The Last Time They Met:
Melbourne Victory 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 1: Melbourne Victory took all three points back to Melbourne as they visited the Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium. A Gui Finkler strike at the 80th minute broke a one-all deadlock that eventually won the Victory the game. Carl Valeri scored Melbourne's other goal after firing one past the keeper from outside the box following a corner ball.
The Lowdown: On Friday night, Melbourne Victory will be travelling up to Pirtek Stadium to take on the hosting Western Sydney Wanderers, who came off a heartstopping 3-2 win over Melbourne City FC on Wednesday night, only the second win for the Wanderers this season and that win also sees them off the bottom of the A-League ladder.
Melbourne Victory have had more time than the Wanderers to recover and prepare for this game as they had to settle for a controversial 1-1 draw against the ladder leaders Perth Glory up at AAMI Park last Saturday night.
The Form Guide: Melbourne Victory have only won one game in their past five outings which include three draws to quality opposition in Perth twice and Sydney and also a loss to Wellington. This game against the Wanderers provides a golden opportunity to get back on the winners list.
Western Sydney have also won once in their past five games, with that win coming in that game against City on Wednesday night. they have endured three losses to Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney and a draw to the lowly Newcastle Jets.
The "Keep Your Eye On" Factor:
Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory): Berisha has put in four goals in his last five games against the Wanderers and is currently sitting fourth in the A-League's goal-scorers of the season with nine. Berisha could be in for a big game on Friday night against a Wanderers side that looks tired..
Ante Covic (Western Sydney): The former Victory goalkeeper has been at the Wanderers since day one and has been a valuable servant of the club, but has been left out of the Wanderers' last couple of games but should get the starting job over Dean Bouzanis.
Melbourne Victory 3 Western Sydney Wanderers 1
I can't see the Wanderers getting up over a Victory side who will be fired up after letting premiership points slip away against Perth Glory. Victory NEED this win to stay in touch with Sydney, Wellington and Perth in the top four, and with the likes of Berisha, Finkler and Archie Thompson among others providing goal-scoring power, Melbourne should see themselves putting some past a war-weary Wanderers outfit who are playing their third game in a week.