Although Wellington's campaign may be all but over, they should still give Melbourne a stern challenge in their final round of the season.
Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013 Kick-off: 2:30pm AEDT, 4,30pm local Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Head-to-head: Played: 17: Wins: Wellington 2, Victory 9, Draws: 6
Previous Encounter: Victory 2-0 Wellington, January 5, 2013
Form: Past five matches: Wellington: DLWLW Victory: LWDDL
The Game Despite where both sides sit on the table, their form has been quite indifferent of late. Wellington will look to finish a disappointing season on a high after defeating Perth Glory.
All eyes, however, will be on how Victory respond, as they will desperately be looking to find their form as they head into the finals, following a gut-wrenching defeat to Perth in their last outing.
While Wellington have strung together a couple of good performances in the last few games, Melbourne seem to be slowing down at precisely the wrong time, winning only one of their previous five matches.
This is something that they must look to turn around if they hope to win another A-League championship, stating with the Phoenix on Sunday.
Starting Marcos Flores in the loss to Perth was a gamble that has unfortunately not paid off for Victory, as they now must wait to see if the extent of his aggravated injury will force him onto the sidelines during the finals.
A win for Victory will keep them in third spot, but a loss could see them drop down to fourth, a scenario Ange Postecoglou will be determined not allow to happen.
The Big Issue Wellington: The Phoenix will be focusing on how to build for next season, and will try to keep their good end to the season on track with a win against Melbourne. Depending on Melbourne Heart's result against the Mariners, Wellington could lift themselves off the bottom of the table, condemning Victory's local rivals to the wooden spoon.
Melbourne: Although they have a finals place secured, three points would keep Melbourne in third and would allow them to take on the team who finishes sixth, which would be considered their best possible scenario. Considering Victory have also only won one of their last five games, a win would bring a much welcomed confidence boost ahead of the finals campaign.
The Gamebreaker Marco Rojas: The 21-year-old may return to action from international duty with New Zealand this week to provide Melbourne with some much needed goals in preparation for the run-in.
The All Whites international has scored 14 times in 24 appearances so far this campaign, making him Victory-s leading marksman, and they will be hoping his return can inspire a turnaround in their fortunes as the season nears a close.
Prediction: Phoenix 1-2 Victory Melbourne may field a more familiar line-up this week, with Socceroos Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan and Marco Rojas returning from midweek international duty, which may play a key part in their quest to return to winning ways on Sunday.
Although Wellington's campaign may be considered all but over, they will not consider themselves pushovers in the upcoming tie, and should give Melbourne a stern challenge in their final round of the season.