Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers

The champions continue to struggle this season as they had to come from behind at home to the Jets to salvage a 1-1 draw. One win in their last eight means that Kevin Muscat’s side are down in 6th and hanging on to the final play-off spot. However, they did get a break last week as Sydney failed to punish their slip by only managing a draw at Central Coast and so they still have a three point advantage. The Wanderers dominated against Adelaide at home last weekend but couldn’t find the breakthrough as the game ended goalless. As a result, it remains tight at the top with just two points between the top-four.

Victory’s only win in their last eight came at the struggling Mariners as even their home form has tailed off in recent weeks. Having won six of seven unbeaten games at AAMI Park at the start of the season, they’ve since drawn three of four winless games. Nonetheless, the in-form Adelaide are the only team to have taken three points at Victory this term and their winner in that game came in the 89th minute. Indeed, the champions haven’t conceded more than once at home since their 3-2 win over their city rivals on the opening day of the season and their record when hosting top-four teams this season is W3-D1-L1 as they beat Adelaide and Brisbane earlier in the campaign.

Tony Popovic will have been pleased that his Wanderers side have kept clean sheets in their last two games as they failed to keep their opponents out in their nine games prior to that, conceding more than twice in four of these matches. The Wanderers’ away record this term is W5-D4-L3 as their defeats came at Sydney early on in the season and more recently against fellow top-three sides City and Brisbane. Indeed, the Wanderers are W1-D2-L2 when travelling to top-half sides this term as they conceded at least twice in three of these games, but managed to score in each of them.

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Whilst Victory are not a top-half team at the moment, their home form is bettered only by City and Brisbane, and with no Asian Champions League game to preoccupy them this week, they look sure to test the Wanderers. The league leaders have won just two of their last seven road games, at bottom-three sides the Mariners (twice) and Jets, and with that in mind we’re siding with the champions at home in this one.
Melbourne Victory - 1pt @ 1.90