If continuity is key then there is no better time for Melbourne City to execute its assault and become the dominant side it has longed to be.
Aside from the departures of Josh Brillante, Richard Windbichler and Harrison Delbridge City’s starting 11 from last seasons remains mostly unchanged – a rarity in the A-League – with the club also hitting the transfer market hard early.
Aiden O’Neill looked comfortable enough in midfield on debut, while Andrew Nabbout should give the side an extra spark when he recovers in six weeks from a hamstring injury.
Patrick Kisnorbo’s elevation into the head coaching role ensures continuity from a stylistic perspective.
The 39-year-old played an instrumental role in City’s run to the Grand Final last season and got off to a promising start in round one as his side held on to defeat Brisbane Roar away from home.
‘’I don’t know if [the continuity] gives us an advantage but it is better for the way we want to play,’’ Kisnorbo said.
‘’It’s such a hard style to learn and the more players we keep for a longer time it’s easier for us. You may say we’re lucky to have kept that core group but the people that have come in have learned the style very well. For us it’s trying to keep everyone as fit as possible in these games with short turnarounds.’’
City will travel for the second straight week when they head to Hindmarsh Stadium to play Adelaide United. City has failed to beat the Reds in their last three meetings and will be without Nabbout and Adrian Luna – who was sent off in last week’s win.
While French midfielder Florin Berenguer is the obvious replacement in midfield, Kisnorbo kept his cards close to his chest as to who will replace the duo.
‘’We’ve got a few options so we will see and make the call closer towards the game. We’ll take our time to make the best decision possible for the team,’’ he said.
‘’Adelaide are a tough team to play especially at home. They have a lot of good players and have a good coaching staff behind them, but we’re going to concentrate on how we’re going to break them down.’’
The Reds are expected to come in mostly unchanged after a goalless draw away to Western United.
Fans will be keen to get their first glimpse of Spanish import Javi Lopez – who may still be rested this week – while former Schalke defender George Timotheou is also waiting in the wings to make his A-League debut.