The Battle of the Bridge is back this week and this year it brings with it a host of additional subplots to make it the most exciting contest in its short, but already rich history.
Alessandro Diamanti will lead Western United into battle once again to kick off the Club’s third season, with compatriot Francesco Margiotta lining up on the other side.
Western United’s talismanic No.23 has lit up the A-League Men in his two seasons so far, immediately becoming one of the best performers the competition has seen.
With eight goals and seven assists in his debut campaign, Diamanti led Western United to within a game of the grand final, winning the Johnny Warren Medal for the league’s best player in the process.
His ability to score spectacular goals and play inch-perfect passes from any distance make him one of the showpiece players in the country, with something magical set to happen every time the ball is under that left boot.
Last season, Diamanti went one better in the assists column, creating a league-high nine goals for his teammates and earning another nomination for the league’s ultimate individual prize.
But Margiotta will do his best to dethrone Diamanti this season. The Victory striker comes with experience in his home country and in Switzerland.
Coming through the Juventus academy, Margiotta has played over 100 games across the Italian second and third divisions, as well as multiple seasons in the Swiss top flight.
Very much a modern center-forward in the way in which he assists just as much as he scores, Margiotta played in Serie B last season with Chievo Verona, registering five goals and four assists in 31 appearances.
The 28-year-old could lead the line for Tony Popovic’s side at GMHBA Stadium, but Diamanti and the Green and Black army will be more than ready for the challenge and out to avenge defeat against Victory last time out.
Tickets are now on sale for the match, but club membership remains the best way to support the team and to secure a seat in the arena on matchday.