Melbourne Victory v Western United
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT
Melbourne Victory hosts Western United in a blockbuster Isuzu UTE A-League clash at AAMI Park on Boxing Day.
Victory and Western sit third and second on the table respectively ahead of Sunday’s encounter.
Tony Popovic’s side has lost just one of seven competitive games this season, but had Wednesday’s scheduled FFA Cup clash against the Gold Coast Knights postponed.
The meeting with Western begins a run of three consecutive matches at AAMI Park for Victory.
It is also set to mark a milestone 100th Isuzu UTE A-League game for Robbie Kruse, with 73 of his 99 coming in Victory colours.
Victory is unbeaten in two games heading in, having played out a pulsating 2-2 draw with City in the Melbourne Derby last time out.
Francesco Margiotta and Nick D’Agostino scored their second goals of the season in the draw.
Margiotta opened the scoring with a fine finish following a pass from Jake Brimmer – whose four big chances created this season are the most in the league – before D’Agostino netted a late equaliser.
Victory was dealt a first-half blow with an injury to Marco Rojas, with Chris Ikonomidis making his return from injury from the bench.
The return of Jason Davidson from suspension is set to be a boost for Victory.
Western and Victory met in Round 1, with Roderick Miranda’s second-half header earning Popovic’s side the three points.
Player in focus
Brimmer has made a strong start to the season and his assist against City was his second of the campaign, with both coming from set-pieces. The midfielder is continuing to grow impressively at Victory.
What they said
“They’ve done really well, they’re full of confidence as well so it’s going to be another exciting match. We’re hoping that when we’re at our best and playing really well that we’ll be better on the day and it’s just going to come down to who’s ready on the day.” – Victory captain Josh Brillante told a news conference.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 1
Western United 0-1 Melbourne Victory
Saturday, November 20, 2021
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
Victory edged Western United in Geelong last month.
Roderick Miranda headed in a Jake Brimmer corner in the 75th minute for the game’s only goal.
Head to head
Round 1, 2021/22: Western 0-1 Victory at GMHBA Stadium
Round 23, 2020/21: Western 1-6 Victory at AAMI Park
Round 10, 2020/21: Victory 3-4 Western at Marvel Stadium
Round 6, 2020/21: Western 0-0 Victory at AAMI Park
Round 28, 2019/20: Victory 1-2 Western at CommBank Stadium