Each side desperately needs full points - both to snap appalling runs of form and reinvigorate their fading finals ambitions
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Bertos, Durante, Sigmund, Hogg
Sanchez, Muscat, Lia, FentonIfill, Brockie
Risdon, Thwaite, Pantelidis, Jamieson
Dodd, Miller, Burns, HeffernanMcGarry, Harold
Wellington have slumped to the bottom of the ladder with 17 points, while Perth are languishing two points above Phoenix in ninth after they were beaten 1-0 by Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
But despite their poor results and thanks largely to the closeness of the competition, Glory could climb as high as fifth with a win over Wellington, who could jump up to seventh with three points of their own.
Phoenix were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle Jets last time out, ending a run of four consecutive losses that included a 7-1 hammering by Sydney FC and a 2-0 home loss to Western Sydney Wanderers.
Jeremy Brockie's 73rd-minute equaliser earned Wellington a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Perth at nib Stadium last time the sides met, in Week 8.
It would be unfair to predict a winner, with both teams in such a poor state of affairs on the pitch.
While held to a draw, Wellington showed signs of life against the Jets, with Manny Muscat livening up the midfield in his return from suspension and Paul Ifill adding another dimension up front after a month out through injury.
But, like Perth, Phoenix were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal. They also have to contend with the loss of left-back Tony Lochhead, who was sent off for a challenge that resulted in a second yellow card and a free-kick that Emile Heskey converted to level proceedings.
Ian Hogg should replace him in defence for his Phoenix debut, in what could be the only change for Ricki Herbert's XI.
Perth have it somewhat better, regaining Dean Heffernan from injury and Liam Miller and Josh Risdon from suspension. Star striker Shane Smeltz, however, continues to miss.
Glory have lost six of their eight matches away from home this season, but will be desperate to find the net in Auckland and would happily walk away with a point.