Isuzu UTE A-League preview: Western v Victory

Match details

Western United v Melbourne Victory
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT


Melbourne Victory begins the Isuzu UTE A-League campaign against Western United at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on Saturday.

Head Coach Tony Popovic will take charge of a new-look Victory for the first time in a competitive game in the opening-round blockbuster.

Victory has played five pre-season friendlies since August, winning four, in preparation for the new season.

It is a much-changed Victory squad as the Club aims to make a winning start to the campaign.

Of Victory’s senior squad, nine players have never played for the Club, while four of those – Roderick Miranda, Ivan Kelava, Francesco Margiotta and Rai Marchan – are yet to play in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Josh Brillante, one of the players yet to feature in Victory colours, was named captain of the team on Monday.

Victory will be without goalkeeper Matt Acton (back injury), with Jerrad Tyson signed on an injury-replacement contract earlier this month.

The previous two meetings between Victory and Western United have each seen seven goals scored, with the former winning the last clash 6-1 in May.

Victory is also closing in on a landmark achievement, just three goals away from becoming the first Club in the competition’s history to score 700 goals.

Alongside Victory, only Sydney FC (691) have netted more than 650 times in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

What they said

“I think we’re building really nicely, I think everyone is going to come out firing. We’ve got fans back, which is amazing, it’s a derby game, I think everyone’s going to be ready to go and I think it’s going to be a great start, there’s going to be plenty of energy and our team is looking really dynamic so it’s exciting.” – Victory captain Brillante told RSN.

Last time

Isuzu UTE A-League 2020/21 Round 23
Western United 1-6 Melbourne Victory
Friday, May 28, 2021
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory recorded a resounding win over Western United when the teams met late last season.

Elvis Kamsoba scored a brace to go with strikes from Jake Brimmer, Rudy Gestede, Ben Folami and Jacob Butterfield.

Head to head

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
Round 9, 2019/20: Western 3-1 Victory at GMHBA Stadium