Big players tend to dominate the big games, and Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix possess two of the Hyundai A-League's most lethal marksmen heading into Friday night’s Elimination Final.
Victory striker Ola Toivonen and Phoenix forward Roy Krishna will square off in a key individual battle that could determine which side stays alive for another week.
The 2018/19 Season has easily been the best of Krishna’s career, with the Fijian forward winning the Golden Boot with an impressive 18 goals from 26 appearances over the regular season.
While Toivonen finished fifth in the goal standings with 13, he played six fewer matches than his Wellington counterpart and enjoyed a better shot-to-goal ratio than anyone else in the competition.
Toivonen scored from every 3.3 shots at goal, compared to Krishna who found the net every 3.9 shots.
The Victory hitman also edged past his Wellington counterpart when it came to minutes-per-goal, although the Phoenix flyer had more assists (four to three).
FINALS SERIES BLOG: All the latest ahead of the Elimination Finals
PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix Elimination Final
When analysing shot conversion rates, Opta Data reveals Toivonen’s was an impressive 30%, the highest of any player in the competition to have had at least 20 shots at goal.
Krishna’s shooting accuracy of 68% was also a Hyundai A-League high.
Friday night’s clash will be Victory’s 13th home final in the Hyundai A-League, with the Big V losing just one of the previous 12 – on penalties in the 2010 Grand Final.
It’s an insight into the challenge facing Wellington, who themselves have yet to win a finals game outside of New Zealand.
Mark Rudan’s side do have a strong recent record against Victory at AAMI Park, losing just one of the last five at the venue.
All three matches between the clubs this season have ended in draws, including two at AAMI Park.
Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix, Friday 7:50pm (AEST)
Little between Reds and City ahead of Coopers showdown
Finals football is often decided by the finest of margins and it’s tough to split Adelaide United and Melbourne City heading into Sunday’s Elimination Final at Coopers Stadium.
City have enjoyed the better of their recent clashes with the Reds, unbeaten in the last seven encounters between the two clubs.
It’s a record that is sure to give Warren Joyce’s side a psychological boost as they board the plane for Adelaide.
But contrast that with City’s horrible away form of late and it is the Reds who will be buoyant.
City have recorded just one win in their last eight games on their travels, including six defeats.
While they did win at Coopers 2-0 back in Round 8, the last finals match between the two in Adelaide ended in a 4-1 win to the home side.
Craig Goodwin looms as the man that could have a big say on the outcome.
The speedy winger is the only Adelaide player to have found the net against City this season, while his 19 goal involvements (10 goals, nine assists) is the second-most in the competition behind Wellington's Roy Krishna (22).
Reds keeper Paul Izzo will need to be on alert also, with City not afraid to try their luck from distance.
Almost a quarter (23%) of City’s goals have come from outside the box, the highest percentage of any team in the Hyundai A-League, while they have also conceded just three long-range efforts, fewer than any other team in the competition.
Adelaide United v Melbourne City, Sunday 7pm (AEST)