MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 14:15:28| >> :600:7270290:7270290:
Jun 27, 2021 at 8.05am UK at AAMI Park
Melbourne CityMelbourne City
3-1
Sydney FCSydney FC
Atkinson (23'), Jamieson (45+1' pen.), Galloway (90+3')
Tilio (54'), Colakovski (73')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Barbarouses (21')
Brattan (25')
Brattan (35')

Preview: Melbourne City vs. Sydney FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Australian A-League clash between Melbourne City and Sydney FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

All eyes in Australia will be on the A-League Grand Final on Sunday, as Melbourne City and Sydney FC square off in a rerun of last year's final.

Melbourne City finished top of the league and will be looking to get their hands on the trophy for the first time, while their opponents will aim to retain the title and repeat what happened in this fixture last time around.


Match preview

Sydney FC players pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Melbourne earned passage to the semi-finals by topping the A-League table, as they collected 49 points from their 26 games, largely down to a strong attacking record with no side matching their 57 league goals.

The first-placed finish came in spite of a disappointing end to the season with two defeats and a draw from their final three games.

Patrick Kisnorbo's men returned to form when it mattered, though, as they took on Macarthur in the semi-final.

The game remained goalless until City hit two goals in two minutes through Stefan Colakovski and Marco Tilio early in the second half, and they went on to see out the 2-0 victory to book their spot in the final for the second straight season.

After last year's defeat to Sydney on this stage, the Melbourne outfit will be desperate to get revenge and earn the title that they will feel they deserve after a strong league campaign.

Their opponents will look to repeat that outcome and lift the trophy for the second straight time on Sunday.

Sydney FC won the A-League Championship for the fifth time in their history last year, and the second season on the bounce.

They sealed the title with a 1-0 win over Sunday's opponents after extra time, as Rhyan Grant netted the only goal of the encounter in the 10th minute of extra time.

Steve Corica's men finished the league season in second place, just two points behind the league leaders after an eye-catching run of form to end the season, winning their last five matches in the Australian top flight.

That lofty finish was largely down to their solid defensive record, with their 23 goals conceded fewer than any other side in the division.

The Sky Blues then defeated Adelaide United in their semi-final clash, as goals from Adam Le Fondre and Bobo fired them to a 2-1 win to book their spot in Sunday's final.

Having also won the Championship in 2019, Corica's side will be hopeful of making it three in a row with what would be their second straight final win over the Melbourne outfit.

Melbourne City Australian A-League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Sydney FC Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Melbourne City should remain without several crucial players, with striker Jamie Maclaren, midfielder Connor Metcalfe and defender Curtis Good all set to remain in isolation after spending time with the Australia national team.

Those players have formed a solid spine for City, with Maclaren especially firing them to the top of the league with 25 goals and five assists in 24 A-League outings.

In their absence, Stefan Colakovski has taken up a more central role and led the line, and he found the net in their semi-final win, while Rostyn Griffiths and Nuno Reis have partnered up at the heart of the back four.

Andrew Nabbout and Craig Noone also missed the semi-final and could both remain out through injuries.

Sydney have also been hit by absentees through the international break, with Andrew Redmayne, Rhyan Grant and Ryan McGowan all isolating following a spell with the Socceroos.

They also have a fairly worrying injury list, as Michael Zullo, Trent Buhagiar, Chris Zuvela, Jordi Swibel and Calem Nieuwenhof are all set to continue spells on the sidelines.

Their line will be led by Adam Le Fondre, who has hit three goals and an assist in the five games since his return from a loan spell in India.

He is joined by Bobo, who netted their other goal in the semi-final win to take his tally to 11 for the season.

Melbourne City possible starting lineup:
Glover; Galloway, Reis, Griffiths, Jamieson; Berenguer, O'Neill, Luna; Atkinson, Colakovski, Tilio

Sydney FC possible starting lineup:
Heward-Belle, Retre, Wilkinson, Warland, King; Brattan, Caceres; Barbarouses, Baumjohann; Le Fondre, Bobo


SM words green background

We say: Melbourne City 0-1 Sydney FC

While Melbourne City have had an undoubtedly strong season, we fear that they are not quite the same side without their spine of Maclaren, Metcalfe and Good, and again see them falling just short at this stage against Sydney.

Corica's men have hit form at the right time, coming into the game with six straight victories, and they should have enough to add to that and finish the season with their sixth A-League Championship.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Melbourne City vs Sydney FC

Melbourne City
32.4%
Draw
13.5%
Sydney FC
54.1%
74
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Sydney FC players pictured in November 2020
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Saturday's A-League predictions including Brisbane Roar vs. Sydney FC
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