.Matt NASH (GK)
3.Josh ROSE
4.Jacob POSCOLIERO
5.Zac ANDERSON
7.John HUTCHINSON (C)
8.Nick MONTGOMERY
9.Mitchell DUKE
10.Anthony CACERES
11.Nick FITZGERALD
12.Liam REDDY (GK)
14.Malick MANÉ
15.Matt SIM
17.Richárd VERNES
18.Glen TRIFIRO
21.Michael NEILL
23.Isaka CERNAK
25.Eddy BOSNAR
26.KIM Seung-yong
two to be omitted

Ins:
5.Zac ANDERSON (promoted)
8.Nick MONTGOMERY (promoted)
26.KIM Seung-yong (promoted)

Outs:
2.Storm ROUX (International Duty)

Prediction
We don’t expect either team to have what it takes to win here, a 1-1 draw looks to be the most likely result.

Betting Odds
Melbourne City are the favourites today, paying $1.83. For those that think the Mariners are in with a chance, they can get some great value at $4.30. At $3.55, the draw doesn’t look like a bad bet either. If you do fancy the Mariners, might be worth getting on the $11 special for Mitchell Duke to score at any time and Mariners to win, as they don’t have to many other goalscoring outlets.

Match Details
Who: Melbourne City vs Central Coast Mariners
When: 5:00 PM, Sunday 16th November 2014
Where: AAMI Park

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Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne City Preview

Melbourne City are on the road this week, making the trip up to Brisbane and Suncorp Stadium to face the Roar. Both teams are looking to register their first win of the season and we should see a fiercely fought battle tonight.

Disappointment again for Melbourne City last week, as the team’s inability to hold onto a lead was on display once more. It ended 2-1 for Adelaide, a score we correctly predicted, and pressure is surely mounting on manager John van’t Schip. The only positive from that match was Iain Ramsay being dropped, with Jonatan Germano being brought in following a spell on the sidelines with an injury. Germano didn’t last long though, coming off with another injury, raising questions as to whether he was rushed in to the squad due to a lack of other options at left back. It’s a position where Melbourne City have no answers, much like in between the goals, and now with David Villa gone and Joshua Kennedy not to join until January, there does seem to be a hole at the top of the formation as well. Combine this with John van’t Schip’s less than stellar record, which raises serious questions about his ability, it’s hard to see Melbourne City recording their first win today.

Brisbane Roar would be disappointed with their start to the season. Having won the Grand Final last season, they’ve lost all 3 games so far this season and find themselves equal last on the table. However, it’s still a quality side despite the poor results so far, which have come against tough opponents. With an easier match up at home today they’ll be confident of pulling off a win.

Line ups
Brisbane Roar Squad:
2.Matt SMITH (C)
3.Shane STEFANUTTO
5.Corey BROWN
7.Mensur KURTISHI
8.Steven LUSTICA
10.HENRIQUE
12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO
13.Jade NORTH
14.Daniel BOWLES
15.James DONACHIE
17.Matt McKAY
18.Luke BRATTAN
19.Jack HINGERT
21.Jamie YOUNG (GK)
22.Thomas BROICH
23.Dimitri PETRATOS
28.Brandon BORRELLO
30.Matthew ACTON (GK)
two to be omitted

Ins:
Corey BROWN (promoted)
Daniel BOWLES (promoted)
Matt McKAY (returns from suspension)

Outs:
Liam MILLER (released)

Melbourne City Squad:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
6.Aaron MOOY
7.Iain RAMSAY
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
19.Ben GARUCCIO
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
21.Stefan MAUK
22.Nick KALMAR
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
25.Jacob MELLING
26.Marc MARINO
27.Ross ARCHIBALD
two to be omitted

Ins:
7.Iain RAMSAY (promoted)
14.James BROWN (promoted)
21.Stefan MAUK (promoted)
22.Nick KALMAR (promoted)
26.Marc MARINO (promoted)

Outs:
8.Massimo MURDOCCA (groin – 1-2 weeks)
9.David VILLA (not available for selection)
13.Jonatan GERMANO (hamstring – 2-4 weeks),

Prediction
Brisbane Roar look like they’ll get their first win of the season tonight, 3-1 to the home team.

Betting Odds
Brisbane look good value today, paying $2.05 for the win. If you fancy Melbourne City tonight, they’re paying $3.35. Whereas, if you think both teams will still be searching for a win tonight, the draw will get you $3.50.

Match Details
Who: Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne City
When: 7:30 PM (AEDT), Saturday 8th November 2014
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

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Melbourne City vs Adelaide United Preview

Melbourne City are looking to bounce back tonight following last week’s derby disappointment, but face a strong Adelaide United side that looks set for a big season.

The goals were flowing last week, as we predicted, and once again the question for Melbourne City is can they tighten up at the back and give themselves a chance here? Fans will be eager to see if JVS once again persists with Iain Ramsay at left fullback, last week’s dismal performance should have spelt the end of the experiment. Meanwhile, City will have a tougher time going forward, with Gombau’s man having conceded the equal least goals so far this season. Chances could be at a premium, and must be better converted tonight.

Adelaide United look like a contender this season. A great attack, a tight defence, playing entertaining football, and, most important of all, getting results. Undefeated so far, they’ll be looking to continue that streak tonight. Cirio is in great form and will be someone who City need to have a plan for, otherwise he could potentially cause havoc. But their attacking quality doesn’t end there, with players such as Pablo Sanchez and Bruce Djite surely fancying themselves against a defence that conceeded 5 last week.

Line ups
Melbourne City Squad:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
6.Aaron MOOY
7.Iain RAMSAY
8.Massimo MURDOCCA
9.David VILLA
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
27.Ross ARCHIBALD
two to be omitted

Ins:
13.Jonatan GERMANO (promoted)
15.David WILLIAMS (returns from injury)
19.Ben GARUCCIO (promoted)

Outs:
25.Jacob MELLING (omitted)

Adelaide United Squad:
1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (C) (GK)
2.Michael MARRONE
3.Nigel BOOGAARD
4.Dylan McGOWAN
5.Osama MALIK
6.CÁSSIO
7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ
8.ISAÍAS
9.Sergio CIRIO
10.Marcelo CARRUSCA
11.Bruce DJITE
16.Craig GOODWIN
17.Awer MABIL
18.Jimmy JEGGO
20.Paul IZZO (GK)
21.Tarek ELRICH
24.Bruce KAMAU
32.Nathan KOSTANDOPOULOS
two to be omitted

Ins:
6.CÁSSIO (promoted)
11.Bruce DJITE (returns from injury)
20.Paul IZZO (GK) (promoted)
24.Bruce KAMAU (promoted)

Outs:
30.John HALL (GK) (omitted)
22.Fabio FERREIRA (hamstring 2-4 weeks)

Prediction
Adelaide United look likely to claim an away victory tonight, 2-1 will be the final score.

Betting Odds
Perhaps somewhat inexplicably, Melbourne City are the favourites tonight, paying $2.40. Adelaide United look great value at $2.70 and I’m sure many fancy themselves to outsmart the bookies tonight at that price. The draw is paying $3.50.

Match Details
Who: Melbourne City vs Adelaide United
When: 7:40 PM, Friday 31st October 2014
Where: AAMI Park

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Melbourne Victory vs Melbourne City Preview

The first derby of the season is upon us! After a disappointing 1-1 draw last week against the Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City face an in-form Melbourne Victory in front of a sold out crowd at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne Heart always lifted for a derby, and Melbourne City fans will be hoping the new team continues that tradition. Despite David Villa’s lethal touch, which has seen him make the most of the few chances he has had to score, Melbourne City continue to struggle to turn dominance into goals, and with Koren not expected to make his first appearance for a while yet, there are real question marks over the team’s creative ability. Creating some clear cut chances for Villa and others will be crucial to the chances of Melbourne City tonight. The defence is unlikely to be able to stop the Victory attack, so City will need at least a couple of goals here.

It’s early in the season, but Victory have already shown signs of what they are capable of. They have a strong attack, which is likely to menace teams all season long. With the defensive abilities of the Melbourne City fullbacks questionable, and the lack of an A-League quality keeper defending the City goal, Victory will fancy themselves to get on the score board tonight. But can their defence contain the Melbourne City attack lead by David Villa?

This one is definitely not ending as a scoreless draw.

Line ups
Melbourne Victory Squad:
1.Nathan COE (GK)
5.Mark MILLIGAN (C)
6.Leigh BROXHAM
7.Gui FINKLER
8.Besart BERISHA
9.Kosta BARBAROUSES
10.Archie THOMPSON
11.Connor PAIN
14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH
15.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI
16.Rashid MAHAZI
17.Matthieu DELPIERRE
18.Dylan MURNANE
20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK)
21.Carl VALERI
22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS
23.Adrian LEIJER
24.Scott GALLOWAY
two to be omitted

Ins:
18.Dylan MURNANE (returns from international duty)
22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS (promoted)
24.Scott GALLOWAY (returns from international duty)

Outs:
2.Jason GERIA (ankle)

Melbourne City Squad:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
6.Aaron MOOY
7.Iain RAMSAY
8.Massimo MURDOCCA
9.David VILLA
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
25.Jacob MELLING
26.Marc MARINO
27.Ross ARCHIBALD
two to be omitted

Ins:
25.Jacob MELLING (promoted)
26.Marc MARINO (promoted)

Outs:
Nil

Prediction
We are likely to see a few goals tonight, but there isn’t a lot separating the teams if Melbourne City lift for this derby game as expected. A 2-2 draw looks to be on the cards here.

Betting Odds
Melbourne Victory are the favourites today, and are paying $2.30 for the win, while a Melbourne City win will see you receive $3.10. A draw between these two teams is paying $3.50.

Match Details
Who: Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
When: 7:30 PM, Saturday 25th October 2014
Where: Etihad Stadium

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Melbourne City vs Newcastle Jets Preview

After a 1-1 draw with Sydney FC in the first match of the season, a score that we correctly predicted, today Melbourne City welcome the Newcastle Jets to AAMI Park.

The first home game of the season is always well attended, but with David Villa set to start, interest and ticket sales have gone through the roof. Melbourne City will be looking to Villa to back up last week’s goal with another today. The world cup winner didn’t have many chances against Sydney FC, but showed his lethal touch with a classy goal shortly after coming off the bench. A finisher is something that Melbourne City and Melbourne Heart have been missing for quite some time, could the Spaniard finally be the answer? If Villa can finish off the numerous attacking opportunities Melbourne City are sure to create, they’ll be hard to beat here.

The Jets were largely unimpressive during the F3 ‘Derby’ and lost after an injury time goal. Phil Stubbins’ men need to improve significantly here if they’re to record their first win of the season. It’s early days yet, but Newcastle’s inability to create chances already looks like a serious problem. Melbourne City’s major weakness lies in the goalkeeping department, but if Newcastle can’t create chances, then they’re not going to be able to exploit this weakness.

Line ups
Melbourne City FC Squad:
1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3. Robbie WIELAERT
5. Erik PAARTALU
6. Aaron MOOY
7. Iain RAMSAY
8. Massimo MURDOCCA
9. David VILLA
10.Robert KOREN
11. Damien DUFF
14. James BROWN
15 .David WILLIAMS
17. Jason HOFFMAN
18. Paulo RETRE
20. Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23. Mate DUGANDZIC
24. Patrick KISNORBO (C)
26. Marco MARINO
27. Ross ARCHIBALD
two to be omitted

Ins:
10. Robert KOREN (promoted)
15. David WILLIAMS (promoted)
17.Jason HOFFMAN (returns from suspension)

Outs:
25.Jacob MELLING (not selected)

Newcastle Jets Squad:
1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK)
2.Scott NEVILLE
3.Taylor REGAN
4.Kew JALIENS (C)
5.Ben KANTAROVSKI
7.Jeronimo NEUMANN
8.Zenon CARAVELLA
9.Joel GRIFFITHS
10.Marcos FLORES
11.Andrew HOOLE
12.Sam GALLAGHER
13.Edson MONTANO
16.Jacob PEPPER
17.James VIRGILI
20.Ben KENNEDY (GK)
21.Sam GALLAWAY
22.Jonny STEELE
23.David CARNEY
two to be omitted

Ins:
5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (return from injury)
21.Sam GALLAWAY (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Prediction
Melbourne City look to have the edge today, we see this ending 2-0 for the home team.

Betting Odds
Melbourne City head into the game as favourites, paying $1.60, while Newcastle Jets are out to $5.50. If you fancy a draw here, you’ll receive $3.80.

Match Details
Who: Melbourne City vs Newcastle Jets
When: 3.00pm, Sunday 19 October 2014
Where: AAMI Park

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Sydney FC vs Melbourne City Match Preview

Melbourne City’s first ever A-League game sees them travelling to Allianz Stadium to take on Sydney FC. Both teams have strengthened significantly in the off season and head into the game as joint second favourites to take out the title, behind cross town rivals Melbourne Victory.

The attention tonight will of course be on David Villa. The world cup winner is poised to make his Melbourne City debut, and football fans around the country are waiting to see how his undoubted ability translates to Australian football and the A-League. Unfortunately, he will be starting on the bench, but it’s highly likely that he will feature at some point.

Apart from loaning in star man David Villa from sister club New York City, Melbourne City have added some serious attacking quality in Damien Duff and Robert Koren. While Connor Chapman, James Brown, Aaron Mooy, Jacob Melling, Marc Marino, and Erik Paartalu round off the new signings. In terms of players leaving the club, the biggest loss is Orlando Engelaar, with the Dutchman’s contract not being renewed. Jeremy Walker, Sam Mitchinson, Patrick Gerhardt, Harry Kewell, Aziz Behich, and David Vranković have also departed. Leaving the team significantly stronger than the one that finished at the bottom of the table last season.

Sydney have gone about strengthening their squad as well during the off season, albeit without as much fanfare. Their most significant signing is Austrian international Marc Janko, but they’ve also added the prolific Shane Smeltz, alongside proven A-League players Alex Brosque and Bernie Ibini-Isei, leaving them with an attacking lineup that no team should ignore. Youngster Alex Gersbach was also added to add some defensive depth. The biggest lose is, of course, Alessandro Del Piero who has headed off to India, while Brett Emerton, Terry McFlynn, Richard Garcia, Marc Warren, Blake Powell, Mitch Mallia, Joel Chianese, and Ranko Despotović have also left the club.

Line ups
Sydney FC squad:
20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK)
2.Sebastian RYALL
3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI
5.Matthew JURMAN
6.Nikola PETKOVIC
7.Corey GAMEIRO
8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC
14. Alex BROSQUE (C)
17. Terry ANTONIS
19. Nick CARLE
29. George BLACKWOOD

Substitutes:
1.Ivan NECEVSKI (GK)
4.Pedj BOJIC
16.Alex GERSBACH
18.Peter TRIANTIS
28. Max BURGESS

Melbourne City FC Squad:
1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3. Robbie WIELAERT
5. Erik PAARTALU
6. Aaron MOOY
7. Iain RAMSAY
8. Massimo MURDOCCA
11. Damien DUFF
14. James BROWN
23. Mate DUGANDZIC
24. Patrick KISNORBO (C)
27. Ross ARCHIBALD

Substitutes:
20. Tando VELAPHI (GK)
9. David VILLA
18. Paulo RETRE
25. Jacob MELLING
26. Marco MARINO

Prediction
There isn’t much to separate the two teams, especially at this stage of the season, so we see this one ending in a 1-1 draw.

Betting Odds
Sydney FC head into the game as slight favourites, paying $2.55, while Melbourne City will give you a return of $2.70. The draw pays $3.25.

Match Details
Who: Sydney FC vs Melbourne City
When: 7.30pm on Saturday 11 October 2014
Where: Allianz Stadium

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Melbourne City 2014/15 Season Preview

Melbourne CIty

It’s 183 days, about 6 months, since the club played its last league match, and a great many changes have occurred. Ownership, club name, club badge, home jersey, away jersey, training ground, assistant coaches, international marquee and about half of the starting XI and overall playing squad list are all different. Now the question is whether there will be a change with the team’s season results, and perhaps a change with the club’s history of not winning silverware as well.

The end goal is clear. As Ferran Soriano has put it, the ultimate aim is to become ‘one of the most successful football clubs in Australia and throughout the region’. The coach John van’t Schip has also unambiguously stated on multiple occasions that ‘our goal is to become the best club in Australia’.

So what does Melbourne City’s first season in 2014/15 promise? Personnel affiliated with Melbourne City have downplayed this season’s expectations, whilst firmly underlining the club’s end goal ambitions. On the 2014/15 season, Van’t Schip has said ‘we have a chance’ to win the Championship, ‘if we work hard, if we gel, if we can deal with the different kind of pressure, and then we’re going to be a team that’s going to be up there, and that’s what we want’.
Given the vast number of changes, it’s tough to predict with certainty how Melbourne City will fare this season, as the many changes that have occurred could conceivably all come up trumps and propel the team to success, or all the changes could fall seriously short and hence be apart of an unsuccessful season, or things could yield mixed results. The consensus with pundits and observers is that Melbourne City will finish mid-table, somewhere between 3rd and 6th, with only outliers suggesting a 1st or a 2nd finish, or a finish outside the finals. However, the bookmakers are more optimistic, with Melbourne City being equal second favourites to win the league.

The way Melbourne City will play football in the 2014/15 season is much more clear. Van’t Schip has said ‘we want to dominate and have the ball’, with the coach further stating that the team will seek to attack more often than defend, try to win the ball back quickly after losing it and to routinely try to defend high up the pitch. The team will likely use a 4-3-3 formation, or a similar formation which utilises wide attacking players. As Van’t Schip has simply put it about team’s style of play: ‘[we] have a philosophy that we don’t change, we just try to play the same way and only we want to play better’.

Given the impossibility of stating with certainty how Melbourne City will go this season, this preview will rather provide the optimistic case for Melbourne City’s upcoming season, where the team finishes in a high position, as well as the pessimistic argument for the upcoming season, where things go astray and the team finishes towards the bottom half of the table. The pessimistic case first:

The glass is half empty because

  • The club doesn’t have a history of success, with the club’s 4 previous seasons being pretty unsuccessful.
  • In pre-season, the team only won 1 out of its 5 matches against A-League opposition.
  • 13 players who were apart of last season’s very unsuccessful campaign remain in the team.
  • David Villa will only play in the team for 10 games (at most), and his short stint could be disruptive.
  • The team hasn’t strengthened defensively, in particular in the fullback and goalkeeper positions.

The glass is half full because

  • Manchester City and the City Football Group have a strong and proven history of success with their undertakings.
  • In pre-season, the team was undefeated in 10 out of 13 matches, winning 7 (with 7-0, 6-0, 5-1, 5-0, 4-0, 1-0 and 2-1 scorelines). Against A-League opposition, the team drew inter-state with Central Coast Mariners and won 2-1 against Perth Glory (with their consolation goal coming around the 90th minute). Also, all of Melbourne City’s best players came towards the tail-end of pre-season (with the best player, David Villa, not featuring at all), and Melbourne City’s pre-season results improved proportionately to these players joining the team (for example, the team has a 100% record since Paartalu joined the team).
  • 10 new players have joined the team, at least 5 of whom will likely be starters (Villa, Duff, Koren, Mooy, Paartalu). Also, these new players provide the team with a strongly talented new spine, consisting of Villa, Koren and Paartalu.
  • Since arriving in Melbourne, Villa has looked like the utmost professional, and he looks set to make a very big impact across his 10 games. Villa’s professionalism is likely to rub off on the team and leave an indelible positive impression on the club. He could also help the team start the season very well, which may be especially helpful for this team in transition. Teams make the finals if they have 11 to 13 wins (at least 32 to 38 points), so Villa making an impact over 10 games alone can just about guarantee finals football.
  • The team has arguably the best midfield in the competition (Koren, Mooy, Paartalu), and maybe the strongest attack as well (Duff, Villa, Williams/Dugandzic). If the team plays to its strengths and plays attacking football, the midfield and attack will be significantly more involved and important in games than the team’s defence. Also, when fit the back four of Garuccio, Kisnorbo, Wielaert/Chapman and Germano/Hoffman is a decent A-League defence.

Overall, with the multitude of changes Melbourne City’s 2014/15 season promises a lot of new experiences. With so much change it is something of a fool’s errand to try and precisely predict how the season will unfold, with there being reasonable arguments for a largely successful season and for a not so successful season. But what we know for sure is that Melbourne City now has the financial support to put it on the road to long-lasting success. With the addition of two Premier League players of last season wearing the club’s jersey in 2014/15, and World Cup winner David Villa, it is sure to be a memorable season. All of these new and exciting changes will happen alongside an increased membership base, generating more attention toward the club than ever before.

This article is by Melbourne Football community member Murfy1.

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