The 2009/10 A-League Grand Final is almost upon us and the squads for the decider have been released. The match on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium will showcase the two best sides of the A-League this season, reigning champions Melbourne Victory against this term's Premiers' Plate winners Sydney FC.
For the former, they will play at home for their third Grand Final in four seasons and are trying to win an unprecedented third title whilst the latter, the visitors, will be looking to win their second title after taking out the first version of the A-League in 2005/06.
Melbourne will welcome back the league's all-time leading scorer Archie Thompson into their starting line-up and look more settled than they have in their previous three matches whilst Sydney FC have lost striker John Aloisi but could be buoyed by the return of right-back Shannon Cole.
I believe the Victory are good enough to do the business at home and will win 2-1 to again be crowned A-League champions led by the experience of Kevin Muscat, the brilliance of Carlos Hernandez and the goalscoring ability of Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse.
Hyundai A-League 2010 Grand FinalMelbourne Victory v Sydney FCDate: Saturday, 20 March 2010 Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Local kick-off: 7.00pm AEDT Referee: Strebre Delovski Assistant referees: Ben Wilson and Matthew Cream Fourth official: Matthew Breeze Head-to-Head: All matches (played 17): Melbourne Victory wins 6, Sydney FC wins 4 (7 draws)
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3HD & 3 and Sky Sport 3. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 774 ABC (Melbourne). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com.au
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC, 5.Surat SUKHA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Nathan ELASI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19. Evan BERGER, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 21.Robbie KRUSE, 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 25.Aziz BEHICH, *three to be omitted* In: Aziz BEHICH (promoted from NYL), Mate DUGANDZIC (promoted), Nathan ELASI (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Billy CELESKI (knee - season), Matthew KEMP (knee - season), Nik MRDJA (suspended - 1 match)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL 3. Stephan KELLER, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Karol KISEL, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 12. Shannon COLE, 13. Antony GOLEC, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 16. Chris PAYNE,19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 31. Joe GIBBS, *one to be omitted* In: Shannon COLE (returns from injury), Joe GIBBS (promoted) Out: John ALOISI (hamstring - season) Unavailable: Kofi DANNING (knee - season), Matthew JURMAN (foot - season), Steve Corica (hamstring - season), Rhyan GRANT (ankle - season), Adam CASEY (hamstring - indefinite), John ALOISI (hamstring)