Muscat: Big Blue rivalry has been reignited

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat believes the Big Blue rivalry has been reignited this season on the back of three thrilling round robin contests and the upcoming Grand Final.

Victory and Sydney have battled out 0-0, 3-3 and 3-3 draws this campaign and will again do battle, with one team guaranteed to come out on top, in Sunday’s A-League Grand Final.

Muscat, who missed a spotkick in the penalty shootout when Sydney defeated Victory in their previous Grand Final encounter, said the rivalry was back, having been overtaken by the inter-city derbies in recent times.

“This year that rivalry has been reignited because the games we’ve had had been really entertaining and been good spectacles,” Muscat said at the pre-match press conference.

“This one takes a higher importance, naturally because it’s a Grand Final.”

However, sitting alongside Victory skipper Mark Milligan and Sydney counterparts Graham Arnold and Alex Brosque, Muscat tried to move on from this week’s mind games.

“We’re at the point, were enough talk has been said, lets get on with the action,” Muscat said.

“We’re grateful it’s in Melbourne at AAMI Park our home ground. It’ll be an unbelievable atmosphere.

“The 30,000 in there will be treated to one unbelievable atmosphere, which is unprecedented in Australian sports.”

Arnold reiterated Muscat’s sentiment, having initiated the mind games earlier in the week when he said Sydney were the better team.

“Obviously there’s some banter that goes on, but at the end of the day the two best teams are here for tomorrow,” Arnold said.

“Victory are an excellent team and we’ve got to be at our best tomorrow to beat them.”

The Sky Blues mentor also said he expected another exciting contest, after six-goal thrillers the last two times the clubs met.

“I expect it to be an exciting game,” Arnold said.

“Victory and ourselves have had the best attacking record this season, both teams scoring over 50 goals.

“Musky has done a great job with the team. We’ve come on well in the second half of the season.

“We’re hoping it’ll be a great spectacle tomorrow.”