Melbourne Victory makes the trip to ANZ Stadium to face the Western Sydney Wanderers in its first Hyundai A-League game of 2019.
Victory is on an eight-match unbeaten run heading into the Round 11 clash on Saturday, although it has drawn its past two matches.
It came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Wellington Phoenix in its final outing of 2018, with Ola Toivonen scoring the equaliser.
Toivonen, 32, maintained his record of having scored or assisted in each of his Hyundai A-League appearances.
The star Swedish striker has scored five goals – equal with Keisuke Honda this season – and provided two assists in seven games.
Terry Antonis set up Toivonen’s goal against Wellington, taking the midfielder onto a team-high four assists this campaign.
Victory was again without Honda, Georg Niedermeier and Raul Baena due to injury, while Nick Ansell came off early with a suspected hamstring problem.
The trip to Sydney begins a busy run of six games in January for Victory, which enters Round 11 in second on the table.
Victory has a strong record against the Wanderers, having won 11 and lost just four of the 19 meetings between the clubs.
Western Sydney is eighth on the table ahead of the clash against Victory.
Player in focus
What they said
“We’ve already put the hard work in in pre-season to be fit for these games so fitness is not an issue with us. It’ll just be all about playing games and recovering for the next one so I’m looking forward to it.” – Victory left-back Corey Brown.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 6
Melbourne Victory 4-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Victory delivered arguably its best performance of the season when the teams met at the start of December.
Honda, Baena, Kosta Barbarouses and Antonis were on the scoresheet in an impressive win.
As it stands
Head to head
Round 6, 2018/19: Victory 4-0 Wanderers at Marvel Stadium
Round 25, 2017/18: Victory 3-1 Wanderers at AAMI Park
Round 17, 2017/18: Wanderers 0-3 Victory at ANZ Stadium
Round 5, 2017/18: Victory 1-1 Wanderers at Marvel Stadium
Round 26, 2016/17: Wanderers 0-0 Victory at ANZ Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Kick-off: 7.50pm AEDT
1. Matt ACTON (GK), 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Corey BROWN, 5. Georg NIEDERMEIER 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Kenny ATHIU, 8. Terry ANTONIS, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. James TROISI, 11. Ola TOIVONEN, 13. Birkan KIRDAR, 14. Tommy DENG, 15. Raul BAENA, 16. Josh HOPE, 19. Rahmat AKBARI, 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21. Carl VALERI (C), 24. Elvis KAMSOBA
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 15.Raul BAENA (return from injury), 5.Georg Niedermeier (return from injury)
Outs: 22.Nick Ansell (injured)
Unavailable: Jai Ingham (quad – TBC), Keisuke Honda (Hamstring – 4 weeks)