Both sides have major reasons to win with the Victory intent on taking a top-two spot whilst the Phoenix are looking to make the finals in the A-League for the first time.
Melbourne are currently second on the league table, just a point behind Sydney FC, but if they win or even draw tonight, they will go to the summit of the competition.
In Wellington’s case, an away win would be huge for morale as well as almost ensuring the safety in finishing in the top six as they would shoot seven points clear of seventh-placed Central Coast Mariners but a loss or draw would have them still fighting to hold their position with three matches remaining.
Melbourne’s last two matches have produced wins and they have both been at home, scoring eight goals and conceding two in the process and the Phoenix, who lost on Friday, had won their past three before going down to the Perth Glory.
The Victory should be good enough at home and record their 13th win of the year and reclaim top spot whilst the Phoenix may have to wait at least a week to secure their spot in the finals.
Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Local Kick-Off: 6.00pm
Referee: Chris Beath
Head-to-Heads: Played 8: Melbourne Victory 3 wins, Wellington Phoenix 1 win, 3 draws
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Nathan ELASI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19. Evan BERGER, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 21.Robbie KRUSE, 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 25.Aziz BEHICH, 26.Marvin ANGULO, 28. Diogo FERREIRA, *four to be omitted*
In: Evan BERGER (return from injury), Nathan ELASI (promoted), Matthew KEMP (return from injury), Diogo FERREIRA (promoted from NYL)
Unavailable: Billy CELESKI (knee - season), Mate DUGANDZIC (calf - 1 week), Steven PACE (abdomen - indefinite), Surat SUKHA (hamstring - 1 week)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 15. Eugene DADI, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES, 40. Liam REDDY (gk), *one to be omitted*
In: Chris GREENACRE (return from injury), Marco ROJAS (promoted), DANIEL (promoted) DIEGO (promoted)
Out: Vince LIA (suspended – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin – 2 weeks), Mark PASTON (gk, leg – season)