The next four games for Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory are vital. The reason: they are all on the road, and some of the biggest names are on the cards. Ernie Merrick’s Wellington Phoenix are not a big name in the sense of being lethal production-wise, but their plight to remain in the competition has been well-publicized.
Sitting in seventh position, Wellington have three wins, two draws and three defeats for a grand total of 11 points in a still-tight A-League ladder. As for the Victory, with five wins against a draw, defeat and game in hand apiece, a strong performance is the only acceptable option.
Indeed, Melbourne are looking for growth outside of their own backyard, after recording a $1.5 million dollar profit, according to the Financial Review.
“As the game evolves, I think the future of it will be about having more ties in Asia – both from a playing and player development sense, and business wise – and into other places like North America with the MLS (Major League Soccer),” said Victory club chairman Anthony Di Pietro. “So we will hold events around the Asian Champions League that we think can be successful. We are looking at potential sites around Melbourne for an academy and we think that is very exciting for our future.”
Kickoff for Wellington Phoenix vs. Melbourne Victory is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5 at 10:15 p.m. PT (Thursday)/1:15 a.m. ET/7:15 p.m. NZDT. Here’s what we think will happen in the match between Wellington and Melbourne Victory.
At least four goals will be scored. At least 40 fouls will be whistled and three cards will be issued. A shot will hit the post. Roly Bonevacia and Albert Riera will score for Wellington. Oliver Bozanic and Kosta Barbarouses will score for Melbourne. There will be no goals for Besart Berisha in this game. Glen Moss will make at least five saves, while Danny Vukovic will make at least four. Finally, no goals will be scored in the first 10 minutes, but a goal will be scored in the last 10 minutes and/or stoppage time.
In the end, this match is going to end in a hotly contested draw, the Nix standing tall as they continue to fight for their survival, for respect, for relevance. As for the Victory, this will be an ill-timed draw, as their new nemesis, the Western Sydney Wanderers, watch from across the Tasman.
Wellington Phoenix 2, Melbourne Victory 2
A special live blog of Wellington Phoenix vs. Melbourne Victory will be posted this Friday on The Stoppage Time. Keep it right here on TST for more Hyundai A-League news.