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