Excited Archie can't wait for GF

Archie Thompson may be a veteran of two Hyundai A-League Grand Final victories, but the marquee striker readily admits that he has a few nerves ahead of Saturday's clash with Sydney at Etihad Stadium.

Archie Thompson may be a veteran of two Hyundai A-League Grand Final victories, but the marquee striker readily admits that he has a few nerves ahead of Saturday's clash with Sydney at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne defeated Adelaide in 2007 and again in 2009 to claim its two championship successes, but has never met Sydney in the ultimate game of the season. Thompson expects the Grand Final will take the rivalry between the two teams to a new level and believes it will be a night to remember regardless of the result.

"I think it's just because it's a new team. It's a different sort of feel. I think this year we've had a great rivalry with Sydney. In the past, we've sort of had it, but it hasn't been as big as what it's been this year," he said.

"I think in the past, it's more about Adelaide and Melbourne but this year especially, it's been about Sydney and Melbourne. When you have two glamour clubs of the A-League facing off in a Grand Final, it's like a promoter's dream."

Thompson has absolute respect for the Sky Blues, who defeated Melbourne twice from three games during the regular season, including a 3-0 win at Etihad Stadium in October.

"I've said during the season, they are the best team that I've faced this year. They are the best Sydney side that I've played against. I don't envy the supporters, because it will be a nail-biting Grand Final," he said.

While Melbourne went winless - and scoreless - in three regular season games against Sydney, it turned its form around with a 2-1 win in the first leg of the major semi-final, while it qualified for a home Grand Final courtesy of a dramatic extra time 2-2 draw at the SFS two weeks ago.

Thompson, who is fully recovered from the foot injury which saw him miss six weeks of football, said there is very little separating the sides but that the momentum created by the semi-final success could prove crucial as Melbourne looks to become the first team to defend a Hyundai A-League championship.

"I think we have a huge momentum. Obviously the guys are full of confidence, knowing that they've had it over the whole season, but we lifted when it came to the crunch. Mental toughness came into that and was a factor," he said.

"Having those last two games meant so much and winning them and to have a home Grand Final. I'm sure it will be daunting for them to come into full stadium with most of them Melbourne Victory supporters."

"I think the matches have been very close. There's not one team that's dominated. It's been to and fro and I think that's going to be the same way."

And the one thing Thompson has learned from his previous Grand Final successes is that Grand Finals are like no other matches.

"Grand Finals and games during the season and major semi-finals, they are all different. Grand Finals are just a little bit different then normal matches, they bring out the best of players. Maybe people try different things. It's a one off game, that's special. I'm sure that the football side of things is going to be entertaining for whoever rolls through the door," he said.

"I'm looking forward because I don't know which way it's going to go. I've always felt against Adelaide that we always had the feeling we could do something special. This one's a little bit unchartered territory, because I just don't know what's going to happen."