Preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

There appears to be plenty of goals in this one, especially given the previous two meetings between the two sides this season.

Date: Saturday, March 16, 2013 Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Head-to-head: Played: 26 - Wins: Sydney 6, Victory 9, Draws: 11

Previous encounter: Victory 3-1 Sydney, January 26, 2013

Form: Past five matches: Sydney FC: WWLLW Victory: LLLWD

The Game: 'Big Blue' fixtures are always highlights on the A-League calendar and this one shouldn't disappoint with so much at stake for both sides. Sydney are back in the box seat for a top six berth following their well-earned 2-0 win over the Central Coast last weekend. They are in fifth spot but with two away games to finish the season, will see this as a must-win clash if they are to make the finals.

Frank Farina is unlikely to make any changes to his starting XI for this one, although Socceroos skipper Lucas Neill (calf) and left-back Fabio (suspended) both should be available again and will push for spots on the bench.

The Victory missed a chance to heap pressure on second-placed Central Coast by only managing a 1-1 draw with Brisbane last weekend. It's just one win from their last five matches for Ange Postecoglou's side. But the bigger blow could be an ankle injury to in-form left-back Adama Traore, who isn't expected back until the first week of the finals at the earliest. Diogo Ferreira is the most likely replacement for Traore. The Victory have won both previous matches between the two side's this season, including a come-from-behind 3-2 at Allianz Stadium back in round six.

The big issue: Sydney - When the Sky Blues signed Neill last month, Farina said he didn't bring the Socceroos skipper in to sit on the bench. But the Sydney boss might need to go back on his word. Neill, who turned 35 last weekend, has played two matches for his new club which have both ended in defeats. Tiago Calvano and Adam Griffiths did a superb job together against the Mariners and deserve to keep their spot for this weekend. What Farina does - if Neill is passed fit to return it will be intriguing and could play a huge part in the home side's chances in this one.

Victory - Coaches are always talking about the need to have momentum heading into the finals and the Victory are desperate to find some. One win from five matches isn't exactly stellar form and they will won't to stop the rot now. With Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson and Marco Rojas all to miss the club's next game against Perth Glory due to international duty, Postecoglou will view the Sky Blues match as vital to rebuilding some confidence before the play-offs.

The game breaker: Marco Rojas - 'Kiwi Messi' has been the Victory's main man and Sydney FC's defenders are probably still having nightmares about him from their last encounter. On that occasion Rojas mesmerised the Sky Blues back-four his pacy runs and sublime close control, scoring twice in the Victory's 3-1 win. If Rojas, who is just one goal behind leading scorers Jeremy Brockie and Daniel McBreen, is on his game it could be a long night for the Sky Blues.

Prediction: Sydney 3-2 Victory There appears to be plenty of goals in this one, especially given the previous two meetings between the two sides this season. The Victory have taken out both those matches - scoring three goals both times - and with Archie Thompson and Marco Rojas in good form will be a constant threat. But the Sky Blues have a new love of playing on their home turf having won the last six matches on the trot. Sydney should be more desperate than the Victory, whose finals berth is assured, and it may just give them the edge.