Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren (right) and Melbourne Victory’s Marco Rojas get set for Friday night’s A-League derby.
Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren (right) and Melbourne Victory’s Marco Rojas get set for Friday night’s A-League derby.

Bosnich: Derby day will set the pulses racing

THIS weekend is like Christmas Day for football fans with two mouth-watering derby match-ups in the A-League.

It doesn't matter what sport it is or where in the world you are, there's something special about a local derby.

There's more than just competition points on the line when you take on your cross-town rival - there's obviously bragging rights and, most importantly, pride.

Fans will don their team colours like war paint and cheer for their team like it's grand final day.

This weekend's derby action kicks-off on Friday night when bitter rivals Melbourne City take on Melbourne Victory.

On paper you'd say City are the raging hot favourites for this clash but don't tell that to the Victory squad, or their fans.

Since taking charge of the club, Carlos Salvachua has got Victory back to playing Victory football, they're attacking with a purpose and a confidence that was lacking at the start of the season.

Victory backed up their win in the Asian Champions League with a strong showing against Perth Glory last weekend and they'll be primed for this match-up.

City will be licking their wounds after a 3-1 loss to Adelaide last weekend, a loss that leaves them with just one win from their last four games.

History is also against City with Victory winning six of the last Melbourne derbies at AAMI Park.

Jamie Maclaren has been a standout for City this season. Photo: Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images
Jamie Maclaren has been a standout for City this season. Photo: Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images

For City to win they're going to need another big game from Jamie Maclaren who's been an attacking dynamo this season.

Maclaren has scored 13 goals and had four goal assists this season but he's struggled to find the back of the net against Victory in the past.

For Victory to get the chocolates they need to continue to be brave with the football, they need to go into the clash with an attacking mindset from the outset.

The trust looks like it's back in the Victory roster and if they can put together another solid 90 minutes of football, I think they'll be good enough to get the win.

In the Sydney derby, it's a case of who can stop Sydney FC?

That's the question on the lips of every A-League fan - at least those fans not wearing a Sydney FC scarf.

The sky blues have been in irresistible form this season, dropping just one game through 17 rounds of the competition.

That loss came in Round 3 against, you guessed it, the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Steve Corica will have Sydney FC primed for the Wanderers. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Steve Corica will have Sydney FC primed for the Wanderers. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

You could forgive Steve Corica's men, who have a 13-point lead on the rest of competition, for being complacent but that won't be an issue this weekend.

That loss in Round 3 will still be burning Sydney FC and you can guarantee they'll be looking to vent their frustrations this weekend.

Sydney FC are unbeaten at home in the last eight Sydney derbies and will start this game as red-hot favourites.

The Wanderers however know what it takes to beat Sydney FC and they'll be desperate for a win.

After a solid start to the season, the Wanderers have struggled over the past two months and now sit precariously in eighth place.

It may not be do-or-die for them just yet, but a loss this weekend and the conductor may just start tuning up the band for the fat lady to sing.

It's always hard to tip a winner in a derby, but if I had to put my faith somewhere this weekend it would be in Victory and Sydney FC to get the job done.