MELBOURNE VICTORY V WELLINGTON PHOENIX Monday night, Etihad Stadium
The final game of the round brings together two teams that will be desperate for all three points.
Melbourne are one of the biggest clubs in Australia and yet they have just one win and one draw from their opening three games. More importantly, they’ve been handled twice in a fortnight by their City rivals and that includes being knocked out of the FFA Cup semis.
Wellington have had a terrible start to the campaign and have dropped all three games and are yet to score a goal.
VICTORY IS MINE
One of the positives that the Victory will take into this match is their superb record against Wellington.
They have won four of the last six contests between the sides which includes a 4-1 result in New Zealand the last time they met.
PHOENIX NEED TO RISE
Ernie Merrick’s side are now on an eight-match losing run which is a club record.
In all fairness to them though they have played the best three teams in the competition (Melbourne City, Perth and Sydney FC) and have only conceded four goals. Funnily enough that is better than five of the other nine sides in the competition with only Sydney and Newcastle boasting a better defence while they are level with Melbourne City.
Watch for Wellington marquee Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler to put in a big performance as it’s the first time they will play their old side.
HOW IT PANS OUT
Wellington, while winless, haven’t been terrible and can feel a bit hard done by not to have at least shared the points with Sydney last week. A late goal by the Sky Blues gave them the points but Wellington did have them on the ropes through various stages of the game.
Melbourne aren’t at the level expected of them just yet and managed to leave Adelaide with all three points after it looked highly unlikely.
An alarming stat is the fact Melbourne hasn’t made Etihad a fortress – they’ve won just once in their last seven at the ground! (4D, 2L).
THE TIP: Melbourne Victory – when you consider Wellington has won just once in 14 attempts in Melbourne, it doesn’t make good reading for the visitors.
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: Definitely Overs! An average of 3.3 goals per game has been scored in their clashes since late 2014