Exactly five months after their epic Grand Final, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC open their seasons at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Saturday, October 7, Etihad Stadium
Live on Fox Sports 501 and ONE HD
RELATED: Buy your tickets for Saturday night
“It (Round 1) certainly can't come quick enough for us.
"A playing group that's gone through 14-odd weeks of pre-season, working tirelessly, they can't wait to get out there tomorrow night.
"There's nothing that's going to derail the mindset of the group in terms of the team that we have put together. There's a hell of a lot of experience and we have freshened them up with some younger players wanting to start their careers – so there's a great deal of energy from that perspective. "
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“If you think, we’ve got three players for two positions at centre-back, we’ve got left-backs, we’ve got Broxy (Leigh Broxham), Stef (Stefan Nigro), (Thomas) Deng can play there, Dengy can play right-back.
“I think we’ve got a lot of depth. Midfield, we’ve got depth. We’re looking fine and ultimately time will tell.
“We could unearth a gem on Saturday night and you just never know.”
- Victory will be looking to snap a five-game winless run against Sydney, dating back to February 2016.
- This will be the fifth time these teams have met in the opening round of an A-League campaign.
- Only once in the last 10 years has a reigning A-League champion won their opening game of the season.
Melbourne Victory (two to be omitted): 1. Matt Acton (GK), 2. Jason Geria, 4. Rhys Williams, 6. Leigh Broxham, 8. Besart Berisha, 11. Mitch Austin, 14. Thomas Deng, 15. Cameron McGilp, 16. Josh Hope, 17. James Donachie, 18. Matias Sanchez, 19. Pierce Waring, 20. Lawrence Thomas, 21. Carl Valeri ©, 22. Stefan Nigro, 23. Jai Ingham, 31. Christian Theoharous, 41. Leroy
Unavailable: 5. Mark Milligan, 9. Kosta Barbarouses, 10. James Troisi (all international duty)
Sydney FC (two to be omitted): 1. Andrew Redmayne, 4. Alex Wilkinson, 5. Jordy Bujis, 6. Josh Brillante, 7. Michael Zullo, 8. Paulo Retre, 9. Bobo, 10. Milos Ninkovic, 11. Adrian Mierzejewski, 13. Brandon O’Neill, 14. Alex Brosque ©, 16. Anthony Kalik, 17. David Carney, 18. Matt Simon, 20. Alex Cisak, 22. Seb Ryall, 16. Luke Wilkshire, 30. Tom Heward-Belle
Unavailable: 21. Charles Lokolingoy (hamstring – three weeks), 23. Rhyan Grant (knee – indefinite)