Ahead of the return to action following the World Cup break, we take a look at the top things to watch out for this weekend.
The Return of the A-League Men:
Nearing a month’s break for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the A-League Men are back in action, with the Sky Blues hosting their return against league leaders Melbourne City on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium.
Despite losing their final competition match to rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, the squad were able to defeat Scottish powerhouse team Celtic FC 2-1 in the inaugural Sydney Super Cup match. After an impressive performance against Celtic, Steve Corica’s men will look to take their feat into Saturday’s clash and continue that run of form.
Socceroos in action:
After the Socceroos heartbreak in their round of 16 defeat to Argentina, their exit home means both squads will be bolstered with the return of players from national duties.
Sydney FC will be delighted with the return of qualifying hero Andrew Redmayne, with Melbourne City welcoming back their trio Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, and Marco Tilio.
Leckie, who scored the match winner against Denmark to send the Socceroos into the round of 16 for the first time since 2006, had the heaviest workload among the representatives. Striker Jamie Maclaren came off the bench against Tunisia, Denmark, and Argentina, while Tilio and Redmayne did not receive any minutes.
Regardless, the World Cup experience will be on full display Saturday night.
First A-League Women’s match at Allianz Stadium:
For the first time, our women will play their first match at the new Allianz Stadium when they take on Brisbane Roar. The last women’s match at the venue was when the Matildas took on Canada in an international friendly around three months prior.
Ante Juric’s side will also be looking to record three straight wins after beginning the season with a loss. Having only conceded the lone goal in that result, a win will surely push themselves into contention for top spot.
Finishing Premiers last season and Grand Final Runners Up, the squad will want to continue their reign as competition heavyweights, and three consecutive victories will boost such chances.
Clash of Australian Footballs’ most successful teams:
Heading into the 35th clash between both clubs, Sydney FC hold the advantage over City with 13 wins to their 12, 10 draws making up the remaining results. The two meetings between the pair last season went the visitor’s way – 2-1 and 4-0 losses.
When talking seasonal records, both clubs stand alone as the best. Sydney FC have claimed the most Premiership (4) and Championship (5) titles, while holding the record for the most points in a season (66) in 2016/17.
As of late though Melbourne City’s heavyweight status has begun to skyrocket, having claimed the last two Premiership titles and winning the 2021 A-League Grand Final against Sydney FC. Their strike power is one of the best in Australian Football in Marco Tilio, previous Golden Boot winner Jamie Maclaren, and recent Socceroos hero Mathew Leckie.
City’s strike force though will need to contend with the returning Andrew Redmayne, who will want to capitalise on the chances he didn’t receive in Qatar.