The Phoenix will be aiming to keep their season alive when they host the Premier’s Plate winners this weekend.
Wellington are currently in seventh spot and need to win their final two games of the season and hope other results go their way if they are sneak into the top six.
They’ve given themselves a chance by hitting form at the end of the season and carry a big 3-nil win over Melbourne Victory into this one.
Sydney FC also go into this off the back of the exact same scoreline after they dusted up Melbourne City last week.
Wellington have been a frustrating side because on paper they’ve got a pretty solid squad but on the pitch they have largely failed to deliver.
The past two rounds, when all hopes of finals football had pretty much faded, have seen them play at near irresistible levels and winning consecutive games by a cumulative scoreline of 8-0.
First they put the cleaners through Newcastle at home 5-nil before going over to AAMI Park and putting three past the Victory to record back-to-back wins against them for the first time in club history!
HISTORY WITHIN REACH
Sydney FC already has the most points of any side in A-league history in a 27-game season, however, they have their eyes firmly set on the all-time mark.
Sitting on 62 points, they only need three more to tie Brisbane Roar’s record of 65 which was set when there was 30 rounds played.
That means there shouldn’t be any complacency from Graham Arnold’s side despite having wrapped up the Premier’s Plate a fortnight ago.
Sydney FC has dominated the Phoenix in recent years which is a bad sign for the Kiwis.
The Sky Blues have won four and drawn twice against Wellington in the past seven games and have won the two fixtures played between the sides this season.
The first contest back in the early rounds of the season saw Sydney snatch a late winner at this ground 1-nil while at Allianz more recently, Sydney took out the game 3-1.
In fact the game on February 9 was up in the air at one point. After Sydney raced to a 2-nil lead, Wellington struck back through Alex Rodriguez and for a while they had the upper hand and looked likely to score an equalizer. As has been the case for most of the season though, they couldn’t penetrate the Sydney defence again and a Milos Ninkovic goal in the 54th minute sealed the result.
Wellington remarkably have a few things going for them in this match so the $3.95 @ Unibet won’t be the worst bet you’ve had all weekend.
Sydney will be without influential pair Josh Brilliante and Brandon O’Neill for this after they picked up suspensions last week so that will force Arnold to reshuffle his line-up.
The Phoenix also have the third best defence in the league at home (1.23 goals per game) which is sure to give some strife to the league’s best away attack which scores at a rate of 2.23gpg.
You have to stand up and take notice of what the home side has done in the past two weeks and even Sydney would be silly not to respect their opponents, who remember are fighting for their top six lives!
Sydney are to be respected and still have plenty to play for. Just have a look at what they’ve done since they suffered their only loss of the season to the Wanderers six weeks ago - five straight wins and the last four of them being clean sheets!
Off the back of that we can see both team’s neutralising each other and are tipping a draw.
THE MATCH TIP:
MILOS NINKOVIC – has had two shots on goal against the Phoenix the last two times he’s played them and scored both!