Melbourne City’s run of Victorian games comes to an end on Monday night, with the team travelling to Wollongong to take on the Wellington Phoenix.
The visiting team will be looking to bounce back from its disappointing 2-1 loss to Western United last Thursday, with City dominating the majority of the encounter but being unable to put the game out of their opposition’s reach and subsequently being made to pay.
Monday’s opponents Wellington Phoenix currently occupy 10th place on the ladder and most recently suffered a 1-0 loss to Macarthur FC, with former-City man Denis Genreau finding the winner in that encounter.
A return to action could be on the cards for Scott Jamieson, who missed Thursday’s game with a slight calf strain.
Here’s what we’re looking forward as we take on the Phoenix:
Starting from zero
The loss to Western United was pretty tough to take; it was a game that we didn’t deserve to lose and certainly not an opposition worthy of ending our winning run.
Regardless, the reality we face as City fans is that the streak is now back to zero and there’s only one way to build it back up.
Looking ahead to Wellington, City must continue to put in the professional, clinical performances that got us to six games unbeaten in the first place, and find the kind of consistency that will allow us to win our games in-hand and leapfrog the Mariners and Adelaide.
Away* to Wellington
Trans-Tasman travel hasn’t been too kind to City of late – we’ve not won in our previous four games that the Phoenix have hosted.
Fortunately, Wellington won’t have their usual home ground advantage when we travel to Wollongong to face the Phoenix this Monday. From their eight home games this season, Wellington have won just twice; 3-0 against 9th-place Perth Glory and 4-1 against the trainwreck that is Melbourne Victory.
Sitting in 10th themselves, the Phoenix at home seems a more scaleable prospect than usual, so City will demand a winning result if they’re to bounce back from last week’s loss.
Continuing our dominant attacking performances – and making it count this time
To round out the preview, let’s touch on that Western United loss one more time before putting it to the back of our minds for good.
The stats will tell you everything you need to know about the game: 27 shots to 9, 12 corners to 1, 2.82xG to 1.88.
A theme of our six-game winning streak has been our total dominance over each of the games, with City usually able to keep its opposition on the back foot and totally occupied by our dynamic front three.
Thursday night’s game was no different, with the only exception being City’s composure in front of goal. The team had countless opportunities to bury the game before United’s five-minute smash-and-grab.
Made to pay for their inaccuracy in front of goal, City will now be looking to return to the attacking form of its previous six games when it takes on Wellington tomorrow night.