Van’t Schip: We can beat anyone

John van ‘t Schip believes Melbourne City are good enough to beat every team in the A-League as they prepare for Saturday night’s derby against Melbourne Victory.

The two clubs have one win apiece from their two meetings earlier this season, Victory having registered a 5-2 triumph in Round 3, before City returned fire in December, winning 1-0 in injury time to inflict a first league defeat of the season on their local rivals. 

Kevin Muscat’s men have the advantage in the standings, sitting third on the table, 10 points clear of sixth-placed City.

But despite the Big V having proven themselves to more consistent throughout the first 15 rounds of the campaign, Van ‘t Schip insisted his troops are able to match it with the competition’s frontrunners. 

“If we’re playing at our best we can beat every team,” he said.

“I think we can match every opponent in the league.”

City will be without goalkeeper Tando Velaphi again this weekend. 

Having served a suspension in the 2-1 win at home to Western Sydney last Sunday, the former Victory man has been ruled out of the match at Etihad Stadium due to injury, meaning Andrew Redmayne is set to continue between the sticks.

“Tando didn’t pass the fitness test, he has a problem with his … shoulder,” Van ‘t Schip said.

“We have to see how quickly he can come back but he’s not going to be involved.”

Australian marquee striker Josh Kennedy has been named in the squad and could yet make his City debut in the derby, although the veteran Socceroo is likely to be limited to a cameo off the bench. 

“We have to see how the game goes and then we’ll see what his role can be,” Van ‘t Schip said, before talking up 32-year-old’s presence around the club. 

“He’s a boy that has played every where in the world, in Europe, in Japan, with the Socceroos. He’s a very experienced player, he’s a good lad to have around. 

“And he shows that he’s a professional. We’re happy that he’s with us and he brings a lot of experience with him. Hopefully he’s going to be very important on the pitch as well.”

Finally, Jack Clisby, a January signing from Perth Glory, should make his first start at left-back due to Ben Garuccio’s absence.

Asked about the extent of Garuccio’s ankle injury, Van ‘t Schip said: “We don’t know exactly yet, he’s certainly going to be out for a few weeks.”