Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory preview
The Phoenix hit back on Wednesday with a solid 2-0 win over the Melbourne Heart after two losses on the trot but will they be able to overcome the Victory? It was a nice change of luck as the Heart definitely had their chances to put the New Zealanders away but were unable to do so, allowing Ricki Herbert's men to record a vital three points thanks to Paul Ifill's double.
In the Victory camp, things are not looking terribly pleasing after two losses prior to a week off last week.
Goals are hard to come by even after the return of Archie Thompson and coach Ernie Merrick needs to do something quickly before the top four get further away from the Victory in terms of points.
A win here is vital for the visitors but the Phoenix can rest a bit easier after easing a bit of pressure with their midweek win but will be looking to take that momentum into the Week 16 fixture.
This is a tough one to pick as the Victory can win if they bring their 'A' game but more often than not this season they have failed to do that and a draw may be a much more reasonable selection.
Verdict: 2-2 draw
Wellington Phoenix vs. Melbourne VictoryDate: Saturday, 27 November 2010 Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Local kick-off: 6:00pm (4.00pm AEDT) Referee: Peter O'Leary Head-to-Head: All matches (played 10): Wellington Phoenix wins 1, Melbourne Victory wins 4 (5 draws) Match fact: Having not won any of their previous six away matches, Melbourne Victory are aiming to avoid creating a new club record for longest winless streak away from home (seven). In fact, the Victory have won just two Hyundai A-League matches away from home in the past twelve months.
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD & Sky Sport 1 (NZ). A-League club broadcast partner is The Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM 774 ABC (Melbourne), and SEN Digital. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.co.nz
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Nick WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 12. James MUSA, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Marco ROJAS, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER, 26. Simon ELLIOTT *three to be omitted* In: James MUSA (promoted), Simon ELLIOTT (promoted), Dylan MACALLISTER (promoted), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted) Out: Ben SIGMUND (suspended - 1 game) Unavailable: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin - 3 weeks), Oscar Roberto CORNEJO (knee - 3 weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 19. Evan BERGER, 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 21. Robbie KRUSE 23. Adrian LEIJER, 27. Geoff KELLAWAY *one to be omitted* In: Geoff KELLAWAY (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: RICARDINHO (knee - 4 weeks), Surat SUKHA (rested)