Melbourne Victory’s second half heroics against the Central Coast Mariners ensured they remain the only team in the competition to not have lost a game so far this season. Round 10 of the A-League sees them take on Sydney FC for the second time this season.
The North Sydney win
After much was made over the surface at North Sydney Oval, both sides seemingly came through the match unscathed. Although Victory coach Kevin Muscat did note it took a little longer for his side to recover after the match, neither side was too affected by the pitch.
As for the game itself, Victory once again showed it’s title credentials. This was hardly the Victory’s best performance but the ability to win ugly and still get the three points is something that is evident in this team.
The ins and outs
The biggest question this week was surrounding Gui Finkler and Scott Galloway. Neither played last week and despite making an appearance at training on Friday, Muscat has rated them only an “outside chance” to play.
Although it’s not ideal to have two of your starting eleven missing, Muscat concedes that the team’s “form has been good” and it has allowed them not to take any unnecessary risks with players.
Georgievski also has an injury cloud hanging over him after picking up a knock at training, the coach saying “if he’s not 100%, he won’t play.” Nick Ansell won’t start against Sydney.
Nothing to talk about
Compared with weeks gone by which had players away due to international duty and concerns over the pitch and undefeated teams facing off, this week’s fixture really has no major talking point.
Of course, Big Blue games are always huge occasions and Muscat says the team is “still treating it as a massive game” but there doesn’t seem to be the same buzz around as the first fixture in round six – perhaps because that game was only four weeks ago.
This does lend itself to a discussion about the need for a balanced fixture list in the A-League, whereby each team plays their three matches against each other spread out over the course of the season.
By the end of round 11, Victory would’ve played Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne City twice before they had even played Perth once. Due to the way this season has panned out we have yet to see the top two teams play each other even though a third of the season has elapsed.