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May 28, 2022 at 10.45am UK at AAMI Park
Melbourne City
0 - 2
Western Utd
FT(HT: 0-2)
Reis (2' og.), Prijovic (30')
Wenzel-Halls (65'), Wales (84')

Preview: Melbourne City vs. Western United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Australian A-League clash between Melbourne City and Western United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Melbourne City will be attempting to successfully defend their A-League Grand Final when they square off against Western United on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Western will be attempting to lift the trophy for the first time in their short history, the club only being founded in 2018.


Match preview

Despite reaching yet another final, things have been far from straightforward for Melbourne City of late, their domestic ambitions being put at risk due to their participation in the AFC Champions League.

To their credit, Patrick Kisnorbo's team came through their six group-stage matches undefeated, but they were left to miss out on a place in the last 16 after other second-placed teams possessed better records.

Although the disappointment from that tournament will still linger, Melbourne City just about won the regular season, requiring a last-day 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix to finish one point ahead of neighbours Melbourne Victory.

The semi-finals proved far more testing than they may have anticipated, a goalless draw away in the first leg with Adelaide United being followed by their opponents taking the lead in the reverse fixture.

However, Marco Tilio's equaliser with 16 minutes left took the tie to extra time where division top goalscorer Jamie Maclaren netted the decisive strike, setting up the chance of a second successive crown.

In sharp contrast, Western United are attempting to break new ground having reached the Grand Final for the first time at just the third attempt.

After missing out on the top two by three points, John Aloisi's team have needed to win two ties to make it through to Saturday's showpiece, the first being decided by a 1-0 scoreline against Wellington Phoenix.

In the semis, Western lost the home leg to Melbourne Victory by a 1-0 scoreline and were still losing by a one-goal margin come half time in the reverse fixture, but three goals after the break gave them a stunning 4-1 second-leg win at AAMI Park.

Western now return to the same venue looking to make history, and they can take confidence into this showdown having collected four points from the two meetings with Melbourne City during the regular season.

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

Melbourne City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Western United Australian A-League form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W


Team News

Having contributed an important goal from the substitutes' bench last time out, Tilio will come into contention for a place in the Melbourne City XI.

However, Andrew Nabbout, his rival for a right-wing spot, set up that goal, and it may be that Kisnorbo opts to retain the same starting lineup.

Steven Lustica is a significant injury doubt for Western after being withdrawn in the closing minutes versus Victory, having previously being introduced as a replacement.

At best, the midfielder will be named on the substitutes' bench, but Alessandro Diamanti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley remained sidelined through injury.

Providing no knocks were picked up in the second leg of the semi-final, Aloisi may be prepared to stick with the same team.

Melbourne City possible starting lineup:
Glover; Jenkinson, Reis, Good, Jamieson; Gomulka, Berenguer, Metcalfe; Nabbout, Maclaren, Leckie

Western United possible starting lineup:
Young; Risdon, Lacroix, Imai, Garuccio; Kilkenny, Skotadis; Wales, Wenzel-Halls, Pain; Prijovic


SM words green background

We say: Melbourne City 2-1 Western United

To a certain extent, Western have little to lose on Saturday, but that will not stop the experience being new for all involved. With that in mind, we feel that Melbourne could take advantage, backing up their regular season success and defending the crown that they won last season.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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 Western Utd

Melbourne City
55.0%
Draw
40.0%
Western United
5.0%
20
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