MX23RW : Monday, August 2 07:37:55| >> :600:5252116:5252116:
Mar 24, 2021 at 8.05am UK at Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
WellingtonWellington Phoenix
VictoryMelbourne Victory
Hemed (11'), Ball (36'), Davila (62'), Lewis (68')
Fenton (74')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Kamsoba (76')
Traore (65'), Kruse (70'), Butterfield (90+1')

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

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

Wellington Phoenix welcome Melbourne Victory to the Wollogong Showground on Wednesday in an important clash at the bottom of the Australian A-League table.

The Melbourne outfit currently sit at the bottom of the table with just seven points, while Monday's hosts sit two places ahead in 10th spot, having played one more game than their opponents.

Match preview

Melbourne Victory manager Grant Brebner pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Wellington Phoenix were held to a point last time out, as Golgol Mebrahtu equalised for Brisbane Roar after Tomer Hemed gave the Nix an early 1-0 lead.

Before that, they suffered a narrow defeat in an eye-catching encounter away at Western Sydney Wanderers.

The visitors led on three separate occasions through Ulises Davila, Cameron Devlin and Hemed, but the Sydney outfit bounced back quickly each time and came out with all three points thanks to a late Kwame Yeboah winner.

Ufuk Talay's side will be looking to return to winning ways in this game, having struggled to get going so far this campaign.

To do that, they will have to correct their poor home form, having picked up just one victory and five points from their six A-League games on home turf so far this season.

Talay will definitely be confident of doing that in this game, as his team welcome the league's basement side.

However, the Melbourne outfit will come into this match with a point to prove, as they look to reduce the distance between themselves and the teams above them.

Grant Brebner's side now sit four points adrift at the foot of the Australian top flight, having won just two of their 11 league games so far this campaign.

They will be looking to put an end to a three-game losing run on Wednesday, having lost 3-1 at home to Adelaide United last time out, as Jake Brimmer's opener for the hosts was overshadowed by a Stefan Mauk brace and a Kusini Yengi strike.

Before that, Brebner's side were on the wrong end of a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals Melbourne City, with Jamie Maclaren, Florin Berenguer, Rostyn Griffiths and Stefan Colakovski all getting on the scoresheet alongside a Connor Metcalfe brace.

That result is a major reason why Melbourne Victory currently have the worst defensive record in the league, with no other side conceding as many as the 26 they have shipped in 11 games.

Their attack has not been any better than that either, with no A-League side netting fewer than the 11 goals that Victory have scored this campaign.

As a result, Brebner will be desperate to change the fortunes of his side quickly as they look to climb off the foot of the table, with Wednesday presenting a good opportunity to do so.

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

Melbourne Victory Australian A-League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Melbourne Victory players celebrate in December 2020© Reuters

Wellington Phoenix will remain without centre-back Luke DeVere, who has missed the last six games with a long-term knee injury.

In his absence, Tim Payne and Liam McGing have paired up at the back, keeping three clean sheets in their last five games.

Tomer Hemed will lead the line for Talay's men, having found the net in each of his last two games.

He will be supported by the attacking threat of Ulises Davila, who tops their scoring charts with four league goals so far this season.

Melbourne Victory remain weakened by several injuries, as defenders Ryan Shotton and Dylan Ryan both continue spells on the sidelines.

They will also be without centre-back Leigh Broxham, who will serve a suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

It is not just the defence that has been hit though, as attacker Marco Rojas is also out of contention due to injury.

Rudy Gestede will lead the line, having netted three goals in his eight appearances since joining the club in November.

Matt Acton was preferred to Max Crocombe in the Victory goal last time out, and Brebner could give him his second start of the season in this game.

Wellington Phoenix possible starting lineup:
Sail; Rufer, Payne, McGing, McGarry; Davila, Devlin, Lewis, Piscopo; Hemed, Ball

Melbourne Victory possible starting lineup:
Acton; Roux, Ansell, Anderson, Traore; Brimmer, Butterfield; McManaman, Kruse, Folami; Gestede

SM words green background

We say: Wellington Phoenix 2-0 Melbourne Victory

While they are by no means the finished article, the Nix should come into this game with an advantage over a struggling Melbourne Victory side, especially one that is stricken with injuries.

The hosts should have more than enough to dominate the visitors and secure a fourth win of the campaign to help them climb the table.

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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Mexican forward Ulises Davila celebrates after scoring against France during the FIFA 2011 Under-20 World Cup third place football match in Bogota on August 20, 2011
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Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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