Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory

Two rivals with nothing to choose between them lock horns. It’s a massive midweek match-up

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory Wednesday 5 January 2011 7:30PM

Two rivals with nothing to choose between them lock horns. It-s a massive midweek match-up as the race for Grand Finals spots heats up!

When the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season draws to a close after 30 games, two teams that will hope to be looking towards the Grand Finals are Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory.

However, with more clubs than ever vying for a place in the top six, this season it-s going to be tougher than ever to secure one of those sought after spots. Therefore, it could end up being games like Wednesday-s that decides who gets a golden ticket and who misses out completely.

Every point counts and a tussle with a side that could potentially steal your Finals slot takes on the importance of a cup final. After all, not only does it put points on the board, but it takes vital points away from rivals too.

Phoenix, therefore, are set to play plenty of cup finals between now and game 30, starting at the Westpac on Wednesday as Melbourne Victory make up a tough opponent. As the two sides jostle for position in the run-in, there is little to choose between them.

Both games so far in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season have ended all-square. The first midweek encounter of the season ended with a goalless draw. Since then, the two teams- matches have resulted in well over 100 goals - something which was illustrated when the sides next met.

Then, Victory's Archie Thompson became the first player to notch 50 Hyundai A-League goals in a brilliant 2-2 draw. After Phoenix took the lead, Thompson and fellow goal-machine Robbie Kruse turned things around, only for Phoenix to steal a point five minutes from time through Paul Ifill-s finish.

While The Fever Zone won-t have Ifill to rely on for the visit of Victory, they will still go into the game in the knowledge that their team are simply unbelievable at home. It doesn-t matter who visits, at Westpac, Wellington are confident of sending any opponent packing with nothing to show for the visit other than a match day programme.

Like their hosts, Ernie Merrick-s side were far from great on the road in the second half of 2010, so the clever money would certainly be on Phoenix to remain unbeaten against Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.

Can Victory cause a shock by coming away with three important points, or will Westpac remain the fortress that it has been for so long? Get your tickets today and find out. If 2010 is any indicator, then 2011 is going to be a magnificent year for football in the Hyundai A-League. Let-s start the year as we mean to go on, with a big crowd making heaps of noise! Warm your lungs up, the season is really cooking now!

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