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

White line fever expected for Melb derby

NZN 13/10/2016 Ben McKay

What do Melbourne's A-League clubs think about each other?

Is it hatred, like Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque so memorably expressed towards his Western Sydney rivals in the build-up to last week's Sydney derby?

Contempt? Disdain? Or perhaps even a begrudging respect?

In years past, Victory dismissed the threat from Melbourne Heart, who might have won their fair share of derbies under their previous guise but couldn't match Victory in any other area.

Heart was a dirty word at the club, with management preferring to refer to their upstart rivals as 'the other Melbourne club' or something more colourful.

Now it's City surging in membership - albeit coming from a long way behind their established rivals - and interest in the build-up to the first Melbourne derby of the season.

Put two players - Victory's James Donachie and City's Anthony Caceres - in front of a microphone and there's no attempt to trash talk the other.

But Donachie is clearly buying into the rivalry ahead of his first derby, and expects to transform on Saturday night once he walks onto the Etihad Stadium pitch.

"I'm not going to use words like hate (but), when you cross the white line, I'd go so far as that's the emotion you're feeling," he said.

"Right now, before the game, you stay calm. Obviously, you can see fans and everyone watching the game - things change when the whistle blows."

The 23-year-old said he expected Saturday's game to match anything he experienced at former club Brisbane.

"I played in a grand final and that was pretty big but this will probably be the same if not better," he said.

A crowd of more than 40,000 is expected for the match, with plenty of light blue in the crowd for the expected A-League debut of City signing Tim Cahill.

Like City executive Simon Pearce, who said last week he now "knew rather than believed" the club would find success, the club's fans are growing in ambition.

Caceres said he was feeding off it.

"I get the feeling they believe that there's going to be one team in this city," he said.

"As players, we want to do all we can to prove that on the field."

Caceres vowed not to repeat his last derby performance, when he was sent off in a raucous 2-2 draw at AAMI Park.

"That was the first and last of that," he said.

"It's something I wouldn't want to repeat but derbies are derbies. They're always energetic and full on. Sometimes, things like that happen."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon