Finals are finally here and after plodding along for the last two weeks Melbourne City is ready and rearing to go for week one. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen a decent performance from the boys but John Van Schip will know a complete 90 minute performance is all that stands in the way of the biggest Melbourne Derby in A-League history.
NOT THE SAME (CHAP) MAN
Connor Chapman was in the middle of his break-out season before one stupid action railroaded his 2014/15. A costly four week suspension shattered any confidence he had built up throughout the season and he returned a changed man since the incident. Chapman was one of City’s best players since transferring from Newcastle but is a shadow of his former self. Chapman needs to rethink how he wants to be remembered for his first season at City and give his teammates and fans a performance we all know he is capable of.
HAVE PASSPORT WILL TRAVEL
Sadly I won’t be attending Wellington on Sunday night but I’m sure some of City’s faithful will have passport in hand and travel to the ‘Cake Tin’. This is the second final Heart/City has been involved in, the first one in Perth. City fans are raking up the frequent flyer points when it comes to finals football but cannot complain about playing away, their form this year and in previous seasons hasn’t justified a home final.
KENNEDY OR SAMSON
When Josh Kennedy was at the top of his game he was scoring goals for fun both domestically and on the international stage. Of course Josh Kennedy had a full mane of hair. Kennedy was given the nickname of ‘Jesus’ given his similar hair style but now resembles the great Samson; the biblical character who once killed a lion and slayed an entire army when he had his locks. Maybe Kennedy needs to spend his off season growing his hair back, or just working on his game. Kennedy isn’t the man who scored that famous goal against Iraq and is just another player who has returned to the league without making an impact at all.
DONT EXPECT MANY GOALS
The last two games played between the two clubs have resulted in two bore draws which doesn’t sit well for an entertaining clash. Glen Moss was the hero at AAMI Park only a month ago and was the main reason the game ended in a draw. City has only themselves to blame for their bluntness in front of goal and have been very wasteful on numerous occasions. City has only scored six goals in their previous six encounters, and on the flip side leaking 7 goals in the last 180 minutes of football.
Aaron Mooy has been City’s standout player this season and will once again provide the midfield dominance City need if they are to survive week one of the finals series. International marquee Robert Koren has been extremely disappointing thus far this season and has only found the back of the next in one appearance. Koren needs to lift this weekend and repay the faith to those who were so keen to bring him to Australia. Koren showed he can mix it with the best in the world at stints with West Bromwich Albion and Hull City, his time arrives this weekend to show the A-League what I know he is capable of.
City will need to discover a way to win away and Wellington present a huge challenge. Ernie Merrick’s men have played some sublime football in patches but have also stumbled in the race towards the finals. The unfriendly time of Sunday 7pm shouldn’t be a deterrent to the Wellington crowd and a great game awaits them.
If City can take the game to extra time anything is possible but I see our leaky defence as too much of a liability and the players starting to reflect on another wasted season across the ditch.Google+