The reigning champions have undergone a significant makeover in recent weeks, but are still expected to beat the inconsistent Victory at BluetongueMelbourne Victory's season is in serious danger of capsize and this Saturday's trip to Gosford to face the Mariners looks anything but the opportunity to right the ship and stop the slide down the A-League table.
The last time Victory went to the Bluetongue and got all three points, Ernie Merrick was the club's coach, Kevin Muscat was captain and Australia still held out hope of hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Now Muscat is Victory coach, Ernie's in Wellington and the World Cup bid disaster is just a distant memory. Victory have made four trips to Gosford since and have lost three, drawn one and conceded nine goals.
Punters can't seek much hope from more recent Victory form with the Melbourne side suffering successive 5-0 losses before last week's 1-1 draw in Perth. That's why they are $3.75 at bet365 to win this match.
All the momentum is with the Mariners. They may have given up a 1-0 lead to lose to Brisbane last week, but prior to that went on a five-match unbeaten streak.
The Mariners have been busy in the transfer window with Eddy Bosnar, Kim Seung-Yong, Isaka Cernak, Glen Trifiro and Matt Sim all joining in the past fortnight following the departures of Michael McGlinchey, Daniel McBreen and Trent Sainsbury.
How those players integrate into Phil Moss's side is the big question mark ahead of this match and you can expect that it will take time for the team to find its best rhythm.
But while just three points separates these two teams in the table, they are miles apart on form and confidence and the home side should get the job done.
*Prices subject to change