Shades of Hearts v Hibs as Melbourne City prepare to lock horns with Melbourne Victory
There will be a distinctly Scottish flavour to this weekend’s Melbourne derby in the A-League, with both the managers of both teams having previously met in the Edinburgh derby.
Former Hibs midfielder Grant Brebner will be looking to lead Melbourne Victory to derby glory against Melbourne City, managed by ex-Hearts defender Patrick Kisnorbo.
Brebner had two spells with Hibs, signing on loan in 1998 before returning for a longer, permanent stay in 1999 lasting until the summer of 2004. Kisnorbo played more than 60 games for Hearts in a two-season stint between 2003 and 2005.
Having come up against each other in the Scottish Capital, the pair will now lock horns at the Marvel Stadium on Saturday, with an 8.10am kick-off time in the UK.
Victory are currently bottom of the Australian top flight with just two wins from nine games while City – who also have former Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren on their books – lie seventh, with eight points from 12 matches.
Brebner, who played for Victory between 2006 and 2012, is eager for his charges to put in a show against their city rivals and get the three points.
Speaking to the World Game he said: “It would be fantastic to get another win as a coach, particularly against Melbourne City.
"Patty and I have got a bit of history together… and certainly now coming up against him as a coach, against our bitter rivals, adds a little bit of spice.”
Kisnorbo, who ended his playing career with Melbourne City with a three-year stint between 2013 and 2016 before going on to coach the youth and women’s teams, missed his side’s last match with food poisoning with assistant Des Buckingham calling the shots on the touchline, but confirmed he would be back on the touchline for the hotly-anticipated clash this weekend.
"I wasn't in a good way, so I just watched it from my laptop," Kisnorbo said. "But I'm recovered well and looking forward to the game."
Victory conceded a 95th-minute goal to lose 4-3 to Western United last time out while City recorded a 2-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers, with Maclaren scoring twice.
The Australian internationalist, who scored nine goals in 30 games for Hibs, is eager for both teams to put on a show for the fans. Coronavirus restrictions are such that a number of supporters will be able to attend, with the stadium expected to be around 50 per cent full.
"If there was any message I could have now it’s for fans to come on Saturday. Both teams will be entertaining, I think Victory has a point to prove and we also have a point to prove,” Maclaren said earlier this week.
"It would be nice to get as many [fans] as we can, because it makes for a great atmosphere for both sets of sides with fans going at each other.”
There is plenty of Scottish interest in the game with former Tynecastle defender Ben Garuccio on City's books along with former Hibs trialist Tom Glover. Ex-Dundee United loanee Curtis Good could also feature for City while former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean, born in Glasgow, is currently Brebner’s No.2 at Victory.
The derby match will be available for UK viewers on BT Sport 1.