Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City: match preview
Wellington Phoenix will want to prove their Distance Derby loss to Perth Glory was a mere blip when they take on Hyundai A-League high-flyers Melbourne City at Eden Park in Auckland.
Ufuk Talay's side went down 4-2 in Western Australia, making it two defeats in three matches since their club record levelling nine-game unbeaten streak was ended in January.
The Kiwi club will face City without right-back Tim Payne, who is set for a suspension for his red card at HBF Park, while second-placed City come off a confidence-boosting Melbourne Derby triumph against crosstown rivals Victory.
That was the first time City had claimed Derby bragging rights under Erick Mombaerts' stewardship and the visitors will seek to build some momentum after some up-and-down form, having won only three of their last eight matches.
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Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 5.Matti STEINMANN, 7.Reno PISCOPO, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9. David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 12. Brandan Wilson, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Callan ELLIOT, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Callum MCCOWATT, 27.Steven TAYLOR (c), 31.Ben WAINE, 32.Sam SUTTON, 88. Gary HOOPER
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Liam McGING (Promoted), 5.Matti STEINMANN (Promoted), 17.Callan ELLIOT (Promoted), 31.Ben WAINE (Promoted)
Outs: 6.Tim PAYNE (Suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 16.Louis FENTON (Shoulder - season), 23.Walter SCOTT (Injury – Knee)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Florin BERENGUER 11.Craig NOONE, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 14.Markel SUSAETA, 17.Denis GENREAU, 19.Lachlan WALES, 20.Adrian LUNA, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 22.Curtis GOOD, 23.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 30.Moudi NAJJAR, 36.Kerrin STOKES, 34.Connor METCALFE, 49.Stefan COLAKOVSKI
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 23.Dean BOUZANIS (returns to squad), 30.Moudi NAJJAR (promoted), 34.Connor METCALFE (returns from injury)
Outs: 46.Joe GAUCI (omitted)
Unavailable: 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE (suspended - 1 week), 5.Jack HENDRY (knee), 40.Richard WINDBICHLER (hamstring)
Did you know?
- Each of the last 14 Hyundai A-League games between the Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City have had a winner on the day, with Melbourne City (W10) having a clear edge in that time.
- Wellington Phoenix have won their last three home games on the bounce against Melbourne City in the Hyundai A-League, more than they had won in their seven such meetings prior (W2, D1, L4).
- Wellington Phoenix are undefeated at Eden Park in the Hyundai A-League (W3, D3); although, none of those wins were decided by a margin of more than one goal.
- Melbourne City have won only four of their last 15 Hyundai A-League games played outside Melbourne (D1, L10) and are winless in their last three such fixtures (D1, L2).
- Melbourne City (2) are one of only two teams (Sydney FC – 2.1) to have averaged 2+ goals scored per game away from home this Hyundai A-League season.