MELBOURNE VICTORY v MELBOURNE CITY
MARVEL STADIUM SAT 20 OCT 0750PM
What the Victory need to do to win this game:
- Show chemistry between star squad
- Isolate Fornaroli in attack
The Victory have the pieces to win not only this game but the whole competition although it wouldn’t surprise the Wolf if they take a couple of weeks to build chemistry. Kevin Muscat’s side have weapons all over the pitch with James Troisi and Kosta Barbarouses alongside new recruits Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen.
The Victory have had the most success when they have had a big defender down back to steady the defence, think players like Matthieu Delpierre who was all class when they won in 2014-15 and even Alan Baro a couple of seasons ago. With that in mind Georg Niedermeier is a player the Wolf rates highly and the German defender will have Storm Roux, Corey Brown and the returning Nick Ansell alongside him.
What City need to do to win this game:
- Support Fornaroli
- Patience in defence against a strong attack
City are solid down back with Dutchman Bart Schenkeveld anchoring the side in defence alongside new recruit Ritchie De Laet. The Belgian player comes to City with a wealth of international experience which is the nicest way of saying he has bounced around Europe for the best part of the last decade. He did play 115 games for Leicester City between 2012-2016 so the prospect of the new Victory attack wont intimidate him.
The Wolf’s main concern is the support for Bruno Fornaroli in attack. Daniel Arzani moves across to Scotland although he could be back if he can’t crack the first team by Christmas. It is more likely that he will find another team in Europe rather than return to Australia. With Arzani gone there is an undeniable lack of energy and creativity in the front half. Fornaroli can’t do it all on his own.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Victory have all the pieces to secure an opening round win. They are easily a top 2 squad on paper (alongside Sydney FC) and should challenge for both the Premiership (top of the table) and Championship (grand final winner). They have been slow starters in the past, without a win until Round 7 last season, a draw and a loss to start the 2016/17 season and a draw in 2015/16. The Wolf thinks they will get the win.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
Melbourne Victory 2-1
BEST BETS: Melbourne Victory ($2.26), Both teams to score – Yes ($1.54), Goals over 2.5 ($1.67)