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Jun 20, 2021 at 7.05am UK
Melbourne CityMelbourne City
Colakovski (54'), Tilio (55')
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M'Mombwa (59'), Susnjar (90+4')

Preview: Melbourne City vs. Macarthur - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Melbourne City vs. Macarthur - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Australian A-League clash between Melbourne City and Macarthur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Melbourne City play host to Macarthur in the last four of the A-League Finals Series on Sunday looking to build on winning the regular campaign.

The home side finished 10 points clear of their opponents, who got the better of Central Coast Mariners last week to prolong their first-ever season at this level.

Match preview

Having cruised to success in the regular campaign, there was a perception that Melbourne City had plenty of time to be fully prepared for the semi-finals.

However, on the back of three games without success, Patrick Kisnorbo has a tough job on his hands to revitalise a squad who have recently failed to defeat the bottom two clubs in the division.

City led in both games against Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets before conceding pivotal late goals, and three strikes have now been shipped past the 88th minute in three of their last five outings.

While a 10-day break has the potential to change Melbourne's fortunes for the better, there is a feeling that Macarthur could match their more illustrious hosts at the weekend.

Ante Milicic's side recovered from a temporary blip to claim 10 points from their final six fixtures, subsequently securing their spot in the top six.

Despite that being a fine achievement in itself, the Bulls remain focused on reaching the Grand Final at the first time of asking after a ground-breaking seven months.

Macarthur relished their tag of underdogs versus Central Coast Mariners last week, responding to being at a man disadvantage from the 75th minute to prevail 2-0 after extra time.

Losing James Meredith for this fixture is a major blow, but Milicic will be optimistic that his team's character will shine through having again being portrayed as the outsiders.

The corresponding match during the regular campaign ended in a 3-0 win for City with Jamie Maclaren netting two of his 25 goals for the season.

Melbourne City Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Macarthur Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Curtis Good, Connor Metcalfe and Maclaren are all expected to feature for Melbourne after returning from international duty with Australia.

Craig Noone should also return in the final third with the likes of Nuno Reis and Marco Tilio in line to drop down to the replacements.

Anthony Golec could be brought into the Macarthur back three, taking the place of the suspended Meredith.

Teenager Michael Ruhs is likely to remain on the substitutes' bench despite netting the decisive second goal against the Mariners.

Melbourne City possible starting lineup:
Glover; Galloway, Griffiths, Good, Jamieson; O'Neill, Berengeur, Metcalfe; Nabbout, Maclaren, Noone

Macarthur possible starting lineup:
Federici; Milligan, Susnjar, Golec; McGing, Martis, Etxebarria, Oar; Susaeta, Derbyshire, M'Mombwa

We say: Melbourne City 2-1 Macarthur

Given Melbourne's recent form, there will be concerns among the fanbase that their side will struggle to rediscover their form from earlier in the year. However, despite Macarthur being on a high after last weekend, we are predicting a narrow success for the favourites.

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