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Cahill, Brattan ready for Wanderers test

NZN 16/11/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip says he isn't licking his lips at facing Western Sydney's leaky defence ahead of Friday night's A-League meeting at Spotless Stadium.

But the Dutchman says fans should be salivating at the clash, given it's a meeting of two "good footballing" sides which play the game the right way, and a certain Sydney native is heading home for the first time in two decades.

Tim Cahill will play a club match in his hometown for the first time in two decades at Homebush on Friday.

Van 't Schip has declared the veteran forward to be "100 per cent fit" after being left out of the Socceroos squad to deal with achilles soreness.

It's a homecoming sure to attract a bumper crowd, and van 't Schip predicts a match worthy of the occasion.

"Seeing them playing against Perth and against Victory you know that there's a lot of football in that team," he said on Thursday.

"We like to play football as well and hopefully we can get a good open game and see two footballing teams."

Cahill's exclusion from the Australian squad that drew with Thailand raised eyebrows.

But van 't Schip has been the biggest beneficiary as the veteran forward improved his condition over the last fortnight at the City Football Academy.

"It's important that Tim got a good few weeks of training and playing," he said.

"He's 100 per cent ... he was struggling a bit with his achilles but that's all good now.

"Everyone will write and say things but we know what Tim is doing every day here. We're very happy and we know also that we as a team are going to get better."

Western Sydney have flattered to deceive in recent weeks, drawing three before losing 3-0 to Victory last Saturday.

When considering his opponents, the Dutchman doesn't see a poor side but one in transition, given a huge turnover of players in the off-season.

Van 't Schip coached two faces in the league's most profligate defence - Andrew Redmayne and Jack Clisby - until their moves to Western Sydney, but highlighted two other faces - Nicolas Martinez and Mitch Nichols - as the Wanderers' most deadly threats.

"They're going to be disappointed (at their start) but they're also going to be fighting and going to be out there to prove a point. We have to be ready for that," he said.

Van 't Schip said Luke Brattan will return for City after Socceroos duty but Nicolas Colazo was likely to miss for another week.

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