Nathaniel Atkinson is in the mix to make his first start of the A-League men's season and the occasion could hardly be larger for the defender.
The Olyroo will be pushing to start from the opening whistle as Melbourne City get set to square-off against Melbourne Victory in a cross-town derby with a Christmas twist.
The Launceston-born defender returned to the City squad against Perth Glory off the bench and netted the winner via a last-gasp header to ensure the visitors headed home with all three points.
With valuable minutes under his belt, Atkinson could be a tempting option for manager Patrick Kisnorbo given the 22-year-old notched three assists against South Melbourne in the FFA Cup Round of 32
Speaking ahead of the derby, City goalkeeper Thomas Glover said the whole City squad was excited for the top-four clash.
"Definitely, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't, I'd dare say this is the first fixture look forward too, yeah, it's one that has been a long time coming," he said.
"It's been a while since we played them, these are the games you live for and you train so hard for so we're hoping to have a good turn out and put on a good show for our fans."
After a 10-day break after the Glory win could aid Atkinson's hopes of winning a starting berth over the likes of preferred fullbacks Andrew Nabbout and Scott Galloway.
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Glover said that the side was comfortable with their start to the season, which sees them in fourth place, as they targeted a valuable win.
"It's not the worst start but it is not the best start ... the great saying is it's not where you start it's where you finish," he said on SEN.
"There's improvements to be made across the park but we're working on those and come Saturday we'll be firing."
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