A-League preview: Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix
There appears no stopping the Western Sydney Wanderers, meaning the Wellington Phoenix have a mountainous task on their hands if they are to keep their finals hopes alive
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Polenz, T-Stanley, Beauchamp, Cole
Ono, Poljak, La Rocca, MooyGibbs, Bridge
Bertos, Durante, Sigmund, Lochhead
Lia, Sanchez, FentonBrockie, Huysegems, Totori
And they could not have done it in better fashion, with Labinot Haliti's goal giving them a 1-0 away win against previous league leaders Central Coast.
The next two challenges for Tony Popovic's side is breaking the record for consecutive wins before trying to hold onto to top spot over the last four games of the regular season.
And they will fancy their chances of accomplishing the first goal with bottom-placed Wellington heading to Parramatta Stadium on Sunday.
The Phoenix kept their faint finals hopes alive with a narrow win over Melbourne Heart last Sunday but will need to improve immensely if they are to trouble the confident Wanderers.
The two sides have met twice this season in Wellington, with one win apiece.
There are not too many issues when you are on a record-breaking winning streak but there is a different pressure on Western Sydney heading into this match.
The Wanderers have thrived on being the hunter all season long but how will they react now they are on top and are being hunted?
There is no doubt Popovic's players have proved they can handle pressure but it is always a little different when you have got something to lose.
Popovic again has an almost clean bill of health with his squad. Only long-term injury victim Tahj Minniecon remains sidelined, but the coach may elect to make changes by bringing in midfielder Aaron Mooy or goalscorer Haliti.
Wellington handed interim boss Chris Greenacre his first win in their triumph over the Heart last Sunday.
In what has been a forgettable and frustrating season, it was arguably the side's most impressive performance.
But the Phoenix have not been able to back up a good showing twice in a row this season and sides cannot afford to be even a little bit off their game if they plan to cause an upset against the Wanderers.Greenacre will have to make at least one change, with Belgian frontman Stein Huysegems suspended. Isaka Cernak returns to the squad, while Louis Fenton is also pushing for a recall.
The Wanderers are on the verge of an historic win and it is hard to see anything but that happening.
They are confident, fit and riding a huge wave of momentum. Wellington simply are not playing good enough to trouble the home side in this one, though stranger things have happened.
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Top 3 Predictions
Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 Wellington Phoenix
- 16.67 %
Western Sydney Wanderers 4-1 Wellington Phoenix
- 16.67 %
Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 Wellington Phoenix
- 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|
|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|