Round 22 preview: Victory v Sydney

Melbourne Victory continues its push for a finals spot when it hosts Sydney FC at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

Summary

Victory recorded a thrilling 2-1 win over Adelaide United in Round 21 to return to winning ways and boost its finals chances.

Marco Rojas scored his first goal since returning to the club before Andrew Nabbout produced a moment of brilliance in additional time.

Nabbout received a Migjen Basha pass on the left before cutting inside and firing a spectacular strike into the top corner.

It was Nabbout's eighth goal of the season in all competitions and fifth in the Hyundai A-League.

Victory enters Round 22 six points behind sixth-placed Brisbane Roar with seven games to play in the regular season.

Its meeting with Sydney is set to see goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas make his 150th appearance for the club in all competitions.

Thomas will become just the sixth player to reach the milestone for Victory, joining Leigh Broxham (368), Archie Thompson (251), Adrian Leijer (195), Kosta Barbarouses (161) and Roddy Vargas (153).

After a busy start to 2020, the clash against Sydney is one of just four matches Victory will play in March.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Thomas 1920

What they said

"It's just important now to take every game as it comes. It's tough to look forward too far ahead. You start looking towards finals too early and you start losing focus on what's in front of us and that's a big game against Sydney. They're obviously coming off a loss on the weekend which helps us because we get them at a good time and we need to get one over them because they beat us twice this season. It's important that we give our supporters another win and keep our finals hopes alive because now not only is it up to us to win games, it's also hoping other teams around us lose games. It is in our control, but some of it's not so we just have to do what we can control and beat Sydney this weekend." – Victory attacker Nabbout.

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Round 16
Melbourne Victory 0-3 Sydney FC
Friday, January 24, 2020
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory fell to the Sky Blues in January.

Adam le Fondre, Barbarouses and Alexander Baumjohann scored in Sydney's win before the latter and Broxham were sent off in additional time.

Opta Widget: Last time

As it stands

Opta Widget: HAL table

Head to head

Round 16, 2019/20: Victory 0-3 Sydney at AAMI Park
Round 6, 2019/20: Sydney 2-1 Victory at Jubilee Stadium
Semi Final, 2018/19: Sydney 6-1 Victory at Jubilee Stadium
Round 24, 2018/19: Sydney 2-1 Victory at the SCG
Round 16, 2018/19: Victory 2-1 Sydney at AAMI Park

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON, 2.Storm ROUX, 4.James DONACHIE, 5.Tim HOOGLAND, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Jakob POULSEN, 9.Andrew NABBOUT, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 16.Josh HOPE, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 18.Migjen BASHA, 19.Ben CARRIGAN, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 23.Marco ROJAS, 24.Anthony LESIOTIS, 25.Brandon LAUTON, 30.Matthew SUTTON, 38.So NISHIKAWA, 43.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO
**1-2 to be omitted**

Ins: 1.Matt ACTON (return from injury), 38.So NISHIKAWA (promoted), 43.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO (promoted)
Outs: 21.Adama TRAORE (hamstring)
Unavailable: 10.Robbie KRUSE (hamstring), 26.Jay BARNETT (leg)