Round 14 preview: Victory v Phoenix

Melbourne Victory continues its busy January with a blockbuster clash against Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Summary

Victory recorded its third win in four games in 11 days with a 5-0 thrashing of Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

Kosta Barbarouses was the star with his first Hyundai A-League hat-trick – including his 50th goal in the competition – on Tuesday.

But Victory's busy run of games continues when it welcomes fifth-placed Wellington to Melbourne.

Victory was ruthless in Brisbane, with Ola Toivonen and Storm Roux joining Barbarouses on the scoresheet, while James Troisi provided two assists.

Strike duo Toivonen (eight) and Barbarouses (seven) have led Victory on the goalscoring front so far this season.

Meanwhile, star midfielders Terry Antonis and Troisi each have four assists, running the show behind the front pair.

However, Victory also ended a run of six games without a clean sheet with a solid display defensively against Brisbane.

Victory has two home games to finish January, a month in which it plays six games, and has so far collected nine points of a possible 12.

Wellington is unbeaten in its past eight games and is pushing for a top-four spot.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Thomas 1819

What they said

"Wellington's on a good roll at the moment. They're one of the in-form teams of the competition so we need to be wary, we need to recover well these next few days and we've got to be prepared for them to come and throw everything at us." – Victory forward Barbarouses.

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 10
Melbourne Victory 1-1 Wellington Phoenix
Friday, December 28, 2018
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory and Wellington played out an entertaining draw less than a month ago.

David Williams' 62nd-minute opener was cancelled out by Toivonen before Victory pushed late but was unable to find a winner.

Opta Widget: Last time

As it stands

Opta Widget: HAL table

Head to head

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

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Kick-off: 5.00pm AEDT

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 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), 24.Elvis KAMSOBA, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS 
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 7. Kenny ATHIU (promoted), 13. Birkan KIRDAR (promoted)
Outs: N/A
Unavailable: Jai INGHAM (quad – TBC), Keisuke HONDA (Hamstring – 4 weeks), Nick ANSELL (Hamstring – TBC), Georg NIEDERMEIER (Calf – TBC)