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A-League: Big battle ahead in city derby

THE battle between two of the A-League's most combustible characters - Melbourne City defender Patrick Kisnorbo and Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha - is sure to light up tomorrow night's semi-final at Etihad Stadium.

These two have everything a coach loves in their players at this time of the year.

While they live on the edge at times, they are ultra-competitive and bring great quality to each game.

Kisnorbo was immense as City pulled off a shock win in Wellington in the elimination final last Sunday.

He threw his body in the line of fire to block shots and through-balls.

Berisha lives for this time of the season.

A past scorer of so many important finals goals with Brisbane, the Albanian is desperate to deliver for his new club.

Berisha has four goals in three appearances against City this season.

He will harass and pressure the City defence all night, and if given a sniff in front of goal is sure to make it count.

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Another key battle will be Victory defender Matthieu Delpierre against City's marquee man Josh Kennedy.

Delpierre gives his team a solid base with his calmness and experience.

Kennedy's goal against the Phoenix last weekend showed just how good a goal-poacher the beanpole striker is, at the right place at the right time to divert home Aaron Mooy's shot.

The Socceroos striker said it was important to carry the spirit from that game into the derby tomorrow night.

"The game in New Zealand is not going to mean much if we go out against Victory and don't perform," Kennedy said.

"If we can show the same courage then we will be proud regardless of the result."

Topics:  a-league football melbourne city melbourne victory