MELBOURNE CITY V WELLINGTON PHOENIX Sunday afternoon, AAMI Park

One of the more interesting battles in Round 8 will be City hosting the Phoenix this Sunday afternoon.

City were the pre-season favourites and have enjoyed a solid start, however, they haven’t exactly set the world on fire that many experts predicted.

Wellington couldn’t get going in the first month of the competition but go into this off back-to-back wins and more importantly, a crucial week off.

CITY OF DOMINANCE
Melbourne City fans will be pleased by the fact that they have beaten Wellington in four of their last five clashes. More importantly, they have won two straight against them including a 1-0 result in the opening round of this season’s competition.

Depending on which way you look at it that game could have easily gone either way, so don’t think City have enjoyed easy wins during their run against Wellington.

PHOENIX RISING
Coach Ernie Merrick has done wonders with his team since they suffered a humiliating 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Melbourne Victory in early November.

They have won their only two games since then against Newcastle and Central Coast and kept clean sheets in both in registering twin 2-0 results.

Crucially for them they go into this with a week’s break which will help their international stars tremendously. They would’ve had to play last week against Melbourne Victory prior to the game being postponed due the earthquake that struck the region.

HOW IT PANS OUT
There’s no doubt coach John Van’t Schip would’ve been disappointed to concede a late goal against the Wanderers last week, forcing City to share the spoils after Tim Cahill put them in front.

Back home in front of their fans will be a big plus for them considering they have won two of their three games at AAMI Park.

Wellington will be fresh and ready to go and are a much improved side over the past few weeks. Have they improved enough to give City a shake on their own turf?

Their only win on the road so far this season has been against Central Coast in Canberra a fortnight ago. Melbourne City are a step up in class but if Wellington can continue to defend as they have in their last two games then they are in with a big chance to come away with something.

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THE TIP: Draw – we’ve got the feeling Wellington will be up for this

TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: We’ll go for the Overs now that the Phoenix, and especially Roy Krishna, have found their scoring boots
Draw - 1pt @ 4.75
Over 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 1.51