Sydney FC - Melbourne Victory Preview
This is effectively the last chance for the visitors if they are to have any hope of catching the Sky Blues and lifting the Premier's Plate

There are so many subplots to Friday night's Big Blue but in the end you surely don't need extra motivation to watch Sydney FC versus Melbourne Victory.

SQUADS

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 12.Aaron CALVER, 13.Brandon O'NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Aaron CALVER (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 22.Seb RYALL (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH (promoted), 19.George HOWARD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

If Victory are to have any hope of chasing down Sydney for the A-Leaghe premiership, they simply must win at Allianz Stadium. 

There's an eight point gap between the A-League's top two and it's hard to see the Sky Blues surrendering that advantage over the remaining five rounds if they avoid defeat in front of their home fans here. 

Graham Arnold's Sydney responded emphatically to their first loss when they disposed of a 10-man Melbourne City 3-1 last week.

Tim Cahill's pre-game taunt that the Sky Blues could be vulnerable in the finals has seemingly been blown out of the water.

Sydney have responded to almost every challenge put in front of them in the 2016-17 season but this is arguably the biggest test of the lot.

Victory stayed in the hunt for the Premier's Plate thanks to last week's 2-1 win over Adelaide United.

Despite playing second fiddle to Sydney for much of the season, the star-quality in Kevin Muscat's squad means they will be genuine contenders when the finals come around.

But after losing both previous Big Blue clashes this term – despite taking the lead each time – the Big V will want a result here to try and land a psychological blow before the finals.

Plus Victory's marquee striker Besart Berisha is just two goals away from a century in the A-League.

What a night is in store!

ROUTE TO GOAL

One thing you can be sure of about this Big Blue is that there'll be goals - only once in the last 18 matches between these two have we seen a goalless draw, while they average more than three per match over the same period.

Both sides have scored 44 goals from their 21 matches and possess attacking quartets dripping with quality.

Three quarters of Sydney's goals have come from their front four of Bobo, Alex Brosque, Milos Ninkovic and Filip Holosko.

At the other end, Berisha continues to set the pace when it comes to goals and looks destined to finish with the A-League's Golden Boot as his sublime outside-of-the-boot strike against Adelaide took his season tally to 17.

Berisha's battle with Sky Blues defender Jordy Buijs, who labelled the prospective Kosovo international as "nothing special" when they previously clashed, will be one worth keeping an eye on.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK

Besart Berisha. The 31-year-old scored his 50th Victory goal last weekend and now needs just two more to hit triple figures in the A-League.

FORM LINES

Sydney FC: WDWLW

Melbourne Victory: LWDWW

PREDICTION

Sydney FC 2-2 Melbourne Victory

 

form

Sydney
Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory
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