983 days. That’s how long you’ve had to wait to see Nathan Burns back at Westpac Stadium once again – be there tomorrow night as Wellington Phoenix return in 2018 with two key new signings!
Burns is back, and with a few sessions under his belt he’s already looking sharp. Also in line for a Phoenix home debut is new Serbian midfielder Matija Ljujic – just 24 years old but with already almost 150 professional games under his belt, watch out for Matija from set pieces.
It makes for some selection headaches for coach Darije Kalezić as he can choose from his full cohort of players for almost the first time this season – just the tonic Phoenix need to spark 2018.
For the visitors Melbourne Victory, they see the return of centre-back Rhys Williams from suspension, however, captain Carl Valeri will miss the outing after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 6. Dylan FOX, 7. Nathan BURNS, 8. Matija LJUJIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 30.Keegan SMITH (GK)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 8. Matija LJUJIC (new signing)
Outs: 4.Logan ROGERSON (omitted)
Melbourne Victory Squad: 1.Matt ACTON (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Dino DJULBIC, 4.Rhys WILLIAMS, 5.Mark MILLIGAN, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 16.Josh HOPE, 18.Matias SANCHEZ, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 24.Terry ANTONIS, 31.Christian THEOHAROUS, 41.Leroy GEORGE
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 4.Rhys WILLIAMS (returns from suspension), 16.Josh HOPE (promoted)
Outs: 21.Carl VALERI (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 14.Thomas DENG (international duty), 11.Mitch AUSTIN (knee), 17.James DONACHIE (quad)
Match Details: Hyundai A-League Round 15, Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory, kick-off 7.35pm (NZT), Westpac Stadium, Kids Go Free.
Coverage on Sky Sport 2 from 7.30pm (NZT)