David Villa set to play against Phoenix in NZ

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 12:00 12/06/2014
David Villa
Getty Images

SUPERSTAR: David Villa of Spain shoots for goal in a friendly against El Salvador ahead of the Fifa World Cup.

David Villa
Getty Images
TOP GOAL SCORER: David Villa holds Spain's all-time goal scoring record.

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Wellington Phoenix fans are in for a treat with Spanish superstar David Villa set to grace Westpac Stadium on November 30.

With 58 international goals, World Cup-winner Villa is Spain's all-time leading goalscorer and the 32-year-old striker is currently in Brazil preparing to defend the 2010 title.

Villa, who helped Atletico Madrid win the Spanish La Liga title in 2013-14, will play on loan for Melbourne City in the first 10 games of the 2014-15 A-League season before joining New York City in the MLS.

Rebranded Melbourne City - now owned by English Premier League champions Manchester City - will also boast Irish star Damien Duff in their ranks when they visit Wellington to play the Phoenix in round eight.

The Phoenix will play three of their first five games at Westpac Stadium and open the season at home to Perth Glory on October 12.

Their second home game is against Newcastle Jets on October 26 and their third against Western Sydney Wanderers on November 7.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was hoping for a solid block of home fixtures early in the season and his wishes have been granted.

There were three home games marked ''venue to be confirmed'' - on February 14 (Melbourne City), February 22 (Newcastle Jets) and March 7 (Adelaide United).

Phoenix general manager David Dome said he was satisfied overall with the draw, given some significant challenges.

"The draw has been complicated by Australia hosting the Asian Cup, which shuts down the A-League over January, and then New Zealand and Australia host the Cricket World Cup through February and March," Dome said.

"That means no games through most of January, which affects all A-League clubs, and Westpac Stadium is out of the equation in February and March so it's been a challenging process.

''We're working on venues now for February and March and hope to be able to release these soon.

''The club has worked with the FFA to get the best possible solution we can despite significant challenges."

Dome told Stuff last month that the club's preference was to take just two home games on the road, with Auckland and Christchurch the favourites.

''If we could get away with taking just two on the road that would be good but it's a seven-week window.''

2014-15 A-LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Phoenix home fixtures

Round 1: Perth Glory, Westpac Stadium, Sunday October 12, 5pm

Round 3: Newcastle Jets, Westpac Stadium, Sunday October 26, 5pm

Round 5: Western Sydney Wanderers, Westpac Stadium, Friday November 7, 7.30pm

Round 8: Melbourne City, Westpac Stadium, Sunday November 30, 5pm

Round 9: Sydney FC, Westpac Stadium, Thursday January 8, 7.30pm

Round 11: Central Coast Mariners, Westpac Stadium, Saturday December 13, 5pm

Round 13: Western Sydney Wanderers, Westpac Stadium, Sunday December 28, 7pm

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Round 15: Brisbane Roar, Westpac Stadium Sunday January 4, 5pm

Round 18: Melbourne City, venue to be confirmed, Saturday February 14

Round 19: Newcastle Jets, venue to be confirmed, Sunday February 22

Round 21: Adelaide United, venue to be confirmed, Saturday March 7

Round 24: Sydney FC, Westpac Stadium, Sunday March 29, 5pm

Round 25: Melbourne Victory, Westpac Stadium, Sunday April 5, 7pm

Round 27: Central Coast Mariners, Westpac Stadium, Friday April 17, 7.30pm

- Stuff

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