Isuzu UTE A-League Match Preview | Wellington v Melbourne

Match Details
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
Date: Fri 12 Apr
Time: 5:00pm (AEST)
Location: Sky Stadium, Wellington
Broadcast: Paramount+


Coming off of a thrilling Derby win, Tony Popovic’s side now travel to Wellington as they look for a top-two finish.

An electric atmosphere set the scene at AAMI Park, in a game with significant ramifications for both teams as the season neared its conclusion.

Bruno Fornaroli and Damien Da Silva fired Victory to a dramatic Melbourne Derby win to put our boys in blue into third place on the Isuzu UTE A-League table.

Now having won three of our last four matches, the race for the Premier’s Plate is heating up, with Victory now only five points off top spot.

Friday night in Wellington has now turned into a “six-point match”, with a win against the Nix only strengthening the team’s chances of finishing top two.

Wellington is coming off a loss to now-league leaders Central Coast. The Nix suffered a 2-1 defeat in Gosford, with the Mariners now level on points with Wellington.

The Nix have won three of their last five matches, with their last loss at home coming all the way back in early December.

Speaking to the media, Head Coach Tony Popovic said…

From Tony

On Squad Availability…

“Everyone is fit and available for selection, so that’s crucial to us and we’re pleased about that.”

On finding replacements for the Olyroos boys…

“Obviously we have Roly (Bonevacia) and Fabian Monge, who comes back in, coming back from injury after playing in the VPL on the weekend.”

“We’ve got Broxy, we’ve got Connor (Champan), we have some good options that can play in there. They’ve all been training well and preparing well, waiting for their opportunity.”

On what Bonevacia brings to the midfield dynamic…

“Whenever we’ve put him (Roly) on, regardless of who he’s come on for, he gives you that control in midfield and he always wants the ball.”

“He’s always on the ball, so it allows you to keep good possession and he’s a player that loves to shoot. So he adds something outside the box which you don’t see often from midfielders. And that’s a clear attribute that he has.”

On leaving Wellington with all three points this time around…

“Well, we have to at least match the performance. You know, they’re up there (second on the table) for a reason because they’re doing extremely well and getting the results they require.”

“And at home, they’re strong and as that game last time showed, you know, they came back in the last moment against us, but we played well that day. That will be a minimum requirement.”

“Again, we need to play well. We need to back up this performance against Melbourne City. Try and add a little bit more away from home. It’ll be tough. But you know, an exciting game.”

On hunting down a top-two finish…

“It’s 3 points and we can close the gap on Wellington. We have to have the mindset that ‘now we have a chance to win a third consecutive match’. We haven’t done that this year.”

Last Time

The Stats