January 19, 2013 5:30 PM EST
Allianz Stadium — Sydney
Referee: K. Griffiths-Jones
A-League preview: Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix
How much longer can both Sydney FC and the Wellington Phoenix hold out their finals hopes? The answer may be revealed on Saturday, depending on who triumphs at Allianz Stadium
Grant, Ryall, Calvano, Fabio
Emerton, Culina, Triantis
Griffiths, Del Piero, Yau
Bertos, Durante, Sigmund, Lochhead
Sanchez, Lia, FentonIfill, Huysegems, Brockie
The two sides are propping up the rest of the A-League competition, which means a victory is vital for both, while a loss would prove almost fatal to their finals chances.
Ninth-placed Sydney FC at least come into theencounter in winning form, having come from behind to snatch a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Heart last Sunday.
Experienced striker Joel Griffiths is finally available after joining the club in December and he will come straight into the starting line-up.
There was bad news for defender Pascal Bosschaart this week, with the Dutchman ruled out for the rest of the season due to a heel injury. Tiago Calvano signed as a replacement after his release from the Newcastle Jets.
Calvano will also go straight into the XI, while midfielder Paul Reid have been included. The injury list remains high for the Sky Blues, however, with Adam Griffiths and Joel Chianese among those remaining on the sidelines.
The Phoenix are in their worst run of form in recent memory, with last Sunday's 2-0 home loss to Western Sydney the club's third straight.
Ricki Herbert's side badly missed the likes of Paul Ifill and Manny Muscat, but at least get the former back from injury.
No.2 goalkeeper Glen Moss is also back in the squad, while Cameron Lindsay has been omitted.
These sides have already met twice this season for one win apiece, with the Sky Blues clinching the most recent game 2-1 in Wellington in what was coach Frank Farina's first victory.
There may still be 10 games to go after this match, but it has got to the stage where defeat for either side in this clash would just about end their finals hopes.
Farina said last week his side had to win their next two home games to stay alive and, after [just] seeing off Heart, they will be confident of completing that goal.
There is never too much between these two sides as the head-to-head record suggests, but with the Sky Blues now having a formidable focal point in attack in Griffiths, it could give them the edge.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sydney FC 2-1 Wellington Phoenix
- 22.73 %
Sydney FC 0-1 Wellington Phoenix
- 13.64 %
Sydney FC 3-0 Wellington Phoenix
- 13.64 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||23/11/2013||Sydney FC 2 - Wellington Phoenix 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||19/01/2013||Sydney FC 7 - Wellington Phoenix 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||09/12/2012||Wellington Phoenix 1 - Sydney FC 2|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||06/10/2012||Wellington Phoenix 2 - Sydney FC 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||30/03/2012||Wellington Phoenix 3 - Sydney FC 2|
|30/11/2013||Sydney FC 2 - Newcastle Jets 0||AUS1|
|23/11/2013||Sydney FC 2 - Wellington Phoenix 1||AUS1|
|15/11/2013||Melbourne Heart 0 - Sydney FC 2||AUS1|
|09/11/2013||Sydney FC 3 - Melbourne Victory 2||AUS1|
|02/11/2013||Perth Glory 1 - Sydney FC 0||AUS1|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|