Men’s Match Preview: Returning home for the Derby

Melbourne Victory are back at AAMI Park this weekend for a huge derby clash against Melbourne City.

Victory will be on the hunt for a second consecutive home win, having beaten Wellington Phoenix 3-1 last time they played in Melbourne.

However, Tony Popovic’s side will also be hoping to rebound from last weekend’s away defeat to Newcastle Jets.

Nishan Velupillay’s wonderful solo goal was the highlight from a frustrating afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium, with Popovic acknowledging post-game that lapses in concentration cost his side once again.

The challenge this week is as big as they come in the A-League Men’s competition, taking on the current league leaders.

Containing City’s star-studded attack will be the key on Saturday night, with Rado Vidosic’s side scoring ten goals in their previous two matches.

Nonetheless, Victory will take confidence from their strong record against City under Popovic, losing only once since he took the reins at the club.

Some big names have also made their return to Victory’s extended squad ahead of this weekend, with both Jason Geria and Paul Izzo in contention for selection.

New signing Fernando Romero has also been included in the squad, suggesting the Paraguayan forward could play his first minutes for the club in the derby.

Three points are vital for Victory as they continue to fight to keep their finals hopes alive.

Melbourne Victory Squad

1.Matt ACTON, 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Enrique LOPEZ, 5.Damien DA SILVA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Josh BRILLANTE, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Connor CHAMPMAN, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 18.Bruce KAMAU, 19.Fernando ROMERO, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 22.Jake BRIMMER, 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 24.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 30.Ahmad TALEB, 

In: 2.Jason GERIA (returns from injury), 19.Fernando ROMERO (promoted), 20.Paul IZZO (returns from injury), 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted)

Out: 31.Matthew BOZINOVSKI 

Unavailable: 4.Rai MARCHAN (injured), 17.Luis NANI (injured)

Recent history against City

2022/23 (Oct 22): Victory 0-2 City
2021/22 (Apr 9): Victory 3-0 City
2021/22 (Mar 19): City 1-1 Victory
2021/22 (Dec 18): City 2-2 Victory
2020/21 (Jun 6): Victory 1-1 City

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League – Round 17
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
Saturday 18 February
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT)
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Broadcast: Paramount+, 10Bold