Western United v Melbourne Victory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Kick-off: 7:30pm AEST
Melbourne Victory’s Australia Cup defence gets underway on Wednesday night when they take on Western United at AAMI Park.
The game will be Victory’s first competitive fixture since May, and they will be out for revenge against the side who defeated them in last season’s Isuzu UTE A-League semi-finals.
Victory are the current holders of the Australia Cup having defeated Central Coast Mariners 2-1 in the final at AAMI Park back in February.
The trophy was the first piece of silverware in Tony Popovic’s reign at the club, highlighting an impressive debut season.
Victory are now two-time Australia Cup champions, having also won the accolade back in 2015 when they defeated Perth Glory in the final.
The club will now be looking to become just the second team to successfully defend the trophy.
The game against Western offers an exciting opportunity for some of Victory’s newest recruits to impress in a competitive match.
The likes of Luis Nani, Paul Izzo and Tomi Juric could all feature and will give fans a preview of what to expect in Popovic’s second season in charge.
Victory’s opponents are also coming off the back of a successful 2021/22 season, having been crowned champions of the Isuzu UTE A-League.
The prospect of seeing the reigning domestic cup winners take on the most recent league champions sets up a tantalising tie.
With a growing rivalry between the clubs, both of whom are expected to be competing for more silverware in the upcoming season, Wednesday night is primed to be hotly contested.
Player in focus
Paul Izzo has the chance to make his competitive Victory debut in the tie and will be eager to establish himself as the new first-choice goalkeeper.
Izzo was impressive in Victory’s pre-season game against Manchester United and will be hoping to build on the promising signs shown in that performance.
Against a team as defensively strong as Western, Victory will need to ensure they protect their own goal and avoid falling behind.
What they said
“We are the defending champions. Western United is always a tough game, always a team that is hard to get through and hard to play against. But we know what we want to do and we know how we plan to play this game, we just have to go out there and show it.” – Ben Folami
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Semi-Final Second Leg
Melbourne Victory 1-4 Western United
May 21, 2022
Western United overcame a first leg deficit to book their spot in the Grand Final thanks to goals from Aleksandar Prijovic, Lachlan Wales and Dylan Wenzel-Halls, despite Jake Brimmer’s sublime free-kick.
Head to head
2021/22 (May 21): Victory 1-4 Western at AAMI Park
2021/22 (May 17): Western 0-1 Victory at AAMI Park
2021/22 (March 23): Victory 1-1 Western at AAMI Park
2021/22 (Dec 26): Victory 3-1 Western at AAMI Park
2021/22 (Nov 20): Western 0-1 Victory at GMHBA Stadium