Feb 24, 2021 at 8.05am UK
VictoryMelbourne Victory
WellingtonWellington Phoenix
Gestede (45+3', 49')
Broxham (34'), Shotton (37'), Markovic (55'), Anderson (62')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Muratovic (18'), McGarry (25'), Fenton (51')

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

:Headline: Preview: Melbourne Victory vs. Wellington Phoenix - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:436322: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Australian A-League clash between Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Melbourne Victory welcome Wellington Phoenix to the AAMI Park on Wednesday morning as the Australian A-League's basement sides go head-to-head.

The hosts are currently rooted to the foot of the table ahead of this one but could leapfrog their upcoming opponents with a positive result in midweek.

Match preview

Grant Brebner's men invested heavily over the summer bringing in several big names players such as Callum McManaman, Jacob Butterfield and Rudy Gestede, although their results have not reflected that impressive outlay.

The Victory have picked up just four points from their opening seven outings, leaving them in 12th position in the A-League standings.

A 1-0 loss to Newcastle Jets last time out means Brebner's side have lost three consecutive fixtures, piling the pressure on their 43-year-old head coach.

Much was expected of Melbourne ahead of the current campaign, but they have been falling way below those expectations so far. They will be viewing this encounter as the perfect opportunity to kickstart their season and surge up the division.

The Phoenix had a very successful 2019-20 campaign, finishing third in the top flight before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

However, this season has been much more difficult. The New Zealand outfit are currently occupying 11th spot, just one point and one place above their midweek hosts.

Louis Fenton's late equaliser against Western Sydney Wanderers over the weekend ended a run of two consecutive defeats for Ufuk Talay's men and will have given them confidence coming into this one.

The Sky Stadium side will have been aiming for another top-six finish on the eve of the season and will be hoping three points on Wednesday gets them back on course for another playoff push.

Melbourne Victory Australian A-League form: LWDLLL

Wellington Phoenix Australian A-League form: DLWLLD

Team News

The only potential injury concern for Brebner is with right-winger Marco Rojas. The 29-year-old picked up an injury last time out and remains doubtful for the visit of Wellington.

Melbourne will be hoping to see their summer signings begin to produce their best form and may hand Gestede his first start of the season as they search for some good results.

Former Brighton & Hove Albion striker Tomer Hemed is ruled out of this one alongside Jaushua Sautirio and Luke DeVere, who are keeping the Israel international company in the treatment room.

Manchester City academy graduate David Ball has served his one-match suspension and could return to the starting line-up on Wednesday.

Melbourne Victory possible starting lineup:
Crocombe; Roux, Shotton, Ansell, Traore; Butterfield; McManaman, Brimmer, Kirdar, Kruse; Gestede

Wellington Phoenix possible starting lineup:
Sail; Fenton, Payne, McGing, McGarry; Davila, Rufer, Lewis, Piscopo; Waine, Muratovic

We say: Melbourne Victory 1-1 Wellington Phoenix

It is likely to be an extremely tight affair between two teams desperate not to lose ground at the bottom of the division. We fancy this to be a low-scoring draw after a game of few chances.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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