March 19, 2015 12:44:46 UK
Keeper Tando Velaphi admits Melbourne City’s defence will be under the spotlight when they take on free-scoring Sydney FC on Friday.
The Sky Blues have rattled in 25 goals in their seven games since the Asian Cup break, and have averaged four goals a game in their past three at Allianz Stadium.
We just have to concentrate on what we can control.
That suggests City will have to be at their best to blunt the Sydney attack and keep their Finals Series bid on track.
Sixth place, and the last spot in the finals, is almost certainly down to City or Brisbane Roar. Velaphi and his teammates visit Allianz Stadium just a week after the Sky Blues put five goals past Brisbane.
“We defend as a unit and we attack as a unit so everybody knows their roles and responsibilities as a team defensively and attacking wise,” said Velaphi.
“If we stick to our game plan and make sure we nullify their strengths and make sure our strengths come into fruition as well, then I think we’ll do well in the game.”
The keeper added: “Our defensive set up starts from the top so we have worked hard to do that and will continue to do that. We just have to concentrate on what we can control.”
Melbourne City are 3.60 to beat Sydney FC, who are 2.00 with the draw 3.60.
City will have their work cut out to shackle striker Marc Janko, who has scored 16 goals this season and broke the A-League record last weekend by netting in a seventh consecutive game.
They will be without defender Connor Chapman when they take on Graham Arnold’s side, with the 20-year-old having been hit with a three-game ban.
Chapman was given an immediate one-game suspension that ruled him out of last weekend’s 4-0 win over Newcastle Jets, for being sent off in the defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers.
But the league’s independent disciplinary committee on Wednesday handed him an additional three-match ban for putting his hands on referee Strebre Delovski.
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