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Played
November 9, 2013 7:45 PM EST
Allianz Stadium — Sydney
Referee:‬ P. Green‎
Attendance:‬ 18784‎
 

A-League preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

Sydney FC and the Melbourne Victory will meet in Round 5 of the 2013-14 A-League season at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, November 9 at 7.45pm AEDT

By Adam Lucius

Del Piero gets past Leigh Broxham
Getty
PROBABLE LINE-UPS
SYDNEY FC

Janjetovic
Bojic, Ryall, Petkovic, Warren
Carle, Emerton, Thompson
Chianese/Abbas, Del Piero, Garcia

MELBOURNE VICTORY

Coe
Geria, Contreras, Leijer, Traore
Milligan, Broxham
Thompson, Troisi, Nichols, Pain


Head-to-head:

Played: 27 - Wins: Sydney 6, Victory 9, Draws: 12

Previous encounter:
Sydney FC 1-1 Victory, March 16, 2013

Past five matches:
Sydney FC: LLLWL
Victory: WWDDL

The Game:

It might only be four weeks into the season but already Sydney FC officials have had to come out and publicly back coach Frank Farina. Three straight losses has turned up the heat on everyone at the Sky Blues but talk of punting of the coach so early in the campaign seems to have become habit at the club in recent years. The question is, will the players dig in and fight for their boss or is the speculation and scrutiny weighing them down? A clash with the Victory will certainly answer that. There is good news for Sydney with skipper Alessandro Del Piero likely to come into the side after returning from his calf injury in the loss to Perth last weekend. Right-back Pedj Bojic (calf) should also be available after missing the last two games.
 
The Victory started life without coach Ange Postecoglou in good fashion, holding on for a 3-2 win over Wellington on Monday night to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. New boss Kevin Musact will be relieved to have started his tenure with a win and it seems the Victory's all-action attacking style will continue under the former Socceroos hard-man. Musact will have been happy to see Archie Thompson break his goal-scoring drought with his first of the season against the Phoenix which the Victory boss will hope is the start of things to come for the rest of the season. Victory enjoys the better of it in the history of the 'Big Blue' and came away with a win and draw from two clashes at Allianz Stadium last season.

The big issue:

Sydney – As Farina said before the season, Sydney fans don't demand success, they expect it. With just one win from four games, there's no doubt the pressure is building. In recent years Sky Blues players have worn that pressure like a noose, failing to cope with the expectation of fans and club officials. Unless they can embrace being at one of the most high-profile club's in the league, their performances will continue to suffer.

Victory – It was a perfect start to Muscat's reign but the true test for the rookie coach is really beginning now. While he has enjoyed a good apprenticeship over the last few years, there must still be some questions over how he will handle the week-to-week grind of being in the top job. Muscat certainly has the cattle to be successful this season but will need to pull the right strings from now on to turn that potential into points.

The game breaker:

James Troisi – Postecoglou achieved some great things with the Victory in his short stint at the helm but his greatest gift before moving on to the national team could well be the signing of the fringe Socceroos attacker. Troisi has shown some encouraging signs over the first month of the season, improving with every performance to now be one of the key weapons in an impressive attacking arsenal for the Victory side. His two-goals against the Phoenix take his tally to four from as many appearances this season.

Prediction: Sydney 2-3 Victory

There appears to be plenty of goals in this fixture, with 11 across the three clashes last season, and both sides are not exactly looking water-tight in defence over the first month. Sydney have looked particularly shaky at the back, so facing the likes of Archie Thompson, Troisi, Connor Pain and Mitch Nichols will be a huge test of their resolve. The return of Del Piero certainly helps the home side's cause but the Victory appear to have too much firepower, although they will be without Kosta Barbarouses due to New Zealand international duty.

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Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Australia - A-League ‎(AUS1)‎ 18/04/2014 Melbourne Victory 2 - Sydney FC 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Australia - A-League ‎(AUS1)‎ 29/03/2014 Melbourne Victory 1 - Sydney FC 1
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Australia - A-League ‎(AUS1)‎ 26/01/2014 Melbourne Victory 0 - Sydney FC 5
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Australia - A-League ‎(AUS1)‎ 09/11/2013 Sydney FC 3 - Melbourne Victory 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Australia - A-League ‎(AUS1)‎ 16/03/2013 Sydney FC 1 - Melbourne Victory 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Vedran JanjetovićGoalkeeper
2Sebastian RyallDefender
-Marc WarrenDefender
3Nikola PetkovicDefender
-TiagoDefender
7Brett EmertonMidfielder
14Richard GarciaMidfielder
10Nicholas Alberto CarleMidfielder
26Ali AbbasMidfielder
8Matt ThompsonMidfielder
-Alessandro Del PieroStriker
20Ivan NecevskiGoalkeeper
-Pedj BojicDefender
-Chris NaumoffMidfielder
16Joel ChianeseMidfielder
-Y. GlaizeStriker
-Nathan CoeGoalkeeper
5P. ContrerasDefender
22Adama TraoréDefender
23Adrian LeijerDefender
-Jason GareyDefender
-Mark Daniel MilliganDefender
6Leigh BroxhamMidfielder
18Mitch NicholsMidfielder
10Archie ThompsonStriker
-Connor PainMidfielder
9James TroisiStriker
20Lawrence ThomasGoalkeeper
-Scott GallowayDefender
-GuilhermeMidfielder
-Rashid MahaziMidfielder
-Andrew NabboutMidfielder
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Adam Taggart Adam Taggart
Striker
Newcastle Jets
16 1
David Williams David Williams
Striker
Melbourne Heart
12 3
James Troisi James Troisi
Striker
Melbourne Victory
12 1
Besart Berisha Besart Berisha
Striker
Brisbane
11 1
Alessandro Del Piero Alessandro Del Piero
Striker
Sydney FC
10 5