Elimination Final preview: Victory v Phoenix

Melbourne Victory hosts the Wellington Phoenix in a blockbuster Hyundai A-League Elimination Final at AAMI Park on Friday.

Summary

Victory finished third in the regular season, earning hosting rights in the opening week of the finals.

It welcomes a Phoenix side which finished sixth to AAMI Park for the first final between the clubs, and fourth meeting this season.

Victory enters the Finals Series in winning form after beating the Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 at ANZ Stadium.

Ola Toivonen's superb header – his 13th league goal of the campaign – was enough to take Victory to 50 points for the regular season.

Only Kosta Barbarouses (14) has scored more league goals for Victory this season, the duo forming a fine partnership up front.

Barbarouses has also netted four finals goals for Victory, trailing only Archie Thompson (10) and Besart Berisha (six).

James Troisi, who has the most Hyundai A-League assists for the club with eight this campaign, appears unlikely to make his return from a hamstring injury against Wellington.

Lawrence Thomas remains an appearance away from becoming the first goalkeeper to play 100 league games for Victory after missing the clash against the Wanderers.

Wellington goes into the clash on the back of three losses in its past four, including a 5-0 defeat to Perth Glory last time out.

While Victory is unbeaten in its past four matches against the Phoenix, the teams have drawn three times this season.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Honda 1819

What they said

"It's really exciting, looking forward to it. I think in the A-League everyone gets really excited for finals time and the boys in the change room are the same – really excited." – Victory defender James Donachie.

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 19
Wellington Phoenix 1-1 Melbourne Victory
Friday, February 15, 2019
Eden Park, Auckland

Victory and Wellington played out their third draw in as many meetings in February.

Roy Krishna opened the scoring for the Phoenix, but Keisuke Honda's second-half penalty saw Victory earn a point.

Opta Widget: Last time

Head to head

Round 19, 2018/19: Phoenix 1-1 Victory at Eden Park
Round 14, 2018/19: Victory 3-3 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 10, 2018/19: Victory 1-1 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 26, 2017/18: Victory 2-1 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 15, 2017/18: Phoenix 2-1 Victory at Westpac Stadium

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Friday, May 3, 2019
Kick-off: 7.50pm AEST

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14.Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Joshua HOPE, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.Rahmat AKBARI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI, 24. Elvis KAMSOBA
**two to be omitted**

Ins:  3.Corey BROWN (promoted), 16.Joshua HOPE (promoted) 19.Rahmat AKBARI (promoted)
Outs: 10.James TROISI (hamstring)
Unavailable: nil