These two sides are currently sitting at completely conflicting ends of the A-League table but after this match I feel that things will have evened up.
The plucky Fury have kicked off the 2010/11 season with a bang, scoring a solid 3-3 draw away at Perth Glory before taking down reigning champions Sydney FC at home last week whilst the Victory drew with the Sky Blues before losing 2-0 at home to Perth Glory.
The return of Robbie Kruse is a massive boost for Melbourne and the fact their star playmaker Carlos Hernandez is fit to play would give them plenty of confidence going into a second-straight home fixture.
Franz Straka has North Queensland playing an exciting style of football with a no holds barred attitude and a ‘come beat us’ mindset. It is likely to win plenty of friends but at the end of the day, they are playing for points and the Victory have been there, done that and should prove too good on Sunday.
Verdict: Victory 2-1.
Melbourne Victory v North Queensland Fury FC
Date: Sunday, 22 August 2010
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Local kick-off: 3.00pm AEST
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 3): Melbourne Victory wins 2, North Queensland Fury wins 1 (0 draws)
Referee: Chris Boyle
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, FS3 HD. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 774 ABC Melbourne, SEN Digital (Melbourne) and Zinc 100.7 (Townsville). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Melbourne Victory Squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC, 5. Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 21.Robbie KRUSE, 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 27. Geoff KELLAWAY *three to be omitted*
In: Geoff KELLAWAY (new signing), Robbie KRUSE (returns from injury), Matthew FOSCHINI (promoted)
Out: Billy CELESKI (knee – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: Archie THOMPSON (knee - indefinite), Matthew KEMP (knee - indefinite)
North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 4. Eric AKOTO, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 9. Eugene SSEPPUYA, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 17. Osama MALIK, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Matthew HAM (gk), 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO *five to be omitted*
In: Brad McDONALD (new signing), Panagiotis NIKAS (promoted), Jack HINGERT (promoted), Brett STUDMAN (promoted), Jason SPAGNUOLO (promoted)
Unavailable: 13. Andre KILIAN (foot injury - 2-3 weeks)