Melbourne Victory looks to bounce back when it faces the Wellington Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League on Friday.
Victory saw a five-match unbeaten run ended last time out, edged by Perth Glory 2-1 to suffer its second defeat in 16 matches.
But it quickly gets a chance to respond when it makes the trip to Eden Park in Auckland to face the Phoenix.
Second-placed Victory pushed hard late against Perth, but was only able to pull one back through Kosta Barbarouses.
Barbarouses’ goal was his 10th of the league campaign, already matching his tally from last season.
He is Victory’s leading goalscorer this season alongside Ola Toivonen, who missed the meeting with Perth due to injury.
Leigh Broxham produced his first assist of the campaign with a clever through ball for Barbarouses’ goal.
Victory is seven points behind league leader Perth, while it is one ahead of Sydney FC and six clear of Adelaide United.
It has lost just one of its past five matches against Wellington, although both clashes between the teams this season have ended in draws.
Victory was boosted by the return of Keisuke Honda from injury against Perth, the Japanese star and defender Georg Niedermeier coming off the bench to play half an hour.
Player in focus
What they said
“I’ve hit my initial objective that I’ve set myself which was to get into double figures for the season so it’s time to set new targets, not for myself, to help the team. I know getting goals is going to help the team so I’m just doing my job at the end of the day and I’m playing more centrally, sometimes a bit wider the last few weeks, but I just want to be available to be in goalscoring opportunities and to take them when they come to me.” – Victory forward Barbarouses.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) February 12, 2019
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 14
Melbourne Victory 3-3 Wellington Phoenix
Sunday, January 20, 2019
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Victory and Wellington played out an entertaining draw when they met last month.
Toivonen, James Troisi and Barbarouses were on the scoresheet as Victory came from 3-1 down to earn a point.
As it stands
Head to head
Round 14, 2018/19: Victory 3-3 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 10, 2018/19: Victory 1-1 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 26, 2017/18: Victory 2-1 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 15, 2017/18: Phoenix 2-1 Victory at Westpac Stadium
Round 9, 2017/18: Phoenix 2-3 Victory at Westpac Stadium
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
Eden Park, Auckland
Friday, February 15, 2019
Kick-off: 5.35pm AEDT
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4. Keisuke HONDA, 5. Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (C), 7.Kenny ATHIU, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 13. Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Tommy DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 17. James DONACHIE, 19. Rahmat AKBARI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 24.Elvis KAMSOBA, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 13. Birkan KIRDAR (promoted), 17. James DONACHIE (promoted), 19. Rahmat AKBARI (promoted)
Outs: 8. Terry ANTONIS (suspended)
Unavailable: 23. Jai INGHAM (quad), 21. Carl VALERI (hamstring), 11. Ola TOIVONEN (cork)