Hyundai A-League preview: City v Victory

Revenge will be Melbourne Victory’s focus when they take on Melbourne City in a Hyundai A-League derby blockbuster on Saturday night following back-to-back losses to their local rivals in October.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Melbourne City FC v Melbourne Victory

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald

Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis

Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand, Crocmedia A-League Live (, 1116 SEN (Melbourne), EON Sports Radio (

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MelbDerby

To purchase tickets visit

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 4.Connor CHAPMAN (promoted), 11.Bruce KAMAU (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)

Melbourne City players celebrate Nick Fitzgerald's goal against the Phoenix in Round 8.

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Max BEISTER, 10.James TROISI, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Marco ROJAS (returns from injury), 22.Stefan NIGRO (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (ankle – 1 week), 19.George HOWARD (knee – 2 weeks), 27.Alastair BRAY (gk) (shoulder – 4-5 months)

Marco Rojas


Victory have named Marco Rojas in their squad for the Melbourne derby at AAMI Park, paving the way for the Kiwi winger to make his return from a hamstring strain that kept him out of last week’s 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Rojas has been brilliant for Victory so far this season, scoring five goals and setting up another five in his six appearances, including a goal in that 4-1 derby defeat in Round 2 at Etihad Stadium.

With marquee striker Besart Berisha also hitting his straps following a hat-trick against Western Sydney, Victory enter Round 11 as the A-League’s second-highest scorers with 20 goals behind only leaders Sydney FC (21).

Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha celebrates one of his three goals on Saturday night.

Both Victory (17 points) and City (18) will be looking to – at least – keep track with Sydney (24) this week, with the Sky Blues set to take on Perth Glory in Western Australia after the derby is completed on Saturday night.

City almost clinched a win away to Sydney last week but Bobo’s late penalty saw the leaders secure a 1-1 draw.

But although John van ‘t Schip’s men were disappointed to miss out on a win, they should enter the third derby of the season full of confidence as they haven’t lost in all competitions in six matches.

City’s performance in Round 2 was arguably the most impressive of any A-League club this term, as they bamboozled Victory with their high pressing, constant movement and flexible formation.

Bruce Kamau, who was brilliant in that match, is back into City’s squad this week, while there are doubts over whether Tim Cahill will start.

Bruce Kamau

If Victory lose they will match their worst run in the Melbourne derby – five games without success.

After an inconsistent start to the campaign – Victory won two and lost two of their opening five A-League matches of 2016-17 – the Big V are on a four-game unbeaten run and have notched three clean sheets in that period.

Expect a fiery opening to this one.


Your Melbourne Derby dossier


All eyes will be on Rojas when the starting XIs are announced on Saturday, with the 25-year-old having scored or assisted in every match he’s played this season.

But if coach Kevin Muscat decides Rojas isn’t ready to start, Victory have Max Beister ready to line-up on the left wing after an impressive starting debut versus the Wanderers.

Max Beister found the net on debut against the Wanderers on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne derby will see arguably the two most dangerous strikers the A-League has seen go head-to-head in Berisha and Bruno Fornaroli.

Berisha leads the A-League’s Golden Boot standings and could break the all-time scoring record of former Victory team-mate Archie Thompson with a brace.

Fornaroli (seven goals) is just one goal behind Berisha this season and loves playing in the derby, with the Uruguayan having scored four goals in as many A-League games against Victory.

Bruno Fornaroli and Milos Ninkovic compete for the ball in the 2016 Westfield FFA Cup Final.

Having not scored in three games in all competitions, Fornaroli is due.


Fernando Brandan. The Good: His sublime strike against Sydney FC. The Bad: His antics to win free-kicks.  The Ugly: Has the Argentine had a haircut since arriving in Australia?

Melbourne City winger Fernando Brandan celebrates his cracking goal against the Sky Blues.

FORM LINES (all competitions)

Melbourne City: DWWDD

Melbourne Victory: LWWDW


Melbourne City 1-1 Melbourne Victory