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  • 5 January 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • AAMI Park, Melbourne
  • Referee: B. Williams
  • • Attendance: 18609
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A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix

A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix

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They meet in losing form, but the undermanned Phoenix may have a tough time reversing that at AAMI Park on Saturday

GOAL.com Indonesia   By GOAL.COM

  PROBABLE LINEUP
MELBOURNE VICTORY

Coe
Foschini, Ansell, Leijer, Traore
Broxham, Milligan, Celeski
Rojas, Flores, Thompson
WELLINGTON PHOENIX

Paston
Bertos, Durante, Sigmund, Lochhead
Smith, Lia, Sanchez
Fenton, Brockie, Totori
Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory will be looking to bounce back from their respective losses on New Year's Day, but both sides are likely to be without some key personnel.

Melbourne Victory lost just their second game in 10 matches when they fell to a Shinji Ono double in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Western Sydney.

Even though it was a narrow defeat in an entertaining encounter, Victory coach Ange Postecoglou roasted his players for lacking the discipline needed to stick with the game plan.

However, part of the problem for Victory in doing this was an early knee injury to key midfielder Gui Finkler, which has been revealed as serious and will rule him out for eight months.

However, Victory will still be bolstered somewhat for this encounter by the return of defensive midfielder Mark Milligan.

The Australia international has been so instrumental in most of their wins this season as he protects the defence and distributes the ball well, enabling Victory to produce their rapid-fire counter-attacking style.

Fellow midfielders Jimmy Jeggo and Isaka Cernak also return to the squad, as does attacker Theo Markelis.

Despite Finkler's injury, Wellington appear in a far worse position going into Saturday's game as they look to win their first game over Victory in Melbourne.

On top of youngster Tyler Boyd's red card and subsequent suspension, the Phoenix have numerous injury worries as Leo Bertos and Alex Smith both sustained heavy knocks to their faces in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar.

Both players have been cleared of serious damage but must be in doubt for the match in Melbourne, while Manny Muscat has surprisingly been omitted and Paul Ifill continues to miss.  Defensive duo Michael Boxall and Cameron Lindsay will travel with the squad.

Wellington have always struggled in the Victorian capital and at present it is hard to see it changing much in this encounter.

With the injuries mounting and the Phoenix having won just one of their last five games - that was against the struggling Melbourne Heart - Ricki Herbert's men would have to pull off something of a miracle to get the better of Victory in this encounter.

Victory are still vulnerable at the back, despite having Milligan protecting the back four from midfield, and the hosts are probably good things to concede a goal.

But Victory have the firepower to outpoint their opposition if the likes of Archie Thompson, former Phoenix forward Marco Rojas and Marcos Flores click on Saturday - unlike the loss to the Wanderers.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Nathan CoeGoalkeeper
22Adama TraoréDefender
5Spase DilevskiDefender
23Adrian LeijerDefender
-Nicholas AnsellDefender
-Mark Daniel MilliganDefender
10Marcos FloresMidfielder
21Marco RojasMidfielder
2AlexDefender
-Blagoja CeleskiMidfielder
10Archie ThompsonStriker
18Tando VelaphiGoalkeeper
6Leigh BroxhamMidfielder
-Luke O'DeaMidfielder
-Andrew NabboutMidfielder
-Mark PastonGoalkeeper
4Tony LochheadDefender
-Louis FentonDefender
18Ben SigmundDefender
22Andrew DuranteDefender
17Vince LiaMidfielder
-Dani SanchezMidfielder
7Leo BertosStriker
9Benjamin TotoriStriker
-Stein HuysegemsStriker
-Jeremy BrockieStriker
20Griffin McMasterGoalkeeper
2Michael BoxallDefender
17Cameron LindsayMidfielder
-Alexander SmithStriker

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