A-League preview: Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
The Wanderers arrive in Wellington in losing form, while the Phoenix must start picking up points to salvage their A-League finals dream
Bertos, Durante, Sigmund, Lochhead
Lia, Sanchez, FentonBrockie, Huysegems, Totori
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Polenz, T-Stanley, Beauchamp, Cole
Ono, Poljak, La Rocca, MooyGibbs, Bridge
The Phoenix will be relieved to be back on home turf after a couple of tough losses on the road.
The poor run of form has seen Wellington drop to ninth place on the A-League ladder heading into a crucial period of the season.
While they are still without attacker Paul Ifill [injured] and Manny Muscat [suspended], youngster Tyler Boyd is available again and could come straight back into Ricki Herbert's starting side.
Western Sydney are still sitting nicely in fourth spot despite their gritty 2-0 loss to league leaders Central Coast last Sunday.
It was the Wanderers first defeat in their last six games, and caoch Tony Popovic will have a few more players to choose from against the Phoenix.
Captain Michael Beauchamp and winger Youssouf Hersi both return from suspension, while midfielder Mateo Poljak and full-back Adam D'Apuzzo are also available.
Midfielder Jason Trifiro will not make the trip across the Tasman though due to his red card against the Mariners.
The last time these sides met an Ante Covic howler gifted the Phoenix a 1-0 win but - besides last week's defeat - it has been all good news for the Wanderers of late, as they have emerged as genuine title contenders.Wellington, meanwhile, have played some great football in the last few weeks but still come away with nothing.
The reason for that has been some sloppy lapses of concentration in from their normally-resolute defence.
The Phoenix have built their success in recent seasons on the strength of their back four, but they will not figure in the finals this time around unless the likes of Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund and Muscat can get the required steel back in their game.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wellington Phoenix 1-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
- 25 %
Wellington Phoenix 1-2 Western Sydney Wanderers
- 25 %
Wellington Phoenix 0-8 Western Sydney Wanderers
- 16.67 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||01/01/2014||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Wellington Phoenix 3|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||01/12/2013||Wellington Phoenix 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||20/10/2013||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Wellington Phoenix 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||10/03/2013||Western Sydney Wanderers 2 - Wellington Phoenix 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||13/01/2013||Wellington Phoenix 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2|
|12/04/2014||Wellington Phoenix 1 - Melbourne Victory 4||AUS1|
|06/04/2014||Sydney FC 4 - Wellington Phoenix 1||AUS1|
|30/03/2014||Wellington Phoenix 0 - Adelaide United 1||AUS1|
|22/03/2014||Newcastle Jets 5 - Wellington Phoenix 0||AUS1|
|16/03/2014||Melbourne Heart 2 - Wellington Phoenix 2||AUS1|
|Western Sydney Wanderers|
|15/04/2014||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2||ACL|
|12/04/2014||Melbourne Heart 2 - Western Sydney Wanderers 3||AUS1|
|05/04/2014||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Brisbane Roar 1||AUS1|
|01/04/2014||Kawasaki Frontale 2 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1||ACL|
|29/03/2014||Central Coast Mariners 2 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1||AUS1|
|-||Adam Leonard D'Apuzzo||Defender|
|-||Iacopo La Rocca||Midfielder|