Round 10 preview: Victory v Phoenix

Carl Valeri is set to make his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance when Melbourne Victory hosts Wellington Phoenix on Friday.

Summary

The club captain, 34, is in line to become the 12th player to reach 100 league appearances for Victory.

Valeri is a two-time championship winner at Victory, while also claiming a premiership and the 2015 FFA Cup.

The midfielder has again played an important role for Victory this season, with the club unbeaten in seven heading into the clash with the Phoenix at AAMI Park.

Victory, which was without Keisuke Honda, Georg Niedermeier and Raul Baena, was held to a Derby draw by City last time out.

Ola Toivonen had given Victory a second-half lead before Dario Vidosic's late header saw City claim a point.

For Toivonen, it continued his fine start to life in Melbourne.

The Swedish striker has scored or assisted in each of his six Hyundai A-League games, contributing four goals and setting up two.

Toivonen's effort against City was set up by Kosta Barbarouses, who continued his good form with his second assist of the season.

Victory faces a Phoenix side finding form, coming into the clash on the back of three straight Hyundai A-League wins.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Toivonen 1819

What they said

"To play my 100th (league) game at Melbourne Victory, thinking about it, thinking about my time, would be very special to me. Not many players have done it. The club is very important to me, not just because of the success we've had. We've had a lot of success here and I love celebrating things with this club, that's one of the finest moments I think anyone who's been involved with Victory would agree. But the moment where things weren't going so well for me personally, the club really held my hand and was by my side at a tough time." – Victory captain Valeri.

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 26
Melbourne Victory 2-1 Wellington Phoenix
Sunday, April 8, 2018
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory produced a dramatic comeback when the teams met late last season.

After going behind to a Leigh Broxham own goal, Victory struck through a Leroy George penalty and Kenny Athiu goal late on, with Phoenix reduced to 10 men in additional time when Alex Rufer was sent off.

Opta Widget: Last time

As it stands

Opta Widget: HAL table

Head to head

Round 26, 2017/18: Victory 2-1 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 15, 2017/18: Phoenix 2-1 Victory at Westpac Stadium
Round 9, 2017/18: Phoenix 2-3 Victory at Westpac Stadium
Round 25, 2016/17: Victory 0-3 Phoenix at AAMI Park
Round 7, 2016/17: Phoenix 3-0 Victory at Westpac Stadium

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Friday, December 28, 2018
Kick-off: 7.50pm AEDT

1. Matt ACTON (GK), 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Corey BROWN, 4. Keisuke HONDA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Kenny ATHIU, 8. Terry ANTONIS, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. James TROISI, 11. Ola TOIVONEN, 13. Birkan KIRDAR, 14. Tommy DENG, 15. Raul BAENA, 16. Josh HOPE, 19. Rahmat AKBARI, 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21. Carl VALERI (C), 22. Nick ANSELL
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 4. Keisuke HONDA (return from injury), 15. Raul BAENA (return from injury)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: Jai Ingham (quad – TBC), 5. Georg NIEDERMEIER (ankle – TBC)