Wanderland revival to continue against A-League also rans. Having been at the depths of despair a few weeks ago after suffering a 5-nil loss to Sydney FC and a 4-nil defeat to Newcastle, there are signs of a Western Sydney revival. The Wanderers have now gone three games unbeaten – winning two of those – with their last outing a 1-1 draw against Adelaide on Wednesday that saw them lead until late. The rumblings of discontent about Josep Gombau seem to have gone quiet and the players appear more and more in synch with the new game plan. At Wellington, the view from the bottom of the ladder is still bleak, but at least for this game it is coming off the back off a win. The Phoenix made hard work of it against a Melbourne Victory side that was reduced to 10 men in the 10th minute but ultimately came out on top 2-1. Back-to-back home games for what is a tight turnaround for both teams could be handy for Wellington in what is a must-win game for the Kiwi side.
1. If WELLINGTON loses this game it will be at least 10 points outside of the top six with 12 games to play before finals.
2. Jack Clisby’s goal for WESTERN SYDNEY against Adelaide on Wednesday night was his first A-League goal.
3. Only two sides have lost less games than WESTERN SYDNEY (4) this season – league leaders Sydney FC (1) and Newcastle (3).
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDER WELL TO WELLINGTON
This is the first league meeting between these sides this season, although Western Sydney scored a 1-0 extra time win over Wellington in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup.
The Wanderers won two of their three games against the Phoenix last season – both 3-1. The other match was a 2-2 draw
In eight games played in New Zealand between these sides, both teams have won three.
Despite the travel off the back of just a three-day break, Western Sydney needs to prove its renaissance is real here by putting away a Wellington side that continues to fail to impress.
All things considered this is not necessarily a game where there is a lot between the two sides, so it could come down to the wire, with the better team on paper getting the job done in the end.
With the Spaniard now getting more and more starts under his belt, Riera is too good not to find a way to score against the Phoenix defence. Has netted six times in 13 games.
With so many fixtures packed in, the trend last round was for less goals to be scored. Neither of these sides are heavy scorers either.
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