Big Blue a crying game to Niedermeier

Melbourne Victory import Georg Niedermeier looks forward to experiencing an A-League Big Blue clash.
Melbourne Victory import Georg Niedermeier looks forward to experiencing an A-League Big Blue clash.

Melbourne Victory defender Georg Niedermeier's Australian football education continues as his teammates school him in the Big Blue ahead of Sunday's renewal of the A-League rivalry.

The Victory-Sydney FC rivalry has always been a massive clash, and perhaps never bigger than now with the two heavyweight clubs firmly established as the country's best.

The two clubs have shared six of the past eight A-League trophies, squaring off in the 2015 and 2017 grand finals.

A new chapter was written in the rivalry last April, when Victory beat FC 3-2 in an epic semi-final en route to their title win.

Niedermeier, a new arrival at AAMI Park this season, has seen the highlights and had one takeaway.

"I saw the crying guy. Scoring two goals but counting one," he said.

The 'crying guy' would be teammate Terry Antonis, driven to tears after scoring an own goal and then an extra-time winner for Victory against his old side.

Niedermeier is no stranger to big occasions, playing his fair share in Germany before joining Victory, and is eager to sample this rivalry.

"The boys are talking about this game, the Big Blue. Every league has the game with two big rivals fighting each other," he said.

"These big games in Germany are pretty intense. Stuttgart v Hoffenheim ... Schalke v Dortmund. Bayern Munich against Dortmund.

"My first match on the bench for the first team was in Dortmund.

"My knees were a bit shaky to be honest but no worries on the weekend. They won't be."

Niedermeier has won plaudits for his first month in Melbourne, starting all four matches and looking the business at the back - save for two moments against Perth Glory.

The giant German ducked a header that allowed Andy Keogh to score in the Glory's 3-2 win, before being knocked out by goalkeeper Liam Reddy in a fair but sickening clash.

While Niedermeier didn't lose his place in the team after the result, fellow centre-back Nick Ansell did, with Thomas Deng and Niedermeier partnering for two wins since.

"Nick was struggling a bit with his body after those two matches," Niedermeier said.

"They both have qualities ... it's good to give the boss some problems."

Fellow imports Ola Toivonen and Raul Baena trained strongly on Wednesday ahead of Sunday's clash, with both in contention to start against Steve Corica's side.

Toivonen has just a substitute appearance to his name since arriving in Australia while Baena missed the past two wins with a hamstring issue.

Australian Associated Press