Victory ready to push for ALM premiership

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Two weeks ago, the A-League Men premiership looked well out of Melbourne Victory's reach.

Melbourne City and Western United were jostling for top spot, while Tony Popovic's Victory were quietly going about sealing their return to the finals for the first time in three seasons.

But Victory kept building, kept going unbeaten, and kept putting the pressure on their crosstown rivals.

Now, with one round to go, after leaders Melbourne City lost to Perth, the premiership race is open again.

City are on 46 points with a goal difference of +21, ahead of Victory (45 points, +14) and United (45 points, +11).

Victory get first shot at putting one hand on the premiers plate and can heap pressure on their rivals when they face Sydney FC away on Saturday night, with Western playing Adelaide away on Sunday before City host Wellington on Monday.

"We've put ourselves in a position where that's still possible, which is great," Popovic said.

"We're at the pointy end at the right end of the year.

"We have to take care of business tomorrow and if we do that we give ourselves a chance to finish the season anywhere from first to third."

Victory are on a 14-game unbeaten run that has quietly lifted them back into premiership and top-two calculations.

End a nine-game winless run against Sydney FC stretching back to January 2019, and one of those top two spots is theirs.

"Of course we'd love to have that. Probably a couple of weeks ago nobody really thought that was possible for us. We've made that a possibility," Popovic said.

"We really don't, and shouldn't, look too far ahead. We need to win. We know we need to do that and if we do we all but seal the second spot.

"We're in the position we are because we deserve to be there. We're in a position where other possibilities are available in terms of first and second because of the season we're having.

"We want to finish the regular season on a high. We're on a great run, we're playing Sydney FC so we know the rivalry and we know how good they are as a club.

"It'd be a great time (to break the winless run). We've broken a lot of different records in terms of recent history with Melbourne Victory and the difficulties and long runs without wins. Here's another chance."

Goalkeeper Matt Acton returns via the bench, meaning the only player unavailable is Robbie Kruse (knee), who hasn't yet been ruled out of featuring if Victory go deep into finals.

Victory face a Sydney FC team who can no longer make the finals after Wellington grabbed the last spot on Thursday night.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting