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Kilkenny wants attacking A-League derby

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne City midfielder Neil Kilkenny has dared Melbourne Victory in Saturday's A-League derby: don't park the bus; come and play.

It's a game plan that came a cropper in their first meeting this season, when Victory were blitzed in a 4-1 round-two loss.

With their tail between their legs, Victory were more compact and more competitive in a 2-0 loss in last month's FFA Cup semi-final.

The two defeats were tough to take for Victory, and not in keeping with their season to date.

Kevin Muscat's side have actually outscored City despite playing one fewer game, showing their long-held commitment to attacking football.

The two losses to City are among just three suffered in 13 games this campaign; strong form which has Victory sitting in third place on the A-League table, just behind City in second.

John van 't Schip's side are also pulling out all the stops to get forward and attack, as shown by their 3-2-4-1 formation utilised so often through the season.

So whether it's the confidence gained from their round two success, or just his desire to play in a great game on Saturday night, Kilkenny urged Victory to be aggressors at AAMI Park.

"Teams know what we're good at and they know we want to dominate possession," he said.

"At lot of teams are sitting behind the ball and trying to hit us on the break.

"People talk about how (Victory) are an entertaining footballing team. Hopefully they'll come out and try and do that."

With a four-game unbeaten streak over their rivals, City are favourites for the clash.

But it does come at the end of an arduous run for van 't Schip's team.

Since a 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix less than three weeks ago, City have lifted the FFA Cup over league leaders Sydney FC, drawn against rivals Brisbane Roar 1-1 in bad blood, and produced the same scoreline against the Sky Blues in a table-topping A-League clash.

There's a chance another blockbuster this Saturday could produce big match fatigue and Kilkenny did acknowledge that the last month had been "tough".

"But it's part and parcel of wanting to successful. Every game is hard," he said.

"A lot of teams are lifting themselves when they have to play us.

"That shows us respect at the same time. We have to get over it."

Kilkenny said the crucial factor at AAMI Park would be again to gain the ascendancy, as City did in round two.

"We won the battle, kept possession really well and punished them when they made mistakes," he said.

"That's the key. To win the battles.

"In derbies you have to show you're up for the battle."

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