Fornaroli threat to Sydney FC as ALM rivals face off

Bruno Fornaroli shows no signs of slowing down as unbeaten Melbourne Victory look to cash in on the red-hot striker's rich vein of form in their clash with A-League Men rivals Sydney FC.

Fornaroli has rocketed to the top of the ALM scoring chart with 11 goals in seven appearances this season.

In the process, he has become just the third player in competition history - behind Jamie Maclaren and Besart Berisha - to reach triple figures over his career.

The 36-year-old netted all four goals in Victory's 4-3 win over Western Sydney Wanderers last time out and is firmly on Socceroos boss Graham Arnold's radar ahead of January's Asian Cup.

Fornaroli's scoring feats are a key reason fourth-placed Victory (3-4-0) remain unbeaten ahead of the visit of Sydney (2-0-5) to AAMI Park on Saturday night.

"His work in and around the box has really improved," Victory coach Tony Popovic said.

"His work rate is phenomenal, it always has been, he's a real team player and leader on and off the park.

"But his sharpness in and around the box is an area that he's worked hard on and we've worked with him to give him better service and give him better opportunities.

"So it's a collective effort, but he deserves all the plaudits that he's getting."

Victory are back on home soil for the first time in more than a month after three straight matches in NSW.

They face a Sydney team still searching for its identity under Ufuk Talay, following long-time coach Steve Corica's departure last month.

"It's a big opponent for us and they've got a new coach, so they're adapting maybe to a new way of work at training and playing in a way that the new coach wants," Popovic said.

"They're a very dangerous opponent and we expect everything that you get from this big rivalry; a tough, difficult game against a tough, difficult opponent.

"We've had a difficult period of travel and games and we've come through that well, so we want to consolidate with a top performance and a win here at home."

Victory could be bolstered by the return of Jason Geria to the starting line-up after his appearance off the bench against Western Sydney.

Jack Rodwell, Max Burgess and Jaiden Kucharski are all available for Talay as he prepares to field Sydney's strongest side yet this season.

Victory were 2-0 winners in the previous meeting between the sides back in round two.

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