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City study up on A-League formations

NZN 6/10/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne City are hoping a transformation to become the A-League's shapeshifters will pay dividends this season.

City are among the bookies favourites for the league, which kicks off on Friday night.

John van 't Schip's side start with a trip to face Wellington on Saturday and winger Bruce Kamau says the Phoenix will be hard pressed working out how to prepare.

City showed their tactical flexibility last season under van 't Schip, playing with Bruno Fornaroli as either a lone or partnered striker depending on the occasion.

At times, with varying degrees of success, City were deployed with three at the back.

Kamau says the club have stepped up trials of different formations in pre-season as they look for new routes to victory.

"It gives us a lot of flexibility and makes it harder for teams when they come up against us," he told reporters on Thursday.

"We have such a strong squad, we can easily swap from one formation to another."

While Kamau is unlikely to shift from his role on a flank, no matter what the formation, Connor Chapman will be busy.

The 21-year-old has played centrally for the bulk of his career but could find himself working more at right-back in 2016/17.

It's a role he played late in last year's run to the semi-finals and he says he's happy to pick it back up if it is working for the team.

"There's a lot of competition in the team. Wherever the coach puts you, you've got to play and do your job," he said.

"It's a position that is obviously not my No.1 position but I'm definitely not uncomfortable. I can do a job."

The Phoenix will be below full strength for the match, with four senior players away on New Zealand international duty and Matthew Ridenton injured.

But City have their own unavailabilities, with star man Tim Cahill and Steve Kuzmanovski away with national teams.

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