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A-League Monday match previews: Melbourne City have chance to move clear

There are two games to enjoy in the A-League on Monday, with table-topping Melbourne City and rock-bottom Perth Glory both in action.

City make the long trip to Wellington to take on the Phoenix, while the Glory have a lengthy journey to undertake to face Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium later on in the day.

Faltering Phoenix face City test

What: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
Where: Sky Stadium, Wellington
When: 13:00, Monday 2nd January
How to watch: Paramount+
Odds: Wellington Phoenix 12/5, Draw 5/2, Melbourne City 11/10

Wellington Phoenix welcome in A-League leaders Melbourne City and do so without the services of 21-year-old forward Ben Waine, who has completed a move to England to join Plymouth Argyle.

Waine netted 17 goals in 73 A-League outings for the Nix and head coach Ufuk Talay has wished his former charge well, saying: "We're proud that we've played a part in his development. Now he's hopefully going off to bigger and better things."

In the absence of Waine, Phoenix will be hoping to improve on a recent record of just one win in their last four games, with most recent outing having seen them draw 1-1 at the lowly Glory.

Talay does at least have two in-form goalscorers to make up for the departure of Waine, with Pole Oskar Zawada having found the net in three of his last four games, while Bulgarian Bozhidar Kraev has scored five times in eight outings since his arrival from FC MIdtjylland.

Zawada is 15/8 to Score Anytime against City, with Kraev priced at 5/2.

However, at the other end of the pitch Wellington have yet to keep a clean sheet in the A-League this season and that has to be a major concern when the league leaders are the visitors.

City have won six of their completed fixtures and four of those victories have come without them conceding a goal - including their 1-0 success at home to Central Coast Mariners last time out.

In attack the Blues have the leading scorer in the competition so far this season, with Jamie Maclaren already into double figures with ten and having returned from World Cup duty with Australia to net against both Sydney FC and the Mariners.

Maclaren netted the opener in the 2-2 draw between the two teams in Melbourne in late October and is 3/1 to Score First at the Sky Stadium, while he is 4/5 to Score Anytime.

City are unbeaten in the last five meetings of these two teams, with both sides scoring in four of those five games - which can be backed at 8/15 on Tuesday.

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Misfiring hosts hope to deepen Glory gloom

What: Adelaide United v Perth Glory
Where: Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
When: 19:45, Monday 2nd January
How to watch: Paramount+
Odds: Adelaide United 8/11, Draw 14/5, Perth Glory 15/4

Adelaide United have picked up just one point from their last three games in the A-League and will be hoping that a visit from basement side Perth Glory is exactly what they need to get back on track.

The Reds edged a 2-1 victory when these two sides met in South Australia at the end of October, with Craig Goodwin and Ibusuki Hiroshi netting inside the first 22 minutes of the game.

That was the first of three straight wins for United, but that run has been followed by two defeats and a draw to stop their momentum in its tracks.

Head coach Carl Veart has admitted that his side "went into the (World Cup) break looking really good and we just haven't picked that form up yet".

However, Veart hopes to have an added option to ponder, with Zach Clough having lasted just over an hour of the 1-0 loss to the Newcastle Jets after being out of action since early October.

The former Bolton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest schemer is 7/5 to Score Anytime against the Glory, who have yet to keep a clean sheet in the A-League this season.

Perth have shown minor signs of an upturn in form in recent times, having lost only one of their last three games - with that defeat a narrow 1-0 reverse away at Macarthur FC.

Coach Ruben Zadkovich confirmed recently that striker Ben Azubel has left the club and midfielder Salim Khelifi has signed a new two-year contract, and he feels that things are beginning to move in the right direction.

He told the club's official website: "The players can feel that we're growing and improving and that will put us in good stead at the back end of the season."

The Glory have not won any of their last four meetings with the Reds and are 15/4 to take all three points on Tuesday.

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