Spanish superstar to start for City against Jets

John van ‘t Schip says Spanish great David Villa will be given his first start in a Melbourne City shirt against the Newcastle Jets on Sunday.

Villa made his debut off the bench away to Sydney FC last weekend, scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium.

And supporters can expect to see the World Cup-winning striker from kick-off at AAMI Park in City’s first home Hyundai A-League match since their high-profile rebranding.

“Normally David is going to start, he had a good week, we all know why he didn’t start last week. So looking at this week, no issues about that,” Van ‘t Schip told reporters ahead of training on Friday.

“That’s the big thing with him coming in. It’s about the team, he integrated very well, we have the game against Newcastle and hopefully with David in from the start, from now on, he’s just one of the team. And he was that from the beginning. He will have his role.”

City’s international marquee, Slovenian Robert Koren, was a late withdrawal from the squad to play Sydney FC due to a calf problem, but the former West Bromwich Albion and Hull City attacking midfielder has a chance of being involved against the Jets.

“Robbie, a few days before the first game he got injured,” Van ‘t Schip said.

“We’ll see today how he’s going to come through the session. We’ll make a decision tomorrow. Hopefully he can be with us. Otherwise he will with us next week.

“David (Williams) is different, he’s totally fit. He trained with the team already, before the Sydney game he came back, but he was out for a few weeks so he was not able to be in the squad against Sydney. 

“But this week is a different story, he’s trained all week. He’s back in my mind for selection. Also for David, today and tomorrow, we’ll make a decision if he’s going to be in the squad.”

Utility player Jason Hoffman is also available again after his return from suspension and will be vying to replace youngster Ross Archibald at right-back.

Having been drawn away from home in Round 1, Van ‘t Schip also welcomed the first opportunity to show off his new-look side on their own turf.

“It’s great to play in Melbourne in front of our own crowd, having had a long pre-season,” he said.

“I think the boys did very well in Sydney, we had good spells in the game and maybe deserved more. But that’s gone, that’s football. 

“And now here against Newcastle … it’s going to be an interesting game, a tough game. Newcastle has a way of playing that’s aggressive, physical and we have to be prepared for that.”

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