Preview: Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix

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The Wanderers come into this game on the back of a well-deserved 1-1 draw against the Central Coast Mariners after leaving it late to secure a point from the grand final rematch.

There was a degree of rustiness and sloppiness to the Wanderers play at times last week, some of the combinations especially the left hand side of Bridge and D’Apuzzo failed to fire. Aaron Mooy was deployed in the attacking midfielder role and the Australian international struggled to create any real chances for his teammates.

The three second half substitutions of Juric, Santalab and Ono had an immediate affect from the bench; injecting the spark that was missing from the Wanderers attack in the first 60 minutes.

Wellington Phoenix were unlucky to lose to Roar, conceding late in the match. They had several chances to take the lead but were wasteful in front of goal and paid the ultimate price for their missed chances.

With their first home game sold out, the Wanderers will be looking to get their first win of the season in front of their supporters. The Wanderers will most likely make a few changes to their starting line-up. Juric with his goal last week, looks like he is in the box seat to be the starting forward, Ono should also return to the starting XI. If those changes are to eventuate then one of Mooy or La Rocca will have to make way along with Haliti.

Wellington will have several players back after they completed international duty with New Zealand, as many as six players were missing, most notably forward Jeremy Brockie.

Player to watch:

Youssouf Hersi was the best player on the park for the Wanderers in round one, however this week the one to look for will be Tomi Juric. The new recruit will be high on confidence and if he gets the nod to start the match he is every chance to add to his tally against the roar.

Prediction:

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 – 0 Wellington Phoenix

Alan Mtashar

Alan is a football writer and analyst of the beautiful game. His analysis and views of the game have been utilised on radio as recently as the Youth World Cup. A White Ribbon Australia Ambassador and still manages to kick a ball around when possible.

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