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May 6, 2021 at 10.05am UK
VictoryMelbourne Victory
Kamsoba (23')
Kruse (85')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Susaeta (31'), Meredith (69')
Milligan (80'), Derbyshire (90+3')

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

:Headline: Preview: Melbourne Victory vs. Macarthur - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Australian A-League clash between Melbourne Victory and Macarthur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Macarthur head into their fixture with Melbourne Victory on Thursday looking to end a five-match winless streak in the A-League.

While the visitors are looking to return to the top four, Victory will move clear of bottom-of-the-table side Newcastle Jets if they can continue their resurgence under Steve Kean.

Match preview

Having been placed in charge on an interim basis, Kean will be taking every game as it comes as he bids to impress the powers-that-be at Melbourne Victory.

Nevertheless, the former Blackburn Rovers boss will be pleased with a return of four points from three matches, the latest point coming from a 1-1 draw against title-chasing Central Coast Mariners.

Like in the previous fixture at Sydney FC, Victory conceded in the opening few minutes, but Callum McManaman's second-half equaliser earned his team a point.

Victory will continue to play for pride for the remainder of the campaign, but Kean will feel that prevailing in their next fixture will give the club every chance of finishing ahead of 10th-placed Perth Glory, their opponents on May 9.

At a time when Victory appear to be on an upward trajectory, Macarthur have plateaued after initially challenging for top spot on their introduction to the division.

Although they deserve credit for their recent draw against leaders Melbourne City, their other two stalemates have been against teams in the bottom three.

The story is similar regarding clean sheets with their only three shutouts in 10 encounters being versus clubs in ninth position and lower.

While Ante Milicic and his side have an opportunity to improve that record in their next outing, they are coming under increasing pressure to avoid dropping into the bottom half of the standings.

Top goalscorer Matt Derbyshire has failed to net in his last three appearances, the veteran's longest drought since the opening weeks of the season.

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

Macarthur Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D

Team News

Kean has revealed that McManaman will miss the next two matches with an ankle injury sustained against the Mariners.

Ben Folami will also miss out with a groin issue, leaving Brandon Lauton in line to return to the Victory starting lineup.

Adama Traore is back in contention after serving a three-man suspension.

Macarthur will be without Denis Genreau after the midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign in the last fixture.

Liam Rose or Antonis Martis are in contention to be named as his replacement, while Aleksandar Susnjar is back after a one-match ban.

Melbourne Victory possible starting lineup:
Acton; Roux, Ansell, Ryan, Broxham; Brimmer, Butterfield; Lauton, Kruse, Brooks; Gestede

Macarthur possible starting lineup:
Federici; McGing, Milligan, Golec; La.Rose, Li.Rose, Benat, Meredith; Ruhs, Derbyshire, Puyo

We say: Melbourne Victory 1-1 Macarthur

Given the contrasting form of the two sides, there is an argument that Victory deserve to be regarded as favourites ahead of this contest.

Nevertheless, we still expect Macarthur to earn a share of the spoils, a result which would not necessarily benefit either team.

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