Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz says Melbourne City's strong FFA Cup run gives them a slight advantage in Saturday's A-League derby.
Victory have played only one competitive pre-season match, losing to Newcastle in August in the FFA Cup round of 32, while City have won four Cup matches en route to making their second final.
"I think, in this case, City has a little bit of an advantage because they played more official games with the FFA Cup games," Kurz told reporters on Friday.
"But I think we had a good pre-season, we got some good results but, at the end, you have to perform tomorrow."
Former Adelaide coach Kurz led the Reds to two FFA Cup finals, including winning last year's tournament, and said he expected City's strong Cup form to make them a challenging opponent, first up.
"Look, they are well organised. They have good experience in official games; they got really good results," he said.
"I had the experience the last two seasons, how important it is to reach the Cup final, because you have every two weeks an official game and that's completely different to a friendly game.
"I expect a very strong side from City."
Saturday's derby is Kurz's first in the A-League and he said the clash was something that excited him about joining Victory.
"It's a special club, Victory. It's different to Adelaide - I feel the differences and I'm really happy about that we start with a derby," he said.
"I watched the derbies last season on TV and it was always a special game in front of a fantastic crowd and it's a rivalry and, if you play a derby, you want to win it."
After an off-season of significant personnel change, Kurz flagged a gradual improvement from Victory throughout the opening weeks, but said they would be an "honest", "hard-working" and "organised" team.
Kurz said he would not settle on his starting line-up until Saturday but confirmed exciting forward Elvis Kamsoba would start after a stellar pre-season. Kamsoba and recruit Andrew Nabbout are likely to play out wide, with captain Ola Toivonen to start up front.
Albanian international Migjen Basha is available, having overcome initial visa issues to be named in the squad.