Match Preview: Battle of the Bridge


Western United head east on Saturday night for a crucial derby against the navy blue team in Melbourne.

Form guide

United recorded their second win of the season last week, dominating Macarthur FC in a 4-1 win at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

Besart Berisha scored a brace, putting him outright second on the all-time Australian national league goal tally with 138.

Spaniard Iker Guarrotxena put in a man of the match performance, scoring his first A-League goal while paying a hand in two others.

The team from across town are also coming off their second win of the season after overcoming Wellington Phoenix 2-0 on Wednesday night.

The win broke a run of three straight losses, lifting the navy blue side off the bottom of the table.

Previous meetings

Despite creating the majority of the chances, United was held to a scoreless draw at AAMI Park in late January.

United was denied two goals for offside following VAR reviews, while Alessandro Diamanti struck the crossbar twice in a matter of minutes late in the second half.

The Green and Black are undefeated against their cross-town rival, winning three times and drawing once.

United will return to Marvel Stadium for the first time since their first-ever meeting with the team from across town. The Green and Black came from two goals down in November 2019 to win 3-2.

What the coach is saying

“We just want to continue our domination,” Mark Rudan said.

“We’ve beaten them three times last year, we drew against them last match, we should have won in that second half, but we’ve been dominating against them.

“Now we’ve got a week to prepare the boys really well and we look forward to what’s going to be a huge derby in our eyes.”

Stats of the week

  • Western United is undefeated in their four A-League games against Melbourne Victory (W3, D1); they are the only team in the competition’s history to not record a loss after their first four games against the Victory.
  • Western United are yet to concede a goal within the opening 15 minutes of a game this A-League season and have conceded just two first-half goals in total, the joint fewest of any team.
  • Besart Berisha has scored 16 goals at Marvel Stadium – the joint third-most of any player in the competition.