Sydney FC are back at Allianz Stadium as they face off against Melbourne Victory in the 59th Big Blue with star studded players like Nani and Joe Lolley to feature for both sides.
For Steve Corica’s side, they have had over 15 weeks of pre-season leading up to the start of the brand new Isuzu UTE A-League season and this Saturday, Australian football will make it’s triumphant return to Allianz Stadium when two of the biggest rivals clash at a venue that has hosted some classic matches between the two sides.
Sydney FC come into this match after a disappointing 2021/22 season which saw them drop to 8th on the table after playing in 3 successive grand finals prior. Three points will go a long way to build confidence for the Sky Blues and their results in pre-season bode well, having kept three A-League opposition scoreless and winning three games in a row.
New faces are in the Sydney FC squad this year as Steve Corica has strengthened his side, bringing in quality talent such as Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest – Premier League), Robert Mak (Ferencvaros – Hungarian Premier League), Jack Rodwell (Western Sydney Wanderers), Diego Caballo (CR Sabadell – Spanish 2nd Division), Alex Parsons (Brisbane Roar) and a number of youth players who have been promoted from the successful Sydney FC NPL Academy.
These players were signed specifically to play Steve Corica’s new system and will be needing to be at their best as Melbourne Victory have also recruited well, most notably their Portuguese superstar Luis Nani. Nani joins Victory having just completed a season in Italy’s Serie A and brings with him a wealth of experience having lifted multiple Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League in his illustrious career.
Tony Popovic has also secured the signature of former Wanderer Tomi Juric and former Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners goal-keeper Paul Izzo and both will be hoping to spoil the Sydney FC home-coming party.
Throughout their pre-season, Melbourne Victory have played a number of Victorian NPL sides and despite scoring big against these semi-pro sides, failed to notch a victory against A-League clubs Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners, which bodes well for Sydney FC’s chances.
It is set to be a bumper evening of football at the new Allianz Stadium after 1624 days without A-League action. Sydney FC are back home after a four year hiatus and what better occasion than a Big Blue. The Sky Blues have won eight of the last ten matches against their rivals however Victory won the most recent one at the back end of last season. On Saturday night, history will be written as the Big Blue clashes once more at Allianz Stadium.
Players to Watch:
Sydney FC – Joe Lolley
The Englishman arrives at Sydney FC having just helped Nottingham Forest secure promotion to the Premier League. With over 230 Championship appearances, the attacking player is no stranger to big matches and joins the Sky Blues at the peak of his powers. Lolley will be hoping to hit the ground running in Australia like he has throughout the years in England.
He has played in multiple Championship Playoff finals and will be ready for what the Big Blue brings.
Melbourne Victory – Luis Nani
The Portuguese superstar lands in Australia with a hefty footballing CV having played at some of the best leagues in the world including the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and MLS. He has lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy with Manchester United and also won the EURO 2016 championship with his national side, Portugal.
The winger has found the net a few times in pre-season against NPL opposition and many Victory fans will be hoping that he can increase their goal tally from last season.
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Isuzu UTE A-League Round One
Saturday 8th October 2022
7:45pm Kick Off
6:15pm Gates Open
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Tickets – Click Here
Broadcast Live on Network 10 & Paramount+