Victory have been poor on the road this season and we have to side with City on Saturday night.
City will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at the Jets in the Melbourne Derby here to maintain contact with the sides at the top of the table and stretch clear of their Melbourne rivals, whom they now lead only on goal difference. The Champions took an early lead when hosting the Wanderers last weekend but an 89th minute equaliser meant they had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
City’s search for an elusive second clean sheet this season continues as the Jets, the lowest scoring side in the division, found the net twice against them. Indeed, that was the sixth time in seven games that they’ve conceded at least two goals as they’ve been the side to watch this season, scoring the most goals but having the second worst defence as their games have seen an average of 4.28 goals. Their home record this term is W5-D2-L2, with the defeats coming against the Wanderers and the Jets, who came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2. Since those back-to-back defeats City have scored at least twice in their last five at home but are yet to keep a clean sheet. They’ve beaten the Wanderers and Victory at home earlier in the season, but their other three wins have come against current bottom-four sides.
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Watching Victory at home and away has been like watching two different teams this season as they’ve looked like defending Champions at home but laboured on the road. Their away record this season is W2-D2-L6 as they’ve failed to score in half of these games and managed just two away clean sheets. They’ve travelled to three top-half sides already, losing at City and the Wanderers, but beating Sydney earlier in the season. They’ve trailed at half-time in four of their last seven on the road and were 3-0 down at bottom of the league the Mariners in their penultimate away game before mounting a remarkable comeback to salvage a 3-3 draw.
Whilst Victory do of course play some of their games at AAMI park, City have already beaten Victory there this season and also beat them last term when Victory were in much better form, while City probably weren’t as good as they’ve been this term. Given how poor Victory have been on the road this season and since they’ve shown nothing to suggest they’ve turned that form around yet, they look far too short in this one and we simply have to side with City.