Victory won the last meeting between the sides 3-0. Source: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
A-League cellar dwellers Melbourne Victory host Wellington Phoenix at Etihad Stadium on Monday night, looking for just their second win of the season. After scoring a come from behind 2-1 win over Adelaide United a fortnight ago, expectations were that Melbourne had turned the corner under new coach Ange Postecoglou but last week’s loss to the Newcastle Jets ensured that they remained anchored to the bottom of the table.
Midfielder Gui Finkler is likely to come straight back into the starting side for Victory after missing the match against the Newcastle with a groin injury. He will join Marcos Flores, Archie Thompson and Marco Rojas in a potent attack for the hosts. While scoring goals hasn’t been a huge problem for Melbourne, they have leaked goals at the back, with ten put past them in four games. Socceroo goalkeeper Nathan Coe was rushed into the side last week after joining the club just days earlier, and he will provide stability at the back as he gets more game time.
Wellington Phoenix had their appeal against Ben Sigmund’s controversial red card against Adelaide United rejected during the week, meaning that the defender will sit this match out as part of his three game ban. After showing promising signs in its 2-0 win over Alessandro Del Piero’s Sydney FC on the opening weekend, the Phoenix have failed to flatter.
Winning away from home has long been a big problem for the New Zealand based side and this clash could represent an opportunity to get a rare win in Melbourne, where they collected a draw against Heart in week two. They have a poor record against Victory however, with just two wins from the 15 meetings between the sides. Melbourne has won on seven occasions, while six clashes have ended in a draw . Victory scored a 3-0 win when the clubs last met on March 16.
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