Anticipation builds ahead of Melbourne blockbuster

He left Melbourne at the end of last season with a Grand Final winners’ medal around his neck but tomorrow night young defender, Sebastian Ryall will be doing his best to help stall his former side’s recent resurgence and help Sydney FC cement its place at the top of the Hyundai A-League table.


He left Melbourne at the end of last season with a Grand Final winners- medal around his neck but tomorrow night young defender, Sebastian Ryall will be doing his best to help stall his former side-s recent resurgence and help Sydney FC cement its place at the top of the Hyundai A-League table.

“I played there last year and won a Championship with them so I do have good memories from the club (but) definitely, I-d love to get the win against them,” said Ryall in the count-down to his first meeting with his former side. “I left on good terms but there-s a big rivalry between the two teams and I-d love to get this win.”

The Sky Blues played some sparking football to overcome the Central Coast Mariners at the SFS on Monday and reclaim the outright competition lead. As a result they-ll take plenty of confidence into tomorrow night-s Etihad Stadium clash, despite a short turn-around and a poor record against their Southern rivals, which sees them with only two wins to their name in twelve all-time meetings between the teams.

“We have short week but after the victory against Mariners our recovery has gone quickly. I think everything will be ok on Friday,” said Coach Vitezslav Lavicka.

“The players have shown very good performance (and) good result (against Central Coast). I think good result brings the self confidence (and) we are going to continue this way, but we expect a tough game.”

“I think we really have to stop the supply to their (Melbourne-s) front players - Carlos Hernandez is such a good player and he-s in great form,” continued Ryall. “We-ll play our own game and work to our strengths but also try to limit their opportunities in attack.”

Friday-s match will be Coach Lavicka-s first taste of Australian football-s fiercest rivalry and he-s looking forward to the occasion.

“I appreciate (big rivalries) from Europe. I expect similar atmosphere and similar game,” he said. “Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are big rivals, I know, I heard about it from the players and staff. I feel this is a little bit different than other games.”

The top-of-the-table battle between first-placed Sydney and the second-placed Victory will be fought out at Melbourne-s Etihad Stadium at 8pm tomorrow (Friday) night. Defender, Stephan Keller remains in doubt for Sydney FC after being knocked unconscious in Mondays- meeting with the Mariners, but marquee striker, John Aloisi is expected to be fit to take his place in the squad.