Melbourne Victory and Gold Coast United occupy lowly positions on the A-League ladder yet this game will attract as much attention as any other game this round. Join us at 5pm AEDT for live scores and commentary and find out why.
It’s impossible to write about this game without touching on the off-field events that have haunted the Victory during the past week.
I am reminded of the opening chapter of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, where another dust storm ruins the corn crop for the umpteenth time and the women cast sideways glances at their menfolk to see if they will break this time.
While much of our attention will be on the field, we too will be casting sideways glances at the Victory bench for clues about what is in store for this club.
Will another draw like last week’s insipid effort against a 10-man Glory be sufficient to save Mehm’s job?
When he stands in front of that camera and tells anyone who is paying attention that he is the “boss” – do we believe it?
We are sure to get some sort of answer within about five minutes of the opening whistle.
Will the boys in dark blue look as if they want to be out there, will they be playing for each other, demanding the ball, showing some energy, some initiative, showing a willingness to take the game by the scruff of the neck?
For lessons on that last point, we need look no further than how a 10-man Perth scored two goals in the last 20 minutes of play last week, being so unlucky not to take all three points.
In the meantime Gold Coast United have shown enough this year to suggest they are unlikely to remain bottom for too long.
Tahj Minniecon is back in the team and Miron Bleiberg has hinted strongly that new recruit and midfield enforcer Jonas Salley is a strong chance to go straight into the starting line-up.
Gold coast skipper Michael Thwaite got stuck into his team mates during the week for a lack of “mongrel”.
Well, if Salley makes the team for this game that will be more than addressed, with interest.
For the Victory, if the off-field shenanigans weren’t already enough to affect the best of plans, they are also experiencing plenty of injury concerns.
Both Kewell and Hernandez are meant to be playing but are clearly carrying injuries at the moment while Kemp is definitely out injured, and with Foschini on Olyroo duty the Victory are at risk of being short a full back.
It’s hard to avoid that guilty feeling of being a voyeur for this particular game but let’s be honest, we wouldn’t miss it for quids.
There’s just too much going wrong for the Victory at the moment and Gold Coast United will relish this opportunity to pinch three points on the road. United will do enough to scrounge a 1-0 win.
Will it be Mehmet or Miron that breaks through for a pressure-relieving win this afternoon? Join us from 5.00pm AEDT for live scores and detailed description of the action, and let us know your thoughts by posting below.