Round 1 of the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League Men season is finally here as Western United takes on Melbourne Victory in a blockbuster Battle of the Bridge opener.
Western United vs Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 20 November
Kick-off: 7:45pm AEDT
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
Broadcast: The match will be shown live on Paramount+
The new season is here after a mammoth pre-season, and Western United will have its first opportunity to put points on the board against Melbourne Victory.
The match will see John Aloisi take charge of his first match as Western United Head Coach, coming up against Tony Popovic’s new look Victory outfit.
Western United vs Melbourne Victory has always been a marquee fixtures in season’s past, and this time is set to be no different.
Revenge is on the mind for the Green and Black this time around, though, after a 6-1 defeat against the navy blue towards the end of last season.
Prior to that, United has been quite successful against Victory. A stunning comeback saw United roar back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the first meeting between the two clubs before a further two wins completed a clean sweep for the Club in season 1.
Last season’s results were an even split, with a 0-0 draw in the first match followed by an outstanding 4-3 victory in which Victor Sanchez scored a dramatic late winner. That was before the tough loss in May, which remains Victory’s only win over the Green and Black.
The squad available to Aloisi is largely unchanged from last weekend’s FFA Cup fixture. Rene Krhin will remain out for at least the weekend, while Rhys Bozinovski is also out of action after picking up an injury.
Sebastian Pasquali is progressing well in his rehab after undergoing groin surgery in the off-season, but remains a longer-term absentee.
What John Aloisi is saying
On the Battle of the Bridge
“We’re excited, because it’s a derby. It’s a local rival. If you don’t love playing in these games, I don’t know what games you will love playing in, so the boys are really looking forward to it.”
On the home feeling in Geelong
“It’s a good start for us, especially in Geelong. It’s like a spiritual home here for the boys and over the years – the two seasons and this season so far – mainly positive results, getting wins. And the boys know that, so they’re confident when they play in Geelong.”
Tickets are selling fast and time is running out to secure a seat. Book now to join the Green and Black in full voice at GMHBA Stadium.