It’s a battle of arguably this season’s two most disappointing sides so far in Wellington on Sunday. Melbourne Victory looked to be getting its season back on track with a big road win in Perth in Round 7, only to undo all of that good work with a 4-1 capitulation in Newcastle last weekend. Another away game isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for Kevin Muscat’s men, but at least Wellington is one of only perhaps one or two other sides going just as badly as last season’s runner-up. The Phoenix had shown plenty of promise in the opening rounds – despite not getting results – but last Saturday’s home capitulation against Central Coast was indicative of where this side is at. This one is a must-win game for both sides.
3 KEY POINTS
- MELBOURNE VICTORY is facing its third straight away game, having gone to Perth and Newcastle in the last two weeks.
- MELBOURNE VICTORY is enduring its worst-ever start to a season, having won just one game in the opening eight rounds.
- WELLINGTON is on the bottom of the ladder with just one win and two draws in seven games.
- Last season’s three games between these sides produced 13 goals, but also produced two three-goal margins and a five-goal margin.
- The last time these sides met, Wellington won 3-0 at AAMI Park in Round 25 of last season.
- Victory has had its fair share of success across the Tasman, having won five and drawn three of its 14 games against the Phoenix in New Zealand.
- Even though both teams are struggling, Victory remains a side that has its eyes on a greater prize, while the Phoenix will be doing well to avoid the wooden spoon. Victory simply has to win this.
VICTORY / VICTORY
- You can normally tell in the first half an hour if Victory is on or not. So in a must-win game, there is no excuse for Kevin Muscat’s men not to be up for the fight from the first whistle.
- The striker has been starting to cop some flak for some poor performances again, which can only mean one thing – he’ll score.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- If history is any guide, then there will be plenty of goals in this one, with seven of the last eight games between these sides delivering three goals or more.