Fornaroli v Berisha in the Melbourne derby: The experts have their say

The two premier strikers in the A-League, Melbourne City's Bruno Fornaroli and Melbourne Victory's Besart Berisha, go head-to-head at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Fornaroli v Berisha

Melbourne City's Bruno Fornaroli and Melbourne Victory's Besart Berisha Source: Getty Images

The World Game asked SBS chief football analyst, Craig Foster, legendary NSL striker Damian Mori and SBS football presenter and ex-Socceroos striker David Zdrilic which of the two they thought would make the bigger impact in this huge clash.

Form often goes out the window in a derby, but just for the record the recent goal-scoring statistics of Fornaroli and Berisha are very different.

They each scored four goals in the first five rounds. Fornaroli then scored twice in round six and Berisha didn't score.

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In the four rounds since, Fornaroli has scored only once and that was from the penalty spot. Berisha has scored four times in his last two games, including a hat-trick against Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend.

Berisha has eight goals from nine games and Fornaroli seven from 10.

So what do the experts think?

CRAIG FOSTER

"It's a tough one. Much of it will come down to the defences and whether one can nullify the opposing striker. Berisha is just coming into form, so it's going to be hard to stop him.

"Marco Rojas being in or out on the wing for Victory will mean a lot as well, because he is deadly and I think Berisha is starting to really enjoy working with him.

"I think City need their best back four to have a chance of stopping Berisha, particularly if Rojas plays.



"The fact Fornaroli hasn't scored for a couple of games doesn't mean anything. His record is unbelievable. He has demonstrated before that very quickly he's going to get back to scoring, if he hasn't done for a couple of games.

"For the four central defenders on the field, it's the biggest challenge of the season.

"I can't put one ahead of the other out of Fornaroli and Berisha. I can't split them."

DAMIAN MORI

"To be honest, I think they will both make a massive impact and they will both have moments in the game where they will get chances. They're both too good not to have an impact in a big game like this.

"I don't think you can say one more than the other. They're both big-game strikers and they both understand how important the game is, so I don't think you can split them.

"We put a lot of emphasis on the scoring, but I think Fornaroli's work off the ball and with the ball, trying to find others, has still been good, even though he hasn't scored in the last couple of games.

"It's a team game and maybe a lot of the chances that are being created are not falling to him at the moment.

"Berisha was due for a big one against Wanderers. He had been frustrated by a few misses in games and I think it was only a matter of time before a quality striker like him cut loose again.



"His confidence will be up for this week, so City's defence will have to be right on their game."

DAVID ZDRILIC

"Fornaroli, when he's on song, can score a couple of goals and win the game on his own, but when he's not you sometimes don't see him in the game and that has happened a few times this season.

"He can pop up at any time and have a blinder, but he can also be a bit anonymous.

"Berisha, even if he isn't scoring, will work his backside off and just run for the team no matter what. Fornaroli works for his team as well, but Berisha does it more.

"Personally, I just love Fornaroli and some of his touches. He's got that finesse that many strikers don't have. He's unbelievable in the box, the way he can turn a player and score at any time.

"They're both brilliant at their best, but Berisha is in form at the moment and should have the better game."


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4 min read
Published 14 December 2016 at 11:04am
By Greg Prichard