Looking at the home side, Melbourne Victory, they are coming into this match after a draw (1:1) against WS Wanderers in a friendly. More importantly, Melbourne Victory were defeated by APIA Tigers in FFA Cup (3:2), which saw them leaving the tournament early (1/8 finals). All in all, looking at how Melbourne Victory performed in recent matches, they shouldn’t be satisfied, as they underperformed on several occasions. The fact that the reigning A-League champions can get knocked out of the CUp by WS APIA Tigers is a big concern, and we have serious doubts in their form as well as their morale. Looking at that match, APIA Tigers got an early goal in 9′, thus getting a lead of 1:0, to which they added another goal in 47′. The lead of 2:0 held on until 66′ when Athiu scored 2 goals in quick succession (60′ and 66′). However, APIA Tigers had an answer ready, which came 14 minutes later with a goal from Millgate who got his team a lead with only 10 minutes to go. This more or less sealed the deal for Victory who although had a 73% ball possession and 16 shots failed to convert their chances successfully.
Melbourne City, on the other hand, held on in the FFA Cup until Quarter-finals, where they were defeated by WS Wanderers. Looking at that match, WS Wanderers dominated the 1st half, scoring 2 goals in 33′ and 41′, thus going into the 2nd half with a comfortable lead of 2 goals. Despite Melbourne Citys’ best efforts, they only managed to score 1 goal in 53′, which was not enough to give them a chance against Wanderers. The lost becomes so much more bitter when we know, if had Fornarolli converted the 13′ penalty into a goal, Melbourne City could easily have much better chances to proceed into the next leg of the Cup. A simple mistake completely changed the course this match took, but it’s too late to “cry over spilled milk”. If we draw a line, Wanderers dominated the match with 67% possession, so maybe we just need to come to a conclusion they were a better opponent on that day.
Melbourne City has approached this season with “no pressure”, as claimed from former Manchester United player Richie de Laet, which could only benefit their morale and overall performance. This will without the doubt be a great match to watch, as it’s the case with most of the derbies. We can expect a great number of fouls, but most of all we can see both teams giving their best to defeat their arch-rivals. When it comes to picking the favorite here, Melbourne City has been putting up better performances compared to Melbourne Victory. The fact that Victory failed to perform half decently against APIA Tigers makes me wonder, what will they show tonight. The city has a strong attack in this season and I believe it should be more than enough to defeat Melbourne Victory and start the season with a W.
Prediction: Melbourne City +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.25 SBOBET