Untitled

Melbourne City vs Newcastle United, AAMI Park, Thursday 10th of October @ 7:50pm AEST.

UBET Odds.

Melbourne City: $1.40

Perth Glory: $7.00

Anything worth a punt on? – Melbourne City at $2.05 at the Half/Full time double is good value as Melbourne City should come out with something to prove after their quite frankly, abject, performance against Brisbane last Friday.

Last time they met: A 2-1 loss at Hunter Stadium where we dominated the entire first half and were made to pay for our inability to covert early chances, after conceding an early penalty in the second half we promptly fell apart. Melling getting sent off in the process as he inexplicably found himself the last man.

Last season’s results: NEW 2:1 MCY (Fornaroli x1)                07.02.2016

                                    NEW 0:4 MCY (Mooy x2, Fornaroli x2) 13.12.2015

                                    MCY 2:3 NEW (Mooy, Mauk)                  30.10.2015     

Team News.

 

Melbourne City: What a week eh? (It seems entirely appropriate to start any preview of Melbourne City with this as quite frankly; I have no idea what are the factors that motivate us playing good or bad football this, or any season) We looked aimless and while that the removal of Nicolas Colazo has caused a reshuffle of the pack, Luke Brattan missing due to international duty will be causing major headaches at Melbourne City HQ – the lack of a creative number 10 has hampered us in recent weeks and the lack of faith in Anthony Caceres to hold down the 10 role means that a  midfield three of Retre, Caceres and Kilkenny will lack confidence and match practice together. We lacked creativity in the final third last week and the ability to break down stubborn defences could really be tested against Newcastle, who’ll look to frustrate away from home.

We could see the return of Ivan Franjic to the starting lineup which would give welcome attacking impetus from our defence but we’re likely to be missing Colazo for another week due to an ear infection. We’ve got a very winnable set of games coming up over the next month or so with 3 games against teams in the bottom half – it’s time for Melbourne City to get a wriggle on (without jumping wholly on the JVS out bandwagon I’d also suggest that without a good set of results up until Christmas our well-tanned coach maybe looking for different pastures next year).

We’ve averaged a touch over 9000 fans so far this year so hopefully we can see a good healthy crowd in to keep the averages up, though a Thursday night isn’t likely to enamour people to come to the football. The W-League kicked off this week with the girls recording an easy 1-0 win (with Lydia Williams pulling out on of the best saves you’re ever likely to see) and looks like they could be due another big season, always hard to read too much into the early stages of the W-League as the teams get together so late in the season. I highly suggest you get down to a game, even if it’s only to see the kit makers despair when they learn they need to fit the name Galabadaarachchi onto a shirt. They play away against Canberra on Saturday and the games on ABC so make sure to tune in to 3pm to catch it. The Y-League game against Adelaide United is at 5pm at CB Smith reserve.

Possible Starting 11.

Bouzanis

Franjic Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny

Retre

Caceras

Kamou Cahill Brandan

Fornaroli.

I would like to see Brandan brought into the midfield and the ever-reliable Fitzgerald get a start, but I think this is the lineup we’re more likely to see.

Newcastle: Newcastle has been a pleasant surprise this year, with their off-field struggles being contrast to some not bad football, but I think they’ll probably struggle for goals in the long run. Wayne Brown and Devante Clut are probably the best pickups from their off-season and the midfield is their strength, thought last week’s performance against Wellington showed that their defensive frailties of the past few years still exist and Nick Cowburn and second gamer Johnny Koutoumbis could be in for a torrid time against a pacy Melbourne City attack.

 

Possible Starting 11:

Duncan

Cowburn Boogard Koutombis Vujica

Poljak Ugarkovic

Brown Nordstrand Hoffman

Nabbout

Prediction: Melbourne City 1-1 Newcastle. This just has a feel of a Melbourne City slip up game with a few players out and my regular level of disappointment about Melbourne City’s game style starting to creep back into my mind.

Played for both clubs: Jason Hoffman. One of the few players to successfully play nearly every position on the pitch (insert your own joke about how well he’s played at any one of those positions). Originally a Jets product, he came to Melbourne City with promise as an attacking option and when that didn’t work out, he became a fullback. A terrifyingly regular tale for players coming to Melbourne City. Has found his way back to Newcastle where he’s started playing up on the right flank again. Was part of the thankfully short-lived Coffee with Hoffy series.

Read More

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 A-league.com.au)


                 

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.

Bouzanis

Muscat Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny Brattan

Caceras

Kamou Cahill Brandan

Fornaroli.

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:

Galekovic

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.

 

 

Read More

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.

Bouzanis

Muscat Jakobsen Rose

Kilkenny Brattan

Colazo

Kamou Cahill Brandan

Fornaroli.

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:

Reddy

Risdon Djulbic Williams Warren

Harold Wilson Griffiths Marinkovic

Castro

Keogh

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.

Read More