Victory's Grant Brebner and City's Patrick Kisnorbo do battle as A-League coaches for the first time after first crossing paths more than 15 years ago.
Grant Brebner and Patrick Kisnorbo will bring a hint of one of British football's most iconic rivalries to the A-League when they lock horns as coaches for the first time in Saturday night's Melbourne derby.
Melbourne City boss and former Socceroos defender Kisnorbo this week recalled picking fights in the players' tunnel as he led Heart of Midlothian into battle with Hibernian in the famous Edinburgh derby - a rivalry that began in 1875.
It was there, in the cut and thrust of the Scottish Premiership more than 15 years ago, that he first crossed paths with Brebner, then a Hibs midfielder, who at one point marked Kisnorbo at a Hearts corner.
The pair are at odds over who came out on top.
But there will be no confusion about the outcome when they meet again as Brebner's desperate Victory host in-form City at Marvel Stadium.
"It would be fantastic to get another win as a coach, particularly against Melbourne City," Brebner said, having tasted just two wins in nine A-League outings this season.
"Patty and I have got a bit of history together ... and certainly now coming up against him as a coach, against our bitter rivals, adds a little bit of spice."
Kisnorbo confirmed he will return to the City bench and take his place opposite Brebner after pulling out of Tuesday's win over Western Sydney at the last minute with a bout of food poisoning.
It confined Kisnorbo to his hotel room, leaving assistant Des Buckingham in charge.
"I wasn't in a good way, so I just watched it from my laptop," Kisnorbo said.
"But it's finished now, I'm recovered well and looking forward to (Saturday night's) game."
Victory are still reeling from a heart-breaking defeat last time out, when Victor Sanchez's 95th-minute strike sealed a dramatic 4-3 win for Western United.
It amplified the effects of a tough week for Victory, who lost foundation shareholder Richard Wilson after his bitter falling out with the rest of the club's board.
Wilson has since put his 16 per cent stake in the club up for sale to supporters in a move that is expected to net he and his investor colleagues more than $5 million.
Brebner has had to deal with a raft of injuries in his new-look squad this season and hopes the recent adversity can be a unifying factor as Victory attempt to climb back into the finals race.
"If you were to take one thing out of an extremely hurtful night (against Western United) it's the fact that it will bring us closer together," Brebner said.
"There's elements of that game where we showed some real determination and passion, and we'll take that into this weekend."