Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce watches his players warm up.
Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce watches his players warm up.

Big Sky Blue is City’s chance at revenge

HE'S said repeatedly how bad Melbourne City played in its FFA Cup final loss to Sydney FC in September.

Now Warren Joyce's men have the chance to show how far they've come.

It's a top of the table blockbuster at AAMI Park on Friday night, with Melbourne City - just the fourth A-League side to start the season 4-0 - up against defending champion and title favourite Sydney.

Englishman Joyce hasn't had long in Australia.

But he's been here long enough to already have a game to prepare for for which redemption is on his mind.

"You're looking at pride as a big thing," Joyce said.

"You want everybody connected with the club to display a pride in working for the club or playing for the club.

"You can only show that with your actions, can't you?

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"In football, you get a chance to show that on the pitch, so that's what we're looking to do.

"I think we've improved in certain aspects (since September). There were certain curve balls just before that came that threw us a little bit anyway (like Bruno Fornaroli's injury) from the things that we were doing in pre-season.

"I suppose Friday night will tell (if we've improved).

"I don't think we could be that bad again."

City's has been a remarkably settled line-up this season, but at least one change will have to be made, with Osama Malik suspended.

Left back Scott Jamieson (calf) is also likely to miss.

Joyce would not confirm who would come in only to say "there's loads of players in the squad that are staking a claim". But Luke Brattan is favoured to replace Malik, with Marcin Budzinski or Marcelo Carrusca a chance to come in if Jamieson's injury forces Michael Jakobsen to shift into defence.