Men’s Match Preview: Western must-win looms 

Melbourne Victory will be looking to keep pace with the chasing pack as they continue to search for a Finals berth on Monday against Western United at AAMI Park. 

Tony Popovic’s side will be out to start a string of wins starting against Western, as the two teams resume their hostilities and return to the scene of last season’s Semi Final. 

Despite the loss to Sydney last week, Victory was on top in most of the aspects of the contest at Allianz Stadium and was only undone by a controversial set piece that saw the sky blues take all three points. 

With the positives from the last match still driving the side, Victory will head into Monday’s contest unbeaten in three matches at AAMI Park – recording two wins and a draw – and will be looking to re-establish their home ground supremacy. 

Western themselves have strung together two consecutive wins against Newcastle and Perth over the past fortnight but their struggles defending have seen them become a shadow of a side that won the Championship last season. 

In contrast, the mid-season additions of Connor Chapman and Damien Da Silva have solidified Victory’s backline with the latter beginning to form a formidable partnership with Roderick Miranda in the center of defence. 

It will be the midfield and forward line that all eyes will be on though as Tony Popovic looks to fill the void left by Jake Brimmer and his meniscus injury and he will need to find a winning formula heading into the most important period of the season. 

Both sides will be desperate for a result that will give an important boost to their Finals hopes with only seven matches remaining. 

Recent history against Western 

2022/23, December 26: Western 1-0 Victory 
2022, August 3: Western 2-1 Victory 
2021/22, May 21: Victory 1-4 Western 
2021/22, May 17: Western 0-1 Victory 
2021/22, March 23: Victory 1-1 Western

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, 19.Fernando ROMERO, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 24.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 28.Will WILSON, 29.Eli ADAMS

In: 16.Stefan NIGRO (promoted), 23.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted)

Out: nil

Unavailable: 17.Luis NANI (injured), 22.Jake BRIMMER (injured), 31.Matt BOZINOVSKI (injured)

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League – Round 20
Melbourne Victory v Western United
Monday 13 March
Kick-off: 6.00pm (AEDT)
AAMI Park, Melbourne