MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 23:13:17| >> :600:119861:119861:
May 16, 2021 at 7.05am UK at AAMI Park
Melbourne CityMelbourne City
WellingtonWellington Phoenix
Tsubaki (58'), MacLaren (81')
O'Neill (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hemed (37' pen., 88')
Lewis (79'), Hemed (89'), McGarry (90')

Preview: Melbourne City vs. Wellington Phoenix - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Australian A-League clash between Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The A-League continues with a fresh set of fixtures as league leaders Melbourne City host Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Despite their contrasting league positions, both sides head into this tie in similar form, avoiding defeat in their last eight and six games respectively.

Match preview

Melbourne City continued their charge for their first-ever league title as they claimed a comfortable win over Adelaide United on Thursday.

In a five-goal thriller, free-scoring striker Jamie Maclaren put on a clinic once again as he grabbed a second-half brace to give the hosts a 4-1 victory.

Patrick Kisnorbo's men have now won four games on the bounce and six in their last eight outings to go nine points clear at the top of the A-League table.

With one win needed from their final four games of the season to be crowned champions, Melbourne City will head into this clash aiming to quickly wrap up the title.

Meanwhile, after a poor start to the campaign which saw them languishing deep in the bottom half of the table, Wellington Phoenix have found their feet in recent weeks.

The visitors, who opened their season with five losses from their first eight games, have been beaten only three times since then, picking up six wins and four draws from the subsequent 13 games.

The Phoenix extended their unbeaten run to six games last time out as they played out a second straight goalless draw when they travelled to the Coopers Stadium to face fifth-placed Adelaide United.

Despite the result, Ufuk Talay will be happy with his side's performance as they have now taken five points from three consecutive games against the top six sides in the league.

This upturn in form has seen Wellington Phoenix rise to ninth place in the log, and considering just four points separate them and the playoff places, they could begin a late push for a top-six finish with a win on Sunday.

Melbourne City Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Wellington Phoenix Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Socceroo winger Andrew Nabbout will sit out this clash after he was hauled off with an adductor injury midway through Thursday's win over Adelaide United.

His absence could see 19-year-old forward Marco Tillo rewarded with his fourth league start of the campaign, after impressing off the bench against the Reds.

Right-back Nathaniel Atkinson is also on the club's injury list, having sustained a hamstring problem in the game against Wellington Phoenix on April 5.

Jamie Maclaren has taken the league by storm this season, scoring 24 goals in 21 outings, and we expect the Australian-born striker to cause the Phoenix lots of problems.

The visitors will be without experienced defender Luke DeVere, who sustained a knee problem against Central Coast Mariners back in February.

Other than that, Talay has the luxury of a full strength squad at his disposal and we expect the 45-year-old to name his strongest starting XI for this crunch game versus the league leaders.

Melbourne City possible starting lineup:
Glover; Galloway, Reis, Good, Jamieson; Metcalfe, O'Neill, Berenguer; Tilio, Noone, Maclaren

Wellington Phoenix possible starting lineup:
Sail; McGarry, Taylor, Payne, Sutton; Davila, Rufer, Lewis, Ball; Waine, Hemed

SM words green background

We say: Melbourne City 3-1 Wellington Phoenix

Both sides head into this game in great form and will be aiming to maintain their respective runs. However, looking at the gulf in quality between them, Melbourne City are clearly the superior team and we are predicting them to grab a comfortable win to seal the league title on Sunday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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