North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand is the site for The Stoppage Time’s Live Blog between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory on Saturday, Dec. 5. This match is part of Round 9 of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:15 p.m. PT (Friday Dec. 4)/1:15 a.m. ET/7:15 p.m. NZDT.
After passing a fitness test, France international Matthieu Delpierre is expected to be back in the starting lineup for Kevin Muscat‘s Victory. Delpierre was substituted out as a precaution in Melbourne’s 2-1 win over Adelaide United last weekend.
“Matthieu was more a precaution. We were going well at the time so I didn’t really want to make a substitution but thought it was better to err on the side of caution,” Muscat said. “We analysed and reviewed the Wellington game [from Melbourne Cup eve] but that is well in the past and that performance and that result is not going to help us a great deal tomorrow.
“It’s what we do from now until then and, more importantly, what we do on the night that’s going to influence the result. Having said that, we took some comfort out of the way we played against them last time. We think we have improved since that game and we want to improve on our performance as a whole from last week.”
As for Wellington, you can expect a strong turnout for this game, despite boycotts all around the other home matches in Australia.
“With such a strong push from the FFA against our club’s license extension we feel continuing our fight against that decision is a priority for the Wellington Phoenix fans at this time,” said David Cross of the Yellow Fever. “Fighting to ensure the treatment of the league’s fans is fair and reasonable and is important to us all but will not mean much if we no longer have a club to support.”
Join Jo-Ryan Salazar at 8:00 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET for complete coverage of this special encounter in Tāmaki Makaurau, exclusively on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer!