HOME TRUTHSPhoenix fans can take some comfort knowing that this game will be played at Westpac Stadium. The team’s performances at home have far outweighed their efforts on the road so far. Wellington has picked up points in four of their six home games so far while boasting the second-best defence in the competition in front of their fans (four goals), which is bettered only by the unbeaten Sydney FC (three).
CLOSE BUT NO CIGARCentral Coast go into this match with losses in six of their past seven games, however, their efforts have been nothing but game. Last week they became the first team to put two goals past Sydney FC’s iron-clad defence, however, went down in controversial circumstances after David Carney slotted the winner from what could have been an offside position. The previous round they had Melbourne City on toast after two second half goals only to concede a late penalty to ultimately share the points. All things being equal the Mariners have been competitive but they need to start making the most of their opportunities and a missed penalty attempt last week by Fabio Ferreira highlights this fact.
THE HISTORYWellington has three wins all season and two of them have been against Central Coast. The last time they clashed produced a 3-0 result at FMG Stadium for the Phoenix while they also got the better of their rivals in Canberra 2-0 back on November 12. Those two wins for Wellington broke a run of outs for them against Central Coast stretching three games in which the Mariners had outscored them 7-3.
THE VERDICTThis is without doubt the hardest game of the round to pick. If you are having a bet in this game then you definitely want some value and that could come in the way of the Mariners. Paul Okon’s outfit has been good in stages of their games over the past five to six weeks, however, they haven’t seen any rewards from it. Of concern for those wanting to back them though is their 17 goals conceded on the road, which ranks them last in the league. Funnily enough, their attack away from home has yielded the same amount of goals (eight) as it has on the Central Coast. While they have been performing well though it may not be enough to go across the ditch and steal all three points from the Phoenix, especially since they have beaten them twice this season and outscored 5-0 in the process. The best way to approach this game from a punting perspective outside the Result market could be the 1st goalscorer, where Roy Krishna and Roy O’Donovan are the logical choices for their side. The pair has 15 goals between them!
THE TIP: Draw
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5 Overs
1ST GOALSCORER Roy Krishna