Jostling for playoff positions continues when the Wanderers and Phoenix do battle to finish off Round 23.
Both sides will be keen to continue their push towards the finals despite their best efforts to fall over themselves at various times throughout the season.
The Wanderers will be glad to get back home with some confidence after scoring a huge upset in the Asian Champions League midweek. They traveled to play FC Seoul and scored an upset 3-2 win.
Wellington, on the other hand, enjoyed the week off but prior to that had played out a 3-3 draw against title contenders Perth at home.
HOME GROUND BLUES
The Wanderers have really struggled to adapt to their temporary new homes this season.
With Pirtek Stadium being rebuilt, WSW have had to play at various grounds but none have fitted quite like their spiritual home.
They are ranked eighth in the league for points earned at home (12) which is comprised of two wins and six draws – definitely not good enough for a team with finals ambitions.
Heading to Spotless Stadium on Sunday and coach Tony Popovic will be hoping his side can break their hoodoo at the venue. As it stands, they are yet to win there in several attempts this season.
Wellington continue to be one of the Jekyll and Hyde teams of the A-league.
Just when you think they are dead and buried they pull out a win against Brisbane on the road and then go goal-for-goal with Perth to share the points.
The win against Brisbane was just their second ever victory at Suncorp Stadium and just their second on the road in 2016/17. The fact it came against one of the best ‘home’ teams in the comp for the better part of two seasons indicates exactly why the Phoenix are so frustrating.
They currently sit two points behind Western Sydney who occupy the final playoff spot and if the Kiwis are any chance of playing finals they need to win this.
The Red and Black Bloc will be pleased to see that their boys hold the ascendancy here.
Western Sydney has won four of the past six outings against the Phoenix including their previous encounter back in February.
In a strange twist though the team that has been ‘away’ has dominated the results in the past five games, winning four times during that run.
Both teams have plenty to play for so we don’t think either side will be sitting back and hoping to simply snare a point.
A lot depends on how fatigued the Wanderers are from their overseas venture. If they can bounce back solidly then they are a big chance, however, their efforts after two previous ACL games has seen them come up with a loss and draw.
Wellington has rediscovered their scoring touch in the past two games by putting two past the Roar and three past Perth. If they can continue that form then there is no doubt they will give this a big shake.
Although we anticipate an attacking contest we cannot find a clear-cut case for either team to win and therefore, the Draw ($3.80 @ Unibet) could be the way to go.
THE MATCH TIP: DRAW
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 3.5: OVER 3.5 – their past three encounters have seen them score 4 or more between them
1st GOALSCORER: BRENDON SANTALAB – has opened the scoring the past two times he has played the Phoenix