Wellington will never get a better chance to break their mini-hoodoo against Adelaide than this week.
The defending champions have dropped three straight games and are coming off a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Sydney FC. It’s definitely safe to say the premiers are in a crisis!
Wellington is unbeaten in their last three games which includes consecutive 2-2 draws against Newcastle and the Wanderers.
DONE AND DUSTED
Adelaide won’t be weaving the same magic they did last season in taking out the Premiers Plate and Grand Final. Gui Amor’s men this time around are a different version to the one that took the A-league by storm last season.
They have conceded a whopping three goals per game in their past three defeats which includes twin 4-0 results against Brisbane and Sydney FC.
United has one of the worst defences in the competition (conceding nearly two goals per game) and boast the worst attack of all 10 sides (0.833 gpg).
Making their task even harder here is they have lost four of their six away fixtures in 2016/17 with the only points secured away from Coopers being two draws.
ALL’S WELL IN WELLINGTON
The Phoenix are enjoying their most fruitful period of the season and are currently riding a three-game points streak which has seen them secure five of nine points.
Such is the closeness of the league outside runaway leaders Sydney FC that Wellington sit just two points outside the top six.
The last time these teams met was back in Round 9 where Adelaide secured their first (and only) win of the season in a 2-0 result at Coopers. The result was the catalyst for coach Ernie Merrick to walk away from Wellington and since then their stocks have risen to see them ride their current three-game unbeaten run.
Adelaide, on the other hand, has suffered three straight losses since then.
When looking at recent history between the teams the Reds have the edge, winning three straight after dropping three in a row against the Phoenix.
HOW IT PANS OUT
This is Wellington’s game to lose.
They are playing with vigour and determination and that is something Adelaide has been missing in large portions of their recent matches.
Despite having a number of half chances against Sydney FC last week, Adelaide couldn’t convert and when they conceded the opener you could tell their confidence dropped. Three further goals in a 13-minute span showed just how fragile the Reds have become and how far from the top they have fallen.
Wellington’s chances of success will rely heavily on last week’s goalscorers, Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler, while the in-form Roy Krishna didn’t get on the score sheet last week but easily leads the team with seven goals for the term.
THE TIP: WELLINGTON
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5 – OVERS