Men’s Preview: All Systems Go For Big Blue Test

The Big Blue is back this Friday evening with Sydney FC’s Men venturing to AAMI Park to take on Melbourne Victory in an epic round 14 showdown at 7.45pm.

The usual grudge match between two of the A-Leagues most biggest sides will see the Sky Blues attempt to break Melbourne Victory’s longest ever undefeated run which currently sits at 13 matches this Isuzu UTE A-League season.

After winning the last four out of five games, Sydney FC hope to maintain their winning ways as they aim to dethrone the joint ladder leaders and bring home three crucial points to move within four points of Melbourne.

Zinédine Machach challenged by Jordan Courtney-Perkins during the A-League Men round 8 match.

The Sky Blues and Melbourne Victory last faced off in round 8 at Victory’s home stadium. It was a gruelling match that unfortunately saw the Sky Blues fall 3-0 after a couple of defensive errors and bad luck in the attacking third.

Despite their most recent loss in the Big Blue saga, Sydney FC have a 40.6{1de664c85a80a4b173a2b8d3635d2f5867b42e304c78e4224f58bc71bfb3e6e7} success rate against Melbourne Victory, whilst their opponents currently sit at 31.3{1de664c85a80a4b173a2b8d3635d2f5867b42e304c78e4224f58bc71bfb3e6e7}.

With what is said to be one if the A-League’s most anticipated match-ups, Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne is excited for the challenge that lies ahead.

“It is an exciting prospect to test yourself against the best at the moment. We are really looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Joe Lolley and Ryan Teague compete for the ball during the A-League Men round 8 match.

The injury battle continues for Sydney FC who will be without Jack Rodwell (calf), Joel King (foot) and Aaron Gurd (leg) who are recovering from their respected injuries.

The Sky Blues will also have injured youngster Wataru Kamijo on the sideline until March with a back injury.

In spite of the injury blows, Jaiden Kucharski who sustained a concussion in round 12 and Robert Mak who has been recovering from a groin injury are set to make a return to the pitch this week.

Melbourne Victory will without star forward Bruno Fornaroli who is currently representing Australia for the Socceroos in the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

The absence of Fornaroli could be astronomical after he netted two goals in the last two matches against the Sky Blues, proving to be an influential player for Victory.

Jake Girdwood-Reich and Zinédine Machach compete for the ball during the A-League Men round 8 match.

A key player match-up to keep a look out for is Sky Blue defender Rhyan Grant and Melbourne Victory midfielder Zinedine Machach.

Machach has had a fairy tale start to his maiden year in the Isuzu UTE A-League competition. Scoring in round 1 against Sydney FC and consistently starting each match for Victory. The new kid on the A-League block has proven to be one of the most dangerous players amongst their roster with the Frenchman playing in France’s Ligue 1 for teams such as Marseille and Toulouse. His international resume has acted as a wealth of knowledge when he made the transition to the A-League. The star player currently has an 80.5{1de664c85a80a4b173a2b8d3635d2f5867b42e304c78e4224f58bc71bfb3e6e7} pass rate.

However, Rhyan Grant has 15 years of A-League matches under his belt and is the longest serving and most capped player for Sydney FC. To add to his extensive repertoire, Grant was a junior Australian representative and a Socceroo. The 32-year old has scored in three Grand Finals and has an impressive cabinetry of silver wear including four Championships, four Premierships, two FFA Cups, and three consecutive nods for PFA ‘Team of the Year’. The Aussie is no stranger to intense battles on the pitch.

This weekend’s Big Blue battle will be sure to keep fans on their toes. Will Sydney FC topple the equal-first Melbourne Victory or will their opponents secure a win on home-turf?

Match Details:
Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Round 14
Friday 26th January, 2024
AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC
Kick Off: 7:45PM
Gates Open: 4:00PM
Broadcast Live: Paramount+, 10Play
Tickets: Click Here