Sitting nine points adrift of the top six, Saturday night’s match sees Melbourne Victory’s season placed on the line against rivals Adelaide United.
Marvel Stadium – a venue where the Victory is yet to win this season – will once again host this fixture, which has seen its fair share of controversy – adding to the to fierce sporting rivalry between Victoria and South Australia.
Though in contrast to meetings prior, the two sides find themselves at different ends of the table.
While the Victory has found relief in the Asian Champions League, fans have been turned away by poor performances in the league – with this failure to win games very much akin to the star-studded line-up featuring Archie Thompson, Harry Kewell and Marco Rojas under Mehmet Durakovic/Jim Magilton.
‘’The main focus is staying positive and trying to get a result,’’ Victory midfielder Anthony Lesiotis told FNR.
‘’We’ve been playing really well recently but we just sort of struggle to find that end product so that’s just remaining positive and trying to get that first goal or make the first tackle which would boost the boys up.
‘’It’s definitely been my most full-on month and obviously Melbourne Victory is used to playing in the Champions League every year. On the players it is tiring on all the players and staff with all the games so it’s a little different.’’
Having grown up supporting the Victory, Lesiotis says he ‘’wants this win more than anything’’ to turn the side’s misfortunes.
‘’Watching [Victory] when I was younger I obviously used to hate watching them lose that definitely means a bit more so I want this win more than anything but not because it’s Adelaide but for us in general,’’ he said.
Adelaide United, meanwhile, sits in fifth yet has been barraged with injuries to key personnel with in-form striker Ben Halloran the latest casualty – missing the match with a hamstring injury.
The Reds suffered a 5-2 defeat to the Western Sydney Wanderers last week and could drop to sixth should they not pick up the three points.
Former Victory midfielder James Troisi has been in named in the extended squad to face his former side, alongside Yared Abetew and Noah James.
Adelaide United has defeated the Victory twice this season and will have the opportunity to complete the trifecta for the first time since the 2005/06 season.