Soccer-Victory's Brebner focused on points ahead of Big Blue

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: AFC Champions League – Group E – Melbourne Victory v FC Seoul

(Reuters) – Melbourne Victory coach Grant Brebner will not be underestimating the threat posed by Sydney FC when the A-League’s biggest rivals face off in the first Big Blue of the season in Melbourne on Sunday.

The two most successful clubs in the A-League’s history, who share nine titles between them, go head-to-head at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium with neither in stellar form.

Melbourne are struggling at the foot of the table while Sydney, champions in three of the last four seasons, sit in sixth, 13 points behind leaders the Central Coast Mariners.

But even though Sydney have yet to hit the heights that took them to a record fifth title last year, Brebner knows his side faces a major challenge in front of their fans.

“Our main focus is three points, who it’s against, where it is doesn’t really concern us,” said the Scotsman.

“We know they’ve got a strong group of players, they’ve got massive continuity. They know how to play together and they know how to get results.

“We can say they’re not in their usual Sydney form of being top of the league, but considering the players they have they’re going to be a huge threat and certainly a team we can’t take lightly.”

The two teams had been due to face off in the first Big Blue of the season on March 20 in Sydney, only for that game to be postponed due to torrential rain.

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Melbourne can take some confidence into the game after drawing with the Mariners in their most recent outing.

“There’s a lot of positives we’ve got to take from it,” Brebner said of the 1-1 draw in Gosford.

“We saw some desperate defending, we saw some qualities that maybe we, in the past or in previous games, were maybe a bit more open.

“So we can build on that, but ultimately we’re in the winning games business and we need to keep winning games.”

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