Hyundai A-League preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

Sydney FC are plotting revenge for recent Westfield FFA Cup Final defeat to Tim Cahill’s City as the Hyundai A-League’s top two kick-off Round 10 with a Harvey Norman Friday night blockbuster at ANZ.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Sydney FC v Melbourne City FC

ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

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

Referee:  Kris Griffiths-Jones

Assistant Referee 1:  Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2:  Kearney Robinson

Fourth Official:  Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast:  Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live ( ), EON Sports Radio (

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

To purchase tickets visit

Sydney FC  squad:  4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 40.Chris OLDFIELD (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins:  18.Matt SIMON (promoted), 21.Filip HOLOSKO (promoted)

Matt Simon flies high to win the ball at Allianz Stadium.

Outs:  Nil

Unavailable:  1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk) (personal leave – indefinite)

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), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN, 34.Denis GENREAU

**two to be omitted**

Ins:  8.Neil KILKENNY (returns from suspension), 34.Denis GENREAU (promoted)

City midfielder Neil Kilkenny was relieved following his side's 2-1 win over the Jets.

Outs:  Nil

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


This, folks, will be huge. One v two in the league. Tim Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli in town – the two teams that met barely ten days earlier in a spiteful Westfield FFA Cup Final meeting again. 

The Sky Blues currently hold a six-point lead at the top from City and another three points here would give them a huge lead in the race for the Premiership, even this early in the season.

Melbourne City star Tim Cahill and Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

Not only are both squads dripping with star power, goal threats and quality, you get the sense there’s a bit of feeling between them as well after last week’s Cup drama, which City won 1-0.

But this is a totally different competition and it’s the Sky Blues who have been dominating the Hyundai A-League. Seven wins and two draws from the first nine games – including a methodical 2-0 triumph over the Jets last Sunday.

They are a third of the way to realising their dream of becoming the Hyundai A-League’s ‘Invincibles’.

But a meeting with a buoyant City is undoubtedly their biggest test. While John van ‘t Schip’s side haven’t been as consistent as Sydney, when they are at their best they have proved almost impossible to stop.

Last weekend’s hostile 1-1 draw with Brisbane has stretched their unbeaten run to four games in the league. They have big-game players that tend to rise to the occasion when the stakes are high.

Roar defender Luke DeVere challenges for the ball with City captain Bruno Fornaroli.

Graham Arnold has recalled Filip Holosko to the squad and the Slovakian, alongside fellow marquee Bobo, are likely to come back into the starting side, while City welcome back Neil Kilkenny from suspension and he should slot straight back into the midfield.

An early grand final preview? 

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, a Coldplay concert has forced the move from fortress Allianz to ANZ Stadium.


Hyundai A-League Rd 10 Opta Stats preview


Where do you start? With the attacking talent in both outfits this has all the ingredients of being a Hyundai A-League classic.

Arnold had the luxury of resting the likes of marquee men Bobo and Filip Holosko against the Jets and the Sky Blues still had too much firepower. George Blackwood, David Carney and Bernie Ibini plugged the gaps, underlining the depth in the frontline.

Bernie Ibini celebrates his goal in Sydney FC's win over Newcastle Jets in round 9 of the Hyundai A-League.

Playmaker Milos Ninkovic has been one of the A-League’s best in the 2016/17 Season, leading the way for his side with the most goals (five) and assists (three). And he’ll want to have a big game after being kept relatively quiet in the Westfield FFA Cup decider at AAMI Park.

It will be interesting to see if Arnold opts to start skipper Alex Brosque in what would be the veteran’s third match in just nine days.

City also showed their incredible depth last time out by leaving Cahill, Brandan and Kamau on the bench against Roar. But it didn’t affect their output going forward with the likes of Fitzgerald, Caceres and goalscorer Colazo showing their class.

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

Just what formation and personnel van ‘t Schip goes for in this one will be interesting and it wouldn’t surprise if Fornaroli, Cahill, Kamau, Brandan and Colazo all start in a frighteningly good attack. It was a system which worked to devastating effect in the Melbourne Derby in Round 2.


Tim Cahill. City’s marquee man – and proud Sydney boy – scored the goal which sunk the Sky Blues in the Westfield FFA Cup final and will again be a key for the visitors. Cahill, who celebrated his 37th birthday this week, is back in Sydney for the second time this season after scoring on that first visit against the Wanderers.

FORM LINES (last five games)

Sydney FC: WWDDW



Sydney FC 2-1 Melbourne City