Men’s Match Preview: Saturday night in Sydney

Melbourne Victory travel to Allianz Stadium to take on Sydney FC in search of a repeat of this season’s opening round, where the campaign got underway with a dream start.

It’s navy blue v sky blue, Melbourne v Sydney, as the Victory look to claim the upper hand in this season’s head-to-head – which is split evenly at one win a piece.

Allianz Stadium has already hosted these two sides on the opening day of the season – with Victory brining all three points back to Melbourne.

Across two games this season, Victory have netted four times – a stat which would have Bruno Fornaroli looking on with interest, who has hit recent goalscoring form in Melbourne.

Claiming three points on Saturday night is vital for the Victory, who could climb as high as eighth, and gain confidence ahead of a late push towards Finals – pending other results.

Rai Marchan is a potential big in this weekend, making his return to Tony Popovic’s extended squad for the first time since receiving a concussion blow during Round 12’s away trip to Adelaide.

Speaking on Marchan’s inclusion in the extended squad, Popovic explained: “We’ve missed him, there’s no doubt we’ve missed him. We’ve missed him as a player, we’ve missed him in the change room, we’ve missed him as a personality and character – so it’s great to see him this week training hard in full contact.”

A focus for Victory’s coaching staff has been establishing continuity within team selection, something which has been hard to achieve in a disrupted season.

“Continuity with a lot more senior players back (has been important). You can see the combinations are becoming more fluid and more consistent. We feel we go to Sydney with a very strong squad,” Popovic continued.

Melbourne Victory Squad News

Rai Marchan has completed a full week of training and has been selected in Victory’s extended squad for Saturday’s fixture.

Jake Brimmer had surgery on Thursday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Club will await the surgeon’s report to determine next steps. 

1.Matt ACTON, 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Enrique LOPEZ, 4.Rai MARCHAN, 5.Damien DA SILVA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Josh BRILLANTE, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Connor CHAMPMAN, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 18.Bruce KAMAU, 19.Fernando ROMERO, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 24.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 28.Will WILSON, 29.Eli ADAMS

In: 1.Matt ACTON (promoted), 4.Rai MARCHAN (returns from injury), 28.Will WILSON (promoted), 29.Eli ADAMS (promoted)

Out: 22.Jake BRIMMER (injured), 30.Ahmad TALEB (omitted)

Unavailable: 17.Luis NANI (injured), 31.Matt BOZINOVSKI (injured)

Recent history against Sydney FC

2022/23 (Jan 26): Victory 1-2 Sydney FC
2022/23 (Oct 8): Sydney FC 2-3 Victory
2021/22 (May 7): Sydney FC 1-4 Victory
2021/22 (Jan 25): Victory 2-2 Sydney FC
2020/21 (May 19): Sydney FC 2-0 Victory

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League – Round 19
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Saturday 4 March
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT)
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Broadcast: Paramount+, 10Bold