Wellington Phoenix vs Melbourne Victory Prediction: Hosts continue to punch above their weight

 | 11th April | 

4 mins read

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Wellington Phoenix were displaced at the top of the Australian A-League Men's by Central Coast Mariners last week, who beat the Nix 2-1 to drop them down to second. The New Zealand outfit now face a fight to even stay in the top two, which would grant them passage to the play-off semi-finals, with Melbourne Victory only five points behind them with three games left to play.

Second and third meet on Friday (KO, 08:00) at the Sky Stadium in Wellington, with the game televised live in the UK on TNT Sports. Below you can find our Wellington Phoenix vs Melbourne Victory prediction, alongside all the latest team news and match odds.

Wellington Phoenix vs Melbourne Victory Betting Tips

  • Wellington Phoenix to win @ 9/4
  • Kosta Barbarouses to score anytime @ 15/8

Team News

Oskar Zawada has missed Wellington Phoenix's last five matches through injury and looks set to miss out again on Friday, as does Isaac Hughes who hasn't been seen since before the international break.

Captain Alex Rufer will return in midfield though after serving a one-game suspension against the Mariners but Ben Old, one of three additions to the side that narrowly lost in Gosford, will hope to keep his place after scoring.

The visitors have a clean bill of health for the second week running and may well name an unchanged starting XI, with the division's leading scorer Bruno Fornaroli at the point of attack.

Match Odds

Despite winning their last four matches at Sky Stadium, Wellington Phoenix are only 9/4 to claim all three points this week, which gives them an implied win probability of 30.8%. Victory, meanwhile, are EVS to win in Wellington, and the draw can be backed at 23/10.

Both teams to score is 8/13 and over 2.5 goals can be found at 8/11, while a 1-1 scoreline, which landed in both of the previous meetings between these sides this season, is 6/1.

Wellington Phoenix to win @ 9/4

I wrote here last month that I was surprised at the high price of a Wellington Phoenix win at home to Sydney FC, who were a fair distance behind their hosts at the time of writing. The Nix duly backed up my 15/8 suggestion by beating their opponents 2-1, but it seems that result wasn't enough to make them favourites at home against another top-six side, Melbourne Victory.

Sure, Victory are six points better off than Sydney FC and will be hugely motivated to win on Friday to close the gap to just two points on the Nix, while they will take huge confidence from last Saturday's 2-1 win in the Melbourne derby.

But the fact remains that with three games left of the regular season, they are five points behind Wellington Phoenix, who have been leading the league for much of the season, and no club has picked up more points at home than them in the A-League Men's (26 from 11 games).

Victory, meanwhile, have only won once in their last seven away outings, and that was a narrow 2-1 win at a then-struggling Adelaide United side.

The Nix are still missing last season's top scorer Zawada through injury but the Polish striker has barely featured in 2024 anyway, and his club have lost just twice this calendar year.

Both of those defeats came away from Wellington and the most recent was an injury-time defeat to the Mariners, who have only been beaten once in Gosford since mid-November.

For me, the odds are just too good to turn down on the hosts, who will want to secure a top-two finish and push for first.

Kosta Barbarouses to score anytime @ 15/8

Only five players have scored more A-League Men's goals than Kosta Barbarouses (11) this season, with the 34-year-old enjoying a renaissance of sorts after finding the net just twice in 24 league appearances in 2022/23.

However, the New Zealand international has failed to fire since March 16, drawing blanks against both Brisbane Roar and the Mariners in recent weeks. He could consider himself unfortunate against the former, with a fine finish in the second half ruled out due to a narrow offside.

Barbarouses might well relish the opportunity to face Melbourne Victory next, whom he served with distinction for five seasons in total earlier in his career. He scored 47 A-League goals in 142 appearances for the Boys in Blue, but he also has a fine record against them, scoring past them seven times in 20 games.

Victory haven't kept a clean sheet in their last seven matches, and there could be space to exploit on Friday if they go pushing for a winner to reduce the gap between them and the Nix.

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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