Official Preview: Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
Time to get back to winning ways at home! Victory return at AAMI Park and have plenty of ghosts
Thursday 18th November 7:30pm AAMI Park
Time to get back to winning ways at home! Victory return at AAMI Park and have plenty of ghosts they want to lay to rest…
The last time Melbourne Victory took to the field at AAMI Park, it was as the away side for the inaugural Melbourne derby. With a huge army of supporters comfortably outnumbering the home fans, there was an understandable confidence about Ernie Merrick-s more experienced side.
There was no way they would lose to their upstart neighbours. Or so they thought. As the history books will confirm. their confidence - perhaps overconfidence - was misplaced as Heart ran out 2-1 winners against a team that maybe rested slightly to much on their laurels. It was a grim night indeed for Melbourne Victory.
Now, after a mostly successful hat-trick of games at Etihad Stadium, Victory return to the scene of the derby crime - this time taking residence the home dressing room - and will be looking to banish the memory of that horrible evening by picking up three points against Central Coast Mariners and maintaining their, admittedly inconsistent, Finals challenge.
If they are to do so though, they-ll need a better showing than in their last home game. The 1-0 loss to Gold Coast United was their first defeat at Etihad in eleven games and their second loss of the season. It epitomised their stuttering form in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
For Central Coast Mariners, their third away game in a row will hold no fear. In Week 5, they comfortably overcame Victory 2-0 at the Bluetongue, thanks to goals from Rostyn Griffiths and Daniel McBreen. Since then, they have continued to grow and gel as a team and are playing some fine football at the moment.
If the likes of the flamboyantly-haired playmaker Mustafa Amini and the tricky Michael McGlinchey are on their game, then there is every chance Graham Arnold-s side can come away with something from their trip to AAMI Park. Of course, the venue holds a special memory for the Yellow Army, as they were the first away team to play and win there on the opening day of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
In fact, trips to Victoria in general have been amazingly fruitful for Mariners in the recent past. The last time they took on Victory in Melbourne, they came away with a 4-0 win, which equates to Victory-s biggest ever home defeat.
Similarly, on the first weekend of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, they found themselves 2-0 up within the first quarter of an hour and successfully shut-off the game to return home with three points.
There are so many bad memories for the North and South Terrace Boys to banish with this midweek clash: the defeat to Heart, the last two times Mariners have visited, the recent home loss to Gold Coast United.
With plenty of noise from the stands, you can encourage your team to go out there and secure the win that will make AAMI Park feel a lot more like home. Sing to win!