The A-League is back for a frantic month of football action to crown a champion for the 2019-20 season. Melbourne City FC make their return against runaway leaders Sydney FC.
History: Played 30: Sydney 13 V Melbourne City 8 (9 Draws)
Last meeting: December 29, 2019: Sydney 2 d Melbourne City 1 at Netstrata Jubilee Oval
Final Thoughts: Sydney FC have already wrapped up the Premiers Plate but are coming off a loss. Melbourne City FC make their belated first appearance since the A-League’s restart and are locked in a dogfight for second spot.
A late Trent Buhagiar brace snatched a 3-1 win for Sydney against Wellington in the A-League’s return fixture. But after Anthony Caceres opened the scoring against Newcastle four days later, the defending champs leaking two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss – just their third of the season.
Melbourne City FC went into the season’s suspension in second spot, racking up 12 wins and four draws from 23 matches. But the Phoenix have drawn level with City on the exact same record since the restart, edging ahead on the table via goal difference.
City were in decent form before COVID-19 struck, winning three and drawing one of their five games in March. Jamie Maclaren has been a standout, leading the A-League with 18 goals in just 20 appearances. Sydney’s prolific striker Adam le Fondre has since moved level with Maclaren.
Melbourne City defender Curtis Good has been ruled out of this clash. But his absence allows injury-hampered Austrian import Richard Windbichler the chance to get some game-time.
Sydney FC have dominated this rivalry in recent years, winning nine of their last 10 against Melbourne City.
The Sky Blues came from behind to beat City FC 2-1 in the teams’ only clash so far this season. Adam le Fondre cancelled out Connor Metcalfe’s opener during the first half, before Kosta Barbarouses netted the 83rd-minute winner.
Melbourne City are narrow favourites in the lead-up, despite not having played for more than four months. Sydney FC are the clear value option here as they seek to build momentum before the playoffs.