Friday’s Melbourne derby is a line in the sand game for both City and Victory, who look reinvigorate their respective seasons.
For Melbourne City, it’s about proving they can rise to the occasion and match it with the big teams. Losses to league leaders Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in December saw the side’s mental strength come under fire, in addition not the side not having won consecutive matches since Round 5.
City has failed to beat the Victory in their last two meetings, with tomorrow’s task not made any easier with Harrison Delbridge (suspension) and Jack Hendry (injured) set to miss, forcing head coach Erick Mombaerts to rearrange his squad to accommodate.
Connor Metcalfe is also no certainty to feature as he continues to nurse a knee injury picked up while on international duty with the Olyroos.
Meanwhile goalkeeper Tom Glover will start ahead of Dean Bouzanis will miss the derby due to “personal reasons.”
“The big prob wasn’t we lost the game [last week] the big problem was one player got a red card but the biggest problem was the injury of Jack [Hendry],” Mombaerts said.
“In this situation we have to find solutions and we have to play with one def midfielder at the back.
“Dean Bouzanis, he has some personal problems so he can’t play tomorrow so Glover will take the number position tomorrow.
“We have done some good things we have prepared well for this game we had trouble with injury but we have done a very good training week. Maybe also against this kind of team that we know better Victory’s style maybe we have not a new plan but be careful on some new things.
“In this game especially against a big team in the derby we have to be ready mentally we have worked on this but I hope tomorrow we won’t fail.”
“After the national team camp, we had some problems with Connor Metcalfe he has also a knee problem we don’t know exactly. He trained this morning but I’m not sure he’ll be available to plau tomorrow.
The derby, meanwhile, is a do-or-die clash for Melbourne Victory who sit seven points outside the top six.
The side has shown positive signs under interim boss Carlos Salvachua but is yet to record a league win under the Spaniard.
Utility Leigh Broxham will miss the match with a calf injury, while Tim Hoogland and Robbie Kruse are a chance to return.
“We will see because we have a tough game on Tuesday and we will see what is the best for us some players cannot play 90 minutes in both games,” Salvachua said.
“Robbie is the same he trained yesterday and today with us so we will have 24 hours to decide.
“We need results now we need to go to March with just four games and full training weeks but we need results as soon as possible.
“They have a big squad they have really good players of course they play normally with Delbridge and Good but they have a really good squad.”