Match Preview: City v Wellington

Melbourne City FC are back in action at AAMI Park this Monday night, taking on Wellington Phoenix in a match that could end in City lifting the Premiers Plate.

Monday night will mark City’s first home match in a month, with the squad now back home in Melbourne after 26 days on the road.

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This long stretch away from home saw City take part in its inaugural AFC Champions League campaign in Thailand, which didn’t end the way the players, staff and fans alike would’ve hoped. Despite going through the Group Stage undefeated, City narrowly missed qualification for the next stage.

A stopover in Perth was then on the cards before returning home, and it didn’t go to plan with City suffering a tough loss to the Glory despite creating more than enough chances to have one the game.

That’s all in the past now though and a revitalised City will only have one goal in mind on Monday night – picking up the three points and finishing the night as back-to-back A-League Men Premiers.

Monday will mark the second meeting between teams in the A-League Men this season, with City picking up a resounding win first time around. An April clash behind closed doors in New South Wales saw City run away six-goal winners, with Marco Tilio, Andrew Nabbout, Mathew Leckie and Curtis Good all amongst the goals.

In more recent times, the Phoenix, who again have spent a large part of the season away from home, secured a Finals berth on Thursday night with a 2-1 win over Western Sydney. Sam Sutton’s early goal was pulled back by the Wanderers before half-time, only for Reno Piscopo to strike the crucial blow in the 65th minute and secure all three points.

Wellington now come into the match with wins in four of its last six fixtures, but no doubt City will still be full of confidence that it can get the job done at home.

Monday night should also see Jamie Maclaren claim his third consecutive – and fourth total – Golden Boot. City’s star number nine currently sits on 14 goals for the campaign and it would take a miracle for any of the chasing pack to catch him as the season reaches its conclusion.