2018-19 Big Bash League – Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder taking place? Saturday, 5th January - 07:15 (UK)

Where is Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder taking place? Metricon Stadium

What is the expected weather for Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder? 20-22c with cloud but no rain forecast

What channel is Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder on? Fox in Australia & BT Sport 2 in the UK

Where can I stream Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder? BT Sport subscribers can stream the match online via the BT Sport website

Where can I get tickets for Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder? http://www.melbournestars.com.au/tickets

THE STATISTICS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings: Melbourne Stars W3, Sydney Thunder W6
Last meeting: Sydney Thunder beat Melbourne Stars by 15 runs

THE TEAM NEWS

MELBOURNE STARS

Coach: Stephen Fleming

Captain: Glenn Maxwell

  • After losing their opening two matches in BBL08, the Melbourne Stars have bounced back nicely by winning their last two against Sydney Sixers and then last time out against city rivals Melbourne Renegades and the seven-wicket win with 15 balls to spare will serve as a huge confidence-booster for them.

  • They have lost star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who has departed to play in the Bangladesh Premier League so he is replaced by England international Liam Plunkett who offers a completely different dimension with his pace, experience and adds depth to the batting too.

  • The absence of Lamichhane will be noted however so they have called up spinner Liam Bowe into the squad and it would be no surprise if he featured for that reason so despite winning last time, the Stars will likely make one or two changes to their bowling unit here.

SYDNEY THUNDER

Coach: Shane Bond

Captain: Shane Watson

  • Sydney Thunder bounced back last time out after two defeats in a row to beat the Perth Scorchers and they managed to cling on to a one-run victory after posting a total of 142/6 and narrowly defending it.

  • The total of 142 was their lowest in BBL08 so far so they will be keen to improve on that but they are facing one of the weaker bowling units in the tournament especially without Lamichhane and the pitch in Melbourne is expected to favour the batsmen and not overly spin much which will suit them.

  • The Thunder make one change to the squad from the last match with Jay Lenton coming in for Arjun Nair but they may be inclined to name an unchanged side from the team that beat the Scorchers for this match against the Stars.

THE PREDICTION

A fascinating match in store between two teams that are coming off positive results. The Stars are going to badly miss Lamichhane who was easily their key wicket-taker with the rest of the bowling unit looking poor, although their batting line-up showed really positive signs of finding form last time out. The Thunder have dropped off in form a little in recent matches and they almost lost a comfortable position against the Scorchers only to scrape home. The depth of their batting after Buttler has been poor since the first couple of matches and they need another one or two of their batsmen to find some form. They do have a win already against the Stars however, and their batsmen can take advantage of this average Stars bowling attack to pick up another win.