Valeri must 'limit Ninkovic's influence' or Sydney will win

Herald Sun journalist Matt Windley has told Goal if the Johnny Warren medallist gets in the game, the Sky Blues will win the A-League championship

The midfield battle will decide the 2017 A-League Grand Final, according to Matt Windley, who has tipped Sydney FC to overcome Melbourne Victory.

In the final part of today's Facebook Live series with Goal's Australian chief editor Michael Huguenin, Windley named Victory skipper Carl Valeri as the man who will decide the visitors' fate at Allianz Stadium. 

The Herald Sun journalist claimed Valeri, who was brilliant when Victory defeated Sydney in the championship-decider two years ago, is the player to shut down recently crowned Johnny Warren medallist Milos Ninkovic.

"That's the key today, the midfield battle. If Carl Valeri can break up Sydney FC's attack in midfield and limit Milos Ninkovic's influence, it's game on. But if Ninkovic and the like can get on top, it's Sydney [who will win] and if Sydney score first, I can't see Victory getting back into it," Windley said.

WATCH: Facebook Live Part 3 below


Windley tipped Sydney to win the grand final 2-0 and that Sky Blues midfielder Brandon O'Neill will win the Joe Marston Medal as the best player.

Huguenin predicted a 2-1 win for the home side and that Sydney striker Bobo would be judged best on the pitch.

WATCH: Facebook Live Part 2 below


Earlier, Windley claimed Victory's attacking set-up means they will "always... have a chance" against Sydney.

Windley insisted Sydney - who broke all kinds of records on their way to the Premier's Plate in 2016-77 - are the "deserved favourite" to be crowned champions.

A-League Grand Final Preview

But the Melbourne-based reporter also believes Victory could shock the Sky Blues if their highly rated forwards click.

Besart Berisha Marco Rojas Fahid Ben Khalfallah James Troisi Melbourne Victory A-League

"When you've got a front four of Besart Berisha, Marco Rojas, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and James Troisi - a front four that is rivalling any front four in A-League history - you're always going to have a chance," Windley said.

Berisha is the A-League's all-time leading scorer and has an incredible record in the finals with eight goals in 12 matches.

WATCH: Facebook Live Part 1 below

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