Two of the A-League’s unbeaten sides go head to head on Saturday night when Sydney FC host Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium in the ‘Big Blue’. The game will test the title credentials of both teams as they have been significantly affected by international call-ups and injuries.
With skipper Alex Brosque struggling with injury the Sky Blues stand to lose almost their entire forward line. Corey Gameiro is away with the U23 Socceroos and Marc Janko is on duty with Austria. Shane Smeltz has been confirmed as a starter and will debut alongside Bernie Ibini and Christopher Naumoff.
Sydney have also lost Terry Antonis, who was initially called up to the Socceroos squad before being involved in a minor car accident on the way to the airport. There are also concerns over the fitness of Sasa Ognenovski, meaning Seb Ryall could fill in at centre back and Pedj Bojic being promoted to the starting side.
Victory have lost six players in total, including key men Mark Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses. They are still able to call upon Beshart Berisha, the Albanian striker has five goals already this season and an impressive record against Sydney from his time with Brisbane.
There always seems to be action when these two meet, in a fixture that is surely the fiercest interstate rivalry in the league. Memorable encounters include the 2010 Grand Final penalty shootout, the Sky Blues handing out a five goal thrashing on Australia Day, and Victory’s dramatic 3-2 win in Sydney two years ago having been 2-0 down with 15 minutes to play.
Saturday 15th November, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 19:30
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Click here for ticket details