Struggling Sydney, Victory seek ALM uplift

Once upon a time the rivalry between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC was a top-of-the-table clash between the A-League Men's fiercest adversaries.

But as the two sides prepare to meet in Thursday's Big Blue at AAMI Park, attention is firmly focused on the wrong end of the ladder.

Victory haven't won a game since last month's derby violence and are three points adrift at the bottom of the table.

But it is Sydney boss Steve Corica who finds himself under increasing pressure.

Corica was given a new contract after missing the finals last season and his tactical revamp has failed to yield the results which his club expects.

The Sky Blues now have just one win in their last six and defeat to Victory would only raise more questions over his tenure.

"I've been with 'Bimbi' for four years now and he's a great coach and a great guy," midfielder Luke Brattan said on Wednesday.

"He's brought so much success to this club and us as players, we have got to take a lot of responsibility as well.

"We're creating a lot of chances - he can't score them for us.

"I think a lot of the pressure is on us.

"He (Corica) cops the brunt of it but it comes down to us performing."

Victory have endured an equally disappointing season to date after finishing second and winning the Australia Cup in Tony Popovic's maiden year at the club.

Their hopes of similar success this year have been knocked off course since the violence at the Melbourne derby in December.

Original Style Melbourne - the active supporter group who stormed the pitch and were disbanded as a result of Football Australia's sanctions - have said they will be present on Thursday.

Due to the fact FA restrictions prevent them from congregating in their traditional bay, OMS told fellow actives over Facebook to buy tickets in separate blocks.

Victory have said they will work with Victoria Police as they return to their home ground for the first time since FA handed out $550,000 in fines along with heavy suspended punishments.

"I think it's been a drag on the entire club," Popovic said.

"On the field we haven't got the results but we feel like we have to turn the page now.

"There is clarity (and) we feel that together, we can move forward, get the three points and start climbing up that table."

The Victory boss explained the club was hopeful of signing a replacement for forward Nick D'Agostino, who sealed a transfer to Norway last week, and said marquee recruit Luis Nani would have his ACL operation overseas.