Football: Wellington Phoenix coach Giancarlo Italiano keeping things simple heading into top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne Victory

The Phoenix's best season in years could get even better if they win their top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne Victory in Wellington on Friday.

But despite the magnitude of the match-up, coach Giancarlo Italiano is keeping things simple – describing the blockbuster clash as "just another game."    

"It's like every other game to be fair," Italiano said. "I'm not really buying into all the hype because to us it's worth the same value as every other game.  

"It's just worth three points."   

Don't be fooled by Italiano's calm demeanour - this game isn't just any other for the club.   

Amid one of their best campaigns in club history so far, the Phoenix find themselves on top of the A-League table - a position they have never finished a season in.   

Kosta Barbarouses and Ben Folami of Melbourne Victory
Kosta Barbarouses and Ben Folami of Melbourne Victory Photo credit: Getty Images

But the undefeated Victory can knock them off their perch. Tied with Wellington on 24 points, they're only a spot behind on the table thanks to the Phoenix's superior win, loss record.   

With sole position of top spot on the line, it sets up what is being dubbed by fans as the biggest showdowns of the A-League season.

"The players will be motivated themselves. I don't need to tell them the value of this game."

Adding even more fuel to the fire - Wellington and Melbourne's only other match this season ended in a chaotic 1-1 draw, despite the Phoenix failing to register a single shot on target.    

In-form striker Kosta Barbarouses is confident they won't need any help scoring this time around.

"There's no sort of fear or worry that they're going to lock us out," said Barbarouses. "We believe we're a really good side and we've been scoring, so we're definitely going to have a go at them."  

With the league's two best teams and a season-high crowd expected at Wellington's home ground, it's safe to say this match is far from... "just another game."