Melbourne Victory returns to AAMI Park on Labor Day Monday as they look to cement their spot in the top four.
There will be more than Derby bragging rights on the line as both sides tussle for the final spots in the Liberty A-League Final Series, more so for Jeff Hopkins’ side with Canberra United hot on their heels for the last Finals spot.
Despite the week off, Victory’s squad will be debilitated with the devastating Achilles rupture to Elise Kellond-Knight ruling her out for the rest of the season while the young trio of Ava Briedis, Jessika Nash and Alana Murphy return late on Saturday from international duty.
Victory won’t let that affect their push for three points on Monday though, as Hopkins used the two-week period to tinker with all of the roles that were up for grabs for the contest.
The last match between the sides saw Victory settle for a point at Casey Fields in mid-January with Alex Chidiac’s strike cancelled out by Hannah Wilkinson’s reply just before the break but if the last contest was any indication, there will be plenty of fireworks in this clash.
Victory forward duo Catherine Zimmerman and Melina Ayres missed that contest and they will be hungry to make an impression on Monday with the duo starting to find form after injuries earlier in the season kept them out of the match-up.
Along with this, City have only won one of their last three matches – with the two losses coming against the sides that inhabit the other two finals spots – and will have a fight on their hands with a hungry Victory looking to maintain its distance from the chasing teams in the league.
Recent history against City
2022/23, January 15: City 1-1 Victory
2021/22, March 20: City 1-3 Victory
2021/22, December 26: Victory 1-5 City
2021/22, December 12: City 1-2 Victory
2020/21, January 17: Victory 2-3 City
Melbourne Victory squad
1.Casey DUMONT, 2. Tiffany ELIADIS, 3.Claudia BUNGE, 5.Jessika NASH, 6.Beattie GOAD, 8.Alana MURPHY, 9.Catherin ZIMMERMAN, 11.Natalie TATHEM, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16.Paige ZOIS, 17.Maja MARKOVSKI 18.Kayla MORRISON, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI, 20.Miranda TEMPLEMAN, 22.Ava BRIEDIS, 23.Emily KOS, 27.Rosie CURTIS
In: 23.Emily KOS (promoted), 27.Rosie CURTIS (promoted)
Out: 21.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (injured)
Unavailable: 7.Gema SIMON (injured)
Liberty A-League – Round 17
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
Monday 13 March
Kick-off: 3.20pm (AEDT)
AAMI Park, Melbourne