Round 1 preview: Victory v City

Melbourne Victory begins its Hyundai A-League title defence with a Derby clash against City at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

Summary

Victory enters the 2018/19 campaign on the back of a record fourth championship secured in May, but with a much-changed squad.

It has made seven off-season signings, adding Keisuke Honda, Ola Toivonen, Georg Niedermeier, Raul Baena, Nick Ansell, Storm Roux and Corey Brown.

Japan great and former AC Milan attacker Honda and 64-time Sweden international Toivonen are the highest profile arrivals.

Victory hosts City looking to make a bright start to its season, having won just two of its previous 13 Round 1 matches (eight draws, three losses).

However, it has won the past two derbies and four of the previous five.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Thomas 1718

What they said

"Obviously after moving to a new country, it's very busy. I have been busy since I came here, but I have been comfortable because the people are helping me and I'm getting to know the players day by day. I think we have prepared well." – Victory star Honda.

"We're excited, we're excited for the season to start, not just because it's a Derby but because it's been a long pre-season so the boys have been chomping at the bit to get the season started and we've got one week of preparation in front of us now and on Saturday it's go time." – City defender Ritchie De Laet.

Squad

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenjok ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14.Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Joshua HOPE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Nicholas ANSELL, 23.Jai INGHAM
** two to be omitted **

Unavailable: nil

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 22
City 1-2 Melbourne Victory
Friday, March 2, 2018
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory claimed the final derby of last season with a hard-fought win at AAMI Park.

Kosta Barbarouses' opener was cancelled out by a Bruno Fornaroli penalty, but Leroy George scored a 62nd-minute winner.

Opta Widget: Last time

Head to head

Round 22, 2017/18: City 1-2 Victory at AAMI Park
Round 12, 2017/18: City 0-1 Victory at AAMI Park
Round 2, 2017/18: Victory 1-2 City at Marvel Stadium
Round 18, 2016/17: Victory 2-1 City at Marvel Stadium
Round 11, 2016/17: City 1-2 Victory at AAMI Park

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v City
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Kick-off: 7.50pm AEDT