Liberty A-League preview: Victory v Phoenix

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
Epping Stadium Sunday, December 4, 2022
Kick-off: 4:00pm AEST
Broadcast: 10Play, Paramount+


Melbourne Victory will seek to pick up their first points of the new campaign when they welcome Wellington Phoenix to Epping Stadium this Sunday.

Victory have made a slow start to their Championship defence, suffering back-to-back defeats in the opening two weeks.

This week they come up against a Wellington side that has also failed to take away any points from their opening two games, raising the stakes as both sides look to avoid a third consecutive loss to start the campaign.

Victory’s previous outing ended in a 2-0 defeat away to Sydney FC, which was further soured by a serious injury to star striker Catherine Zimmerman.

Losing the club’s top scorer from last season for an extended period is a major blow, although it does present head coach Jeff Hopkins with the opportunity to shake up an attacking unit which has failed to find the back of the net in their opening two games.

Victory will be optimistic about a change in their goalscoring fortunes against Wellington, with the Nix having conceded eight goals in their opening two fixtures.

Nonetheless, Victory will be wary of what is a youthful Phoenix side with some of the most exciting talents in the competition on their books.

A failure to win in their first home game of the season could spell disaster for Victory, and with a difficult away trip to Perth to follow in round four, three points are essential this weekend.

Player in focus

Melina Ayres has been one of the deadliest strikers in the competition over recent years, but is yet to find her best form this season.

Following Zimmerman’s injury, Ayres will be asked to carry even more responsibility leading the Victory frontline.

Against an inexperienced Phoenix defence, the 23-year-old will surely view this weekend as a golden opportunity to remind everyone of her quality.

Last time

Wellington Phoenix 0-2 Melbourne Victory
February 4, 2022
WIN Stadium

Head to head

2021/22 (Feb 4): Phoenix 0-2 Victory