CANBERRA FC coach Robbie Graham expects Belconnen United to produce its trademark expansive game in the first meeting of the men's ACT Premier League's closest rivals.
The Blue Devils can take an early three-point advantage over the reigning five-time champions when they host Canberra FC at McKellar Park today.
Both teams have had two wins and a draw from their opening three games, with Canberra FC dropping points for the first time this season with a shock 1-1 draw with Canberra City last weekend.
City's tactics of sitting back and hurting Canberra FC on the counterattack worked a treat, and it was only in the 86th minute that Adam Spaleta's penalty ensured Canberra FC a share of the spoils.
Graham didn't believe the Blue Devils would employ the same game style with the likes of last year's player of the year Dustin Wells and Misko Naumoski providing plenty of punch in the front third.
''Belconnen's always been a good football playing side, same as what we are,'' Graham said.
''Our record shows that us and Belconnen have always been highly competitive and I expect a much more open and entertaining game.
''There's always rivalry between two clubs that are perpetually one and two in the league.''
The Blue Devils failed to make the grand final last year, with Canberra Olympic putting itself firmly in the title race.
Olympic can continue to heap the pressure on the top two when it hosts Woden Valley, while Cooma entertains Monaro in today's other game.
Meanwhile, Tuggeranong easily accounted for Canberra City 4-1 yesterday at the Hawker Football Centre.