Do-Or-Die 'Big Blue'

Picture: Paul Miller/AAP
Rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC clash at Etihad Stadium on Friday night. Picture: Paul Miller/AAP

The Melbourne Victory  will shift its focus to this weekend’s elimination final with arch rivals Sydney FC  following its AFC Champions league triumph over title-holders Guangzhou Evergrande. Backing up Tuesday night’s win will be the obvious test for Kevin Muscat’s men, who play their third game in seven days at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night. Luckily for Melbourne, the midweek match produced no injury scares and they will look to field a full-strength squad.

Sydney FC jumped to fifth on the A-league ladder on Sunday courtesy of a last-minute strike from Richard Garcia in their 2-1  win in Perth. A loss against the Victory could spell the end of marquee striker Alessandro Del-Piero’s stint in Australia. The former Juventus talisman is off contract at the season’s end and has admitted his departure could be imminent. With this in mind, Del-Piero’s team mates will be eager make the most of their finals campaign, especially after missing out last season.    

The two teams have history both on and off the pitch dating back to the early days of the competition, and with the loser to be eliminated from the finals series the match is shaping up to be a cracker. Friday night will be the second time in a month Sydney travel to Melbourne, with their round 25 clash ending in a 1-1 draw.  

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