Match preview: Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
You would not yet call it a crisis, but Melbourne Victory are enduring a worrying winless run as they head into Saturday night’s clash against Brisbane Roar at Marvel Stadium.
Tuesday evening's 2-1 loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the AFC Champions League means Kevin Muscat’s men have not won any of their last six matches in all competitions, including four in the Hyundai A-League.
With a 10-point gap between themselves in third and league-leaders Perth Glory, Victory’s Premiership hopes appear remote with six games to go.
But a clash against the struggling Roar provides ample opportunity to get back on track.
Victory have won five of their last eight Hyundai A-League games against Roar (D1 L2), including both this season, scoring nine goals in the process and conceding just two.
Brisbane's recent upturn in form hit a speed bump last Friday night as they went down 4-1 at home against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Well out of finals contention, Darren Davies’ side will play the role of spoilers over the last six rounds and they would love to throw a spanner in the works of Victory’s quest for a top-two finish.
Young attacker Dylan Wenzel-Halls is the man who could spark them if they are to pull off an upset, with the 21-year-old scoring four goals in his last five outings.
But it’s a former Roar player who has dominated this clash in recent times.
Six of Victory’s last 11 A-League goals against Brisbane have been scored by Kosta Barbarouses, including three of their last four.
Key Opta stats
- Melbourne Victory are undefeated in their last nine Hyundai A-League games against Brisbane Roar at Marvel Stadium; the last time they lost such a fixture was in September 2008.
- The Roar have scored 11 goals in the 15 minutes prior to half-time this season, three more than any other team in that period.
- Victory have converted 56% of their big scoring chances this Hyundai A-League season, the most of any team in the competition. They are the only team to have scored at least 50% of their big chances.
Ins and Outs
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 19.Rahmat AKBARI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 23.Jai INGHAM, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS **two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER (return from suspension), 11.Ola TOIVONEN (promoted), 19.Rahmat AKBARI (promoted), 21.Carl VALERI (return from injury)
Outs: 17.James DONACHIE (suspended), 14.Thomas DENG (International Duty)
Unavailable: 24. Elvis KAMSOBA (knee – TBC)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Brendan WHITE (gk), 4.Daniel BOWLES, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 11.Eric BAUTHEAC, 12.Ruon TONGYIK, 14.Alex LOPEZ, 15.Stefan NIGRO, 16.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 18.Joe CALETTI, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Tobias MIKKELSEN, 23.Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 33.HENRIQUE, 36.Daniel LECK, 38.Izaack POWELL, 92.Eli BABALJ **two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (promoted), 15.Stefan NIGRO (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Luke DEVERE (knee), 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee), 13.Stefan MAUK (groin), 19.Jack HINGERT (knee), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (broken leg), 26.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO (international duty)
How to watch
You can catch this Saturday night game on Fox Sports 505 as well as LIVE and FREE on Ten Bold with kick-off at 7:50pm AEDT. You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or by subscribing to Kayo Sports.
BE THERE at Marvel Stadium as Victory take on the Roar on Saturday night.
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