City's 5-4 loss to Perth Glory on Sunday night meant Michael Valkanis' side fell short of their pre-season goal of qualifying for the Asian Champions League through league position.
But their fourth place means they'll host an elimination final - against Glory once more - on Sunday at AAMI Park.
The finals draw has been kind to City, with the real possibility they could spend two weekends in Melbourne on the way to a grand final.
Should third-placed Brisbane Roar defeat sixth finishers Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night, City will head into their match knowing a win would book them a Melbourne derby.
In-form winger Nick Fitzgerald said it was impossible to deny the motivation of another derby.
"Absolutely it's driving us," Fitzgerald told AAP.
"We know we've beaten them twice this year and we'd love the chance to play them again.
"But we can't think about yet. We have to be absolutely focused in Perth Glory."
Another derby meeting would be the fifth this year after three league meetings and an FFA Cup semi-final.
City won the opening derby 4-1 at Etihad Stadium in October and next month's Cup rematch. The most recent two league meetings have been won by Victory 2-1
While those fixtures have had their fair share of goals and drama, they had nothing on Sunday night's match at nib Stadium.
Fitzgerald scored the final goal of the game, finding the ball after Liam Reddy's bonkers run through midfield to end the nine-goal thriller.
City were on the brink of losing their home final while trailing 4-1 but responded to reduce the deficit.
Despite their comeback, Fitzgerald said the overriding emotion was frustration for starting the match so slowly and missing the chance to finish third.
"It's hard to deny the disappointment. We came over here with a goal to win the game and didn't," he said.
He said he'd trade a free-scoring game for a clean sheet.
"A 1-0 would do me just fine," he said.
Coach Valkanis said both teams were desperately chasing a win.
"We lost the battle ... but not the war," he said.
"Nothing is over and it's finals football now and we got to look forwards and quickly learn from this game. Learn, get on top of it and start preparing for a final."