Melbourne Victory’s Isuzu UTE A-League side will be looking to build upon an important finals run on Saturday afternoon as they face the Nix in Wellington.
Victory’s last result was a fortnight ago when they defeated the high-flying Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park and will be looking to notch back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
The international break may have come at a good time for Victory to rest and reset their focus to the final rounds of the season with three games and nine points up for grabs over the next week which could see them catapult up the table if results fall their way.
Despite being without Fernando Romero this week, who is serving a one-match suspension after his send-off last match, Victory will be looking to make it a season sweep of the Nix with Bruno Fornaroli, Jake Brimmer and Tomi Juric on the scoresheet in last February’s 3-1 win at AAMI Park.
While the Nix found some form after that contest, their four-match unbeaten run was halted emphatically before the international break by Adelaide United with a 5-1 loss at Hindmarsh Stadium. The Reds had five different scorers in the contest which had Wellington licking their wounds heading into this week’s contest.
This will be Victory’s first trip to NZ since March 2020 and will be looking to buck a trend that has seen the home side in the match up go undefeated in the past 15 fixtures but if there is every a weekend to do it, it’s this week with so much on the line for Tony Popovic’s side.
Melbourne Victory squad
1.Matt ACTON, 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Enrique LOPEZ, 4.Rai MARCHAN, 5.Damien DA SILVA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Josh BRILLANTE, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Connor CHAMPMAN, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 18.Bruce KAMAU, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 24.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 26.Lleyton BROOKS, 28.Will WILSON, 29.Eli ADAMS
In: 16.Stefan NIGRO (promoted), 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), 26.Lleyton BROOKS
Out: 19.Fernando ROMERO (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 17.Luis NANI (injured), 22.Jake BRIMMER (injured), 31.Matt BOZINOVSKI (injured)