The Big Blue is always a fixture that draws many eyeballs across the country as two of the most successful sides in Australian football go head-to-head.
This Saturday they meet again at Allianz Stadium to open the 2023/24 season in front of what is expected to be a raucous home crowd.
With one day to go, we take a look at some of the ones to watch.
Fabio Gomes – Sydney FC
We could not start this list without the 6 foot 4in Brazilian. Fabio Gomes landed in Sydney and announced himself to the Sky Blue faithful with a brace in the Australia Cup Final at Allianz Stadium a fortnight ago. He set the stadium alight when he entered the park and you can expect him to do the same in the fire and heat of a Big Blue.
He joins the club on loan from Atletico Mineiro and the 26-year-old will be looking to utilise his pace and strength against the Victory defence who could be scrambling to contain him.
Bruno Fornaroli – Melboure Victory
The Australian and Uruguayan forward is a name that A-League fans will know for a while having spent the last nine years in the country. Fornaroli has terrorised the Sky Blues with Melbourne City and Perth Glory in the past and after joining Melbourne Victory after being frozen out at Glory last season, he found the net on 7 occasions.
Bruno is no stranger to big matches having played for both sides in the Melbourne Derby and he will be wanting to start off on the right foot with his first full season at the Victorians.
Robert Mak – Sydney FC
Last year’s Sydney FC Player of the Year earned a return to the Slovakian National Team off the back of his performances for Sydney FC. Often assisting others, at the back-end of the campaign he began to find the net himself on a regular basis, including that equaliser in the Sydney Derby Elimination Final at CommBank Stadium to send his side through to the Semi Final.
With ten goals last season, and two already this season (one coming in the Australia Cup Final), he will be looking to show he is ready for another strong season in the A-League. After having faced Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal during the week for Slovakia, he will be raring to go come Saturday.
Ryan Teague – Melbourne Victory
Ryan Teague is a name that Sydney FC fans may be familiar with. The 21-year-old was part of the Sydney FC Academy and after he made his debut appearance against the Roar in 2019, was sold for a substantial fee. After spells in Europe, Teague has returned to the A-League for another crack at Australian football.
The midfielder will want to prove to Tony Popovic that he is old enough and mature enough to start in this Victory team with plenty of midfield talent around him. Look no further than the returning Jake Brimmer who will be itching to get into it against the Sky Blues. Expect a proving performance from Ryan Teague this Saturday against his former club.
Anthony Caceres – Sydney FC
Anthony Caceres has always been the all round player that can play in a variety of positions. Last season he often sat back more in midfield and wasn’t able to find the net with the consistency that he did the season prior which saw him pick up the Player of the Year Award. So far in pre-season and the Australia Cup he has been pushed on more and has reaped the rewards, getting on the ball more and dictating play.
With Corey Hollman and Luke Brattan handling the defensive capabilities, Caceres has the freedom to roam around the final third and he has already been on the scoresheet in a 2-0 victory over APIA Leichardt in the Australia Cup. He scored in last season’s Big Blue victory at Allianz Stadium and he will be looking to do the same this time around.
Adama Traore – Melboure Victory
Having made the swap from Western Sydney Wanderers to Melbourne Victory, Adama Traore will need no firing up for this fixture. He knows about the rivalry against the Sky Blues having been dumped out at the Elimination Final by Steve Corica’s side last season. He has been deployed at left-back by Tony Popovic in pre-season so far and he will be looking to bomb on at every available opportunity on Saturday night.
Traore is also returning back to Victory after making 88 A-League appearances there across two, two year stints. Having left to join Wanderers, Traore will be wanting to prove to the Victory faithful that he still has what it takes to pull on that shirt on Saturday night, especially in a fixture he has plenty of experience in.
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Isuzu UTE A-League Round One
Saturday 21st October 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT
Gates Open: 6:15pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Bold
Tickets: Click Here