Round 25 preview: Victory v Mariners

Melbourne Victory plays its final home game of the Hyundai A-League regular season against the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.

Summary

As it prepares for its seventh straight Finals Series, Victory welcomes the Mariners to AAMI Park.

It goes into the clash after back-to-back defeats, having lost to Sydney FC and Guangzhou Evergrande since beating league leader Perth Glory.

After scoring his 50th Victory goal against the Sky Blues, Kosta Barbarouses again looked lively in China.

The forward has netted 14 times this season and became just the third player to reach 50 goals in all competitions for Victory.

Lawrence Thomas, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, would become the first goalkeeper to play 100 Hyundai A-League games for Victory if he features against the Mariners.

Terry Antonis (knee) and Raul Baena (hamstring) have also battled recent injuries.

Victory has won six of its 13 home games this season, scoring 25 goals and conceding 18.

It is unbeaten in its past 17 matches against the Mariners, a run dating back to 2013.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Troisi 1819

What they said

"We focus on our league. We have the A-League on Sunday so our main focus is for that. We have a busy schedule and it's going to be tough, it's a challenge, but we're up for the challenge and we have the right mentality for it." – Victory captain Carl Valeri.

"Obviously Melbourne are a good side as well, they're around the top of the table, champions from last year. They're the sort of games that this club, in the past, have loved going down and playing, backs against the wall and showing everyone that we can come out on top when we need to. We haven't thought about we haven't won for how long against this sort of team. For us, it's three games to go, we're five points behind Brisbane and that's our main goal – we want to catch Brisbane before the end of the season and get off the bottom of the table." – Mariners striker Matt Simon.

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 17
Central Coast Mariners 2-3 Melbourne Victory
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Victory came from behind in the second half in its last meeting with the Mariners.

A James Troisi strike and Ben Kennedy own goal cancelled out Andrew Hoole's brace before Kosta Barbarouses' 88th-minute winner.

Opta Widget: Last time

As it stands

Opta Widget: HAL table

Head to head

Round 17, 2018/19: Mariners 2-3 Victory at Central Coast Stadium
Round 4, 2018/19: Victory 4-1 Mariners at AAMI Park
Round 23, 2017/18: Victory 5-2 Mariners at AAMI Park
Round 14, 2017/18: Victory 1-1 Mariners at GMHBA Stadium
Round 4, 2017/18: Mariners 1-1 Victory at Central Coast Stadium

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Kick-off: 5.00pm 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, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14.Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 17.James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI, 24. Elvis KAMSOBA
**two to be omitted**

Ins:  2.Storm ROUX, (promoted), 7.Kenny ATHIU (promoted), 15.Raul BAENA (return from injury), 20.Lawrence THOMAS (promoted)
Outs: 25.Anthony LESIOTIS, 30.Matthew SUTTON
Unavailable: nil