Brett Emerton could find himself on the bench this weekend. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Getty Images
Since he took over in late November, Frank Farina has only lost once in front of Sydney FC’s home fans. The Sky Blues have now won six on the bounce at the Sydney Football Stadium and have a massive opportunity to cement their place in the top six with a win over struggling Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue. They finish the season with away fixtures against Western Sydney and Brisbane, so this match almost goes in to the ‘must-win’ category.
With so much at stake, Farina could drop a bombshell by relegating former Socceroo Brett Emerton to the bench, given his inconsistent form this season, coupled with Melbourne’s pace across the park. With Lucas Neill spending another week on the sidelines to recuperate from a calf injury, Sydney is set to take a young but enthusiastic team in to the match.
Victory has taken just one point from its last three away trips, and they were probably lucky to take a draw from last weekend’s visit to Suncorp Stadium. Brisbane Roar dominated the second half and it was thanks to a former Brisbane boy in goal, Nathan Coe, that Ange Postecoglou’s team left the Sunshine State with a 1-1 draw.
Attacking midfielder Marcos Flores limped off the training track with a back problem on Thursday and is in doubt for the game, which leaves Victory severely short-handed with skipper Adrian Leijer suspended and Adama Traore (ankle) missing the next three weeks.
Melbourne has won both matches against Sydney FC this season taking out the first encounter 3-2 and the Australia Day clash at home 3-1 . There should be plenty of goals going on past performances; Sydney matches have gone over 2.5 goals in 18 of 24 matches this year, while the same has happened in Victory matches on 16 occasions.
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