Round 6 preview: Victory v Wanderers

Melbourne Victory looks to continue its fine form in the Hyundai A-League when it welcomes the Western Sydney Wanderers to Marvel Stadium.

Summary

Victory goes into Saturday's clash on the back of three straight wins, including a 2-1 success over Sydney FC last time out.

It has risen to second on the table after wins over the Newcastle Jets, Central Coast Mariners and Sky Blues.

Ola Toivonen marked his Victory starting debut with his first goal for the club against Sydney, while Keisuke Honda scored the winner from the penalty spot in the second half.

Honda, 32, has already contributed three goals and three assists in five games this season, while he leads the league in chances created (17).

Only Terry Antonis (two) has also managed to score multiple times so far this campaign for Victory.

Midfielder Raul Baena made his return from injury on Sunday, coming on for Antonis in the second half.

Victory has enjoyed a strong recent record against the Wanderers, unbeaten in the past eight meetings between the teams.

The Wanderers have won one of their five matches to begin the campaign and sit eighth on the table.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Deng 1819

What they said

"Three wins in a row, it's easy to feel great. After the few losses, the morale was still great at the start of the season. It's amazing what one win, let alone three wins, can do for morale in football." – Victory stalwart Leigh Broxham.

"They have a lot of good players and a lot of quality. They also struggled a little bit at the beginning of the season, but now you can see they are getting better week by week and it will be a tough game, but I think for us to play against one of the best teams in the league, nice stadium, I hope the pitch will be good so I think it will be a lot of fun and I think the whole team is very excited to play on Saturday." – Wanderers midfielder Alexander Baumjohann.

Last time

Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 25
Melbourne Victory 3-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, March 31, 2018
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory won a thrilling encounter at home when the teams met late last season.

After Leroy George and Alvaro Cejudo traded goals, Michael Thwaite and Kosta Barbarouses were sent off.

But a Besart Berisha penalty and stunning volley from Thomas Deng saw Victory secure three points.

Opta Widget: Last time

As it stands

Opta Widget: HAL table

Head to head

Round 25, 2017/18: Victory 3-1 Wanderers at AAMI Park
Round 17, 2017/18: Wanderers 0-3 Victory at ANZ Stadium
Round 5, 2017/18: Victory 1-1 Wanderers at Marvel Stadium
Round 26, 2016/17: Wanderers 0-0 Victory at ANZ Stadium
Round 10, 2016/17: Wanderers 0-3 Victory at ANZ Stadium

Opta Widget: H2H

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Kick-off: 7.50pm AEDT

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3. Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11. Ola TOIVONEN, 13. Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Thomas 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: 13. Birkan KIRDAR (promoted), 19. Rahmat AKBARI (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: Kenny ATHIU (hamstring – TBC), Jai Ingham (quad – TBC)