Geelong Advertiser

City ‘can’t match’ Victory at its best, says Valeri


MIDFIELDER Carl Valeri has further fanned the flames for an explosive Etihad Stadium derby tomorrow night, saying Melbourne City “can’t match” Melbourne Victory when it is at its best.

Following on from Besart Berisha’s assertion earlier in the week that Victory is “number one in this town”, Valeri said the A-League title favourites are raring to go for a game tipped to be played in front of close to 40,000.

Victory won the season’s first derby 5-2 at Etihad Stadium in October, before City turned the tables in December and dealt Victory its first loss of the season, winning 1-0 at AAMI Park thanks to a late Erik Paartalu header.

“Melbourne City is in good form and they had a good win the other day,” Valeri said.

“But in saying that we’re just going to really focus on ourselves. We know from the last two derbys that we’ve played against them this season that when we’re at our best they can’t match us.

“When we’re slightly off a bit they’re obviously a good football team and they can do a lot of damage.

“We’re raring to go and we’ve learnt a lot in the last month, last couple of months.”

Victory had last weekend off because of the Asian Cup and Valeri said the team was itching to get back on to the park after the 3-3 draw against Perth a fortnight ago in which it coughed up a two-goal lead.

“Although you’re frustrated after games like Perth, I think especially at Victory the players are all profession­al enough to realise that the extra week is a bonus to us and so let’s use it to work on things to help take us back up to the level where we need to be to beat Melbourne City.”

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