Wellington's season lurched to an unprecedented low last time out, leaving the Jets no doubt confident they can end their hoodoo in Wellington
Bertos, Durante, Sigmund, Lochhead
Sanchez, Muscat, SmithBoyd, Brockie, Ifill
Neville, Regan, Chapman, Gallaway
Brown, Brillante, Wheelhouse, Goodwin
The Newcastle Jets may never get a better opportunity to break their drought against Wellington Phoenix.
With the Phoenix winless in four games and bottom of the A-League table after their 7-1 thumping by Sydney FC last Saturday, sixth-placed Newcastle should head to Wellington with plenty of confidence they can knock off the hosts.
The Jets have not won in Wellington since their first trip across the Tasman to play the Phoenix in 2007.
Newcastle have lost the other eight games they have journeyed across, while Wellington have triumphed in six-consecutive matches against the Jets at any venue.
But Wellington have won just one match and lost five in the seven rounds since co-owner Gareth Morgan's infamous demand that Rickie Herbert's team move toward 'total football'.
The mid-season directive to change the team's playing style has left Wellington's players confused and struggling on the pitch.
Herbert labelled the 7-1 demolition at the hands of Sydney FC as "totally unacceptable", and the 51-year-old head coach needs to do something drastic if he is to salvage the Phoenix's campaign.
Vince Lia will be unavailable for the home side on Sunday due to suspension, but Paul Ifill could be ready for his first start in a month having returned from ankle surgery from the bench against the Sky Blues.
Manny Muscat should add clout to midfield, while left-back Ian Hogg has also been included in the squad.
The Jets are set to welcome captain Jobe Wheelhouse back to the starting line-up after the 27-year-old midfielder sat on the bench in Newcastle's past two games following a stint out with a knee injury.
Wheelhouse will replace the suspended Ruben Zadkovich, while Taylor Regan will start instead of Josh Mitchell, who is also banned for the trip to Wellington. New signing Zenon Caravella has been rushed into the squad after his move from Adelaide United was announced on Wednesday.Van Egmond's insistence on playing youngsters looked to have derailed the Jets' season through November and December, as Newcastle lost six of nine matches.
But having stuck with the likes of Craig Goodwin, Connor Chapman and Josh Brillante, Van Egmond is now seeing his patience rewarded.
Van Egmond selected the second-youngest starting line-up in A-League history in Jets' 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar two weeks ago, and those youngsters look on track to lead Newcastle to the A-League finals.
A drought-breaking win away to Wellington would be a big step for Van Egmond's side, and Newcastle's new-found defensive prowess should provide the foundation for the likes of Goodwin, Heskey and Griffiths to create havoc for the home side.
Wellington have a goal difference of -13 during their four-game losing run, and must improve to avoid yet another defeat on Sunday.