24/04/2024

Melbourne City is the remaining champions of the league. Photo: Melbourne City.

Melbourne City have made little changes to its championship side, and is determined to make it back-to-back victories in season 2021/22.

Reigning champions of the league Melbourne City head into the 2021/22 A-League Men season confident with a barely touched line up and look to implement the clear ‘City Style’ envisioned by Director of Football, Michael Petrillo, and his club.

Last season:

1st (49pts, 15 wins, four draws, seven losses)

Biggest in:

Melbourne City have had to make few adjustments to its line up, but in a boost to its already damaging midfield, Socceroos’ attacking mid, Mathew Leckie, joins the club on a three-year deal.

Leckie has spent the last 10 years in Germany and returns home for his first stint in the A-League Men since playing with Adelaide United from 2009 to 2011. While in Bundesliga, Leckie made 139 appearances, scoring 10 goals, with another 21 in the second tie.

He has also capped 65 for the Socceroos, and is poising to be a dangerous combination with fellow Socceroo, and current holder of the A-League Men Golden Boot, Jamie Maclaren.

Leckie will bring pace, skill, and strength to City with full commitment, as back in August, he announced his withdrawal from the national side due to the difficulties of quarantine measures inflicted by COVID-19.

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Biggest out:

Only a few have departed Melbourne City, but the one the side may feel the most is Adrian Luna’s lost presence.

Luna was known for sneaking in some football magic into City’s play, including eight goals scored across his 51 appearances.

Luna played pivotal roles in the midfield, especially in his contribution to City’s Premiership and Championship double.

With the depth of its side though, Melbourne City could have easily found someone on its list to fill Luna’s spot, however Leckie’s signage indicates that he will be the man in the position.

Adrian Luna, via Instagram.

What to expect:

If there is a side to be confident about this season it’s Melbourne City, which is proving to be one of the league’s top contenders for years to come.

A team that could not have been much more impressive last season, there is notable trust in its current playing squad that it can help achieve back-to-back success. City will be looking to write themselves into A-Leagues history book, and should they defend their double premiership and championship from 2020/21, they will become the first team in history to do so.

Welcoming just three new additions to the side, and losing only six, Melbourne City could quite easily play a similar brand of football as last season’s and be in full contention to take out back-to-back championships.

Melbourne City isn’t expected to change much of its football brand witnessed last season, again, evident through the very few list changes made.

Petrillo is persistent on continuing the current ‘City Style’ of football played by the club and said that winning its inaugural premiership was an important moment, but there is much more work to be done by the club.

City has the eyes of the A-Leagues world upon them, and the pressure is on to deliver another season as dominant as 2020/21. With now four Socceroos on its list: Leckie, Maclaren, Connor Metcalfe and Curtis Good, among a side that will be among the best in Australian football.

Melbourne Derbies will again be a highlight of City’s fixture and a new challenge awaits them as they’ll face a new-look Melbourne Victory. Rivalry will intensify between City and last year’s runners-up Sydney FC, with games expected to be full of aggression, talent and close margins.

Predicted XI:

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