SYDNEY FC host Melbourne Victory in the 12th A-League grand final.
Here’s everything you need to know for the biggest Big Blue of the season.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
The A-League grand final will be played at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Sunday May 7 from 5pm AEST.
With worries over the condition of the pitch, the possibility of moving NSW Waratahs’ Super Rugby clash with Auckland Blues at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night was being explored. However, it has been confirmed the game will be take place at Allianz on Saturday night.
HOW CAN YOU WATCH IT?
Watch the A-League grand final on Fox Sports 505 from 5pm AEST and enjoy the pre-game from 4pm.
PODCAST: It’s A-League grand final time: Adam Peacock, Daniel Garb and Simon Hill are back to talk you through the season’s climax between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.
BOZZA: A-League Team of the Season
HIGHS, LOWS, SHOCKERS: Our 2016-17 A-League Awards
GERIA: Club before personal honours
GEORGIEVSKI: Allianz pitch is “dreadful”
HISTORY: Victory unconcerned by losing trend
REVISITED:Our experts’ 2016-17 season predictions
Sydney FC predicted starting XI: Danny Vukovic; Rhyan Grant, Alex Wilkinson, Jordy Buijs, Michael Zullo; Brandon O’Neill, Joshua Brillante, Filip Holosko, Alex Brosque, Milos Ninkovic; Bobo.
Injury concerns: Winger Bernie Ibini is awaiting a scan after injuring his hamstring in the 3-0 semi final win over Perth Glory. He came on after 67 minutes but hobbled off the pitch in injury-time.
Melbourne Victory predicted starting XI: Lawrence Thomas; Jason Geria, James Donachie, Alan Baro, Daniel Georgievski; Carl Valeri, Leigh Broxham, Marco Rojas, James Troisi, Fahid Ben Khalfallah; Besart Berisha.
Injury concerns: N/A
Played 41 – Sydney 11 wins, Victory 13 wins, drawn 17
REGULAR SEASON RECORD 2016-17
Sydney: 20 wins 6 draws 1 loss (goals for: 55, goals against 12)
Victory: 15 wins 4 draws 8 losses (goals for: 49, goals against: 31)
PAST FIVE MEETINGS
03/03/17: Sydney 1-0 Victory
26/01/17: Victory 1-2 Sydney
05/11/16: Sydney 2-1 Victory
27/02/16: Victory 1-1 Sydney
26/01/16: Victory 1-0 Sydney
Sydney: Championships: 2 (2005/06, 2009/10), Premierships: 2 (2009/10, 2016/17), Finals campaigns: 8
Victory: Championships: 3 (2006/07, 2008/09, 2014/15), Premierships: 3 (2006/17, 2008/09, 2014/15), Finals campaigns: 9
WHAT THEY SAID
Graham Arnold on the grand final: “Nothing changes. The field doesn’t change size, the goalposts don’t and the opposition doesn’t.
“So for me it’s important preparation is spot on.
“We’ve got a good turnaround of eight days so we’ll work hard during the week, recover well and be ready.”
Kevin Muscat on the grand final: “When you’re holding the brush you can paint whatever picture you like.”
“Once we get there on Sunday and kick-off comes, the actions that are going to occur in that 90 minutes or the 120 minutes, that will determine the result.
“Not what happened this week or what happened (in the grand final) two years ago.
“When we get to those stages, as we’ve seen tonight [against Roar], we perform.”
“The most important thing. We’re going to beat them … there was nothing in the three games.”
“In fact, there were decisions in the games that compounded things and impacted the results.
“After a performance like that … we go to Sydney with all the confidence in the world.”
Alex Brosque on keeping to routine:“If I start doing things different, start being more vocal or pass different messages, it can creep into the players’ heads that something’s different.”
“Arnie was all this week about routine, keeping things the same. So I didn’t change or do anything different.”
Brosque on Sydney FC’s historic team: “In all my time playing I’ve never played with a group as close as this and as good as this, on the field and off the field.”
“It’s a privilege for me to be able to lead them.
“I’ve told them that and I hope they understand that, because at my age only now am I playing with a great group like this.
“They may never get it again.”
Milos Ninkovic on winning Johnny Warren Medal: “I would like, if I could, to swap this trophy with the grand final.”
Marco Rojas on the Allianz pitch: “Having played on that pitch before it’s a little bit of a worry,” he told AAP. “I never wear studs as well so we’ll see how it goes.
“I’ve played in the (Pacific) Islands and different places.
“Were professionals. We just have to deal with it. They’re playing on the same pitch. It will be a good football match.”
Muscat on the pitch: “It’s a shame but we’re going to have to go there and win on what’s available.”
“It’s a shame for our showpiece that the surface is going to be in the state it’s going to be. But I couldn’t care less.”
Besart Berisha on finals experience: “Finals are unique. It’s a special game. All the stats are not important any more.”
“We have experienced players in our team that have played in finals and have scored in finals.
“Not just in the A-League but in the Socceroos too. That will be a key – who is in the end experienced and ready on the night.”
Markets courtesy of sportsbet.com.au
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory – Regular Time
$ 1.83 Sydney FC
$ 3.75 Draw
$ 4.00 Melbourne Victory
To lift the Cup
$ 1.39 Sydney FC
$ 2.92 Melbourne Victory
$ 7.50 Sydney FC 1-0
$ 9.00 Sydney FC 2-0
$ 8.00 Sydney FC 2-1
$ 15 Sydney FC 3-0
$ 10 Draw 0-0
$ 6.50 Draw 1-1
$ 13 Melbourne Victory 1-0
$ 21 Melbourne Victory 2-0
$ 13 Melbourne Victory 2-1