Western United will enter their first A-League derby wary of a Melbourne City side stinging from mid-week FFA Cup humiliation.
City suffered a 4-0 defeat on Wednesday night to Adelaide United but get the chance to redeem themselves just four days later when they face the A-League newcomers on Sunday at GMHBA Stadium.
"It can work both ways. We have got to be wary of the wounded beast and, certainly, we need to be understanding that this is a good side, and they have shown to be a good side," United coach Mark Rudan said on Friday.
"We played them in pre-season and, to be fair, they were the better side irrespective of what the result showed.
"We have worked hard since then to get to where we are right now, but we have to be on the front foot. We will be looking to put them under pressure early doors."
Rudan said his side would look to take some pointers out of Adelaide's win over City, but emphasised the need to get their own game down pat.
"It's not about City as such. We have to play to our strengths and understand what we are about as a team," he said.
"We are going to create chances through our own style of play. It's very early in the season, we are gradually building and there were things we picked up on for sure (from City's performance against Adelaide) in a game and we have to have a look at that but not veer away from who we are or what we are about."
Key to stopping United who, like City, have four points from their first two A-League games will be limiting the influence of creative captain Alessandro Diamanti, with Rudan full of praise for the Italian.
"He's charismatic - not just on the park but off the park as well. He's an absolute pleasure to work with," Rudan said.
"He's a joy' he's got a smile on his face; he's got this positivity about him as well.
"He just brings a smile to everybody's faces - you know that you want to come into work every day when you've got people like Diamanti and then you look at what he does on the training field and in games as well."
STATS THAT MATTER:
* United's Besart Berisha has scored more goals than any other player at GMHBA Stadium, with five in his career. He is the only A-League player to have scored multiple goals there
* This will be City's first game at GMHBA Stadium
* City have made more successful passes (872) than any team this season. Against Adelaide, Richard Windbichler became the first player to attempt more than 100 passes. Windbichler had 86 successful passes - also a competition high - from his 104 attempted.