You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

City to attack Glory in A-League final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/04/2016 Jason Phelan

Stages don't get much bigger for Melbourne City than their first home A-League final, and coach John van 't Schip is confident his team, led by golden boot winner Bruno Fornaroli, are ready to perform under the spotlight against Perth.

City scored an A-League record 63 goals this season, with Uruguayan sharpshooter Fornaroli bagging a record 23 and winning the leading goal-scorer award.

Van 't Schip sees no reason why his side's attacking flair will be blunted by the added pressure of an elimination final, backing the striker they call 'El Tuna' to thrive.

"Bruno will be up to it ... he's shown that and I think it's important that the players also go out there and enjoy it," van 't Schip said on Saturday.

"He loves playing big games; he's come from a culture of always competing and fighting in competitive games.

"It's great what we have achieved to get into the playoffs and now it's about going out there and enjoying these kind of games by playing the best you possibly can.

"Our goal now that we're in the playoffs is to win it. That's what you have to go for ... getting into the grand final and winning it."

City lost the last two regular-season games - to Glory away then Adelaide at home - but van 't Schip is unfazed by that lacklustre form, declaring the finals a new season.

The 2-0 loss to United cost City a top-two finish and also French striker Harry Novillo, who was suspended for his part in an ugly halftime melee.

Glory have their own personnel issues with star import Diego Costa missing the final-round loss to Sydney FC with hamstring tightness, but van 't Schip expects the Spaniard will play at AAMI Park.

Glory finished second behind City on the goal-scoring ladder with 49 and coach Kenny Lowe said his side wouldn't take a backward step either.

"The big thing will be, which big players are going to stand up - their big players or our big players?" Lowe said.

"A little bit of luck and mistakes ... throw that into the melting pot and you've got one hell of a game.

"I can't see it being a 0-0. I'd be very surprised. There's too much firepower in both sides. And there's too much attacking intent in both teams as well.

"I don't think anyone will sit there and wait for the game. I think both teams will go for the game."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* 15 goals have been scored in the past three games between these sides with the spoils split evenly at a win apiece and a draw

* The only previous A-League playoff match between these teams ended in a 3-0 victory to Perth in 2011/12

* City and Glory are the only teams out of the six who've qualified to go into the playoffs with a loss

* City have played three playoff matches in their A-League history, losing twice 3-0 and winning 2-0 against Wellington, but this will be their first elimination match at home

* Perth are the only team in A-League history to have scored at least one goal in each of their playoffs

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon