Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Sunday, 1 December 2013
Kick-off: 5.00pm local (3:00pm AEDT)
Referee: Lucien Laverdure
The last time these two met in Round 2 the Phoenix came away with a well deserved point from Wanderland, with a 1-1 draw.
Both teams are coming off a loss last week, while the Wanderers suffered their first defeat of the season (Brisbane Roar, 3-1), the Phoenix are yet to taste victory in this year’s competition.
Wellington conceded an injury time goal, to Sydney FC, after working hard to get on level terms. Wellington’s slack defending, left the door wide open for Sydney to claim their third straight win of the season.
The Wanderers defence was equally soft, against the Roar, and were made to pay, with two goals from Berisha and Franjic, in the first 20 minutes. The Wanderers did well to wrestle back control and possession of the game, creating several chances, but were unable to capitalise on the 15 shots they attempted.
Wellington Phoenix need to start winning games soon, as they are one of only two teams without a win this season (Melbourne Heart). They are already 6 points from the top six, and will lose more ground if they lose to the second-placed Wanderers.
The Wanderers and their fans will still have the bitter taste of defeat, and will be looking to amened that by beating their kiwi opposition. Wanderers are again without their weapons of, Hersi, Juric and Ono. Hersi was expected to be back this week, but is still suffering from the foot injury he sustained at the derby. Taj Minniecon has made several impressive appearances from the bench, and could be in line for a starting role on the right flank.
The Wanderers need to improve their shot to goal ratio. Santalab scored his first goal last week, and should he finish off, the chances he is likely to be provided, he could come home from across the Tasman with a hat trick.
The Wanderers conceded 3 goals for the first time in their history, making Wellington’s task of scoring this week all the more daunting.
Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Glen Moss (go), 2.Manny Muscat, 5.Michael Boxall, 6.Josh Brindell-South, 7.Leo Bertos, 8.Paul Ifill, 9.Kenny Cunningham, 10.Stein Huysegems, 11.Jeremy Brockie, 12.Tyler Boyd, 13.Albert Riera, 15.Jason Hicks, 16.Louis Fenton, 17.Vince Lia, 18.Ben Sigmund, 20.Lewis Italiano (go), 21.Carlos Hernandez, 22.Andrew Durante (c)
***Two to be omitted***
Ins: 5. Michael Boxall (promoted), 6. Josh Brindell-South (promoted), 12 Tyler Boyd (promoted).
Out: 3. Reece Caira (omitted).
Western Sydney Wanderers Squad: 1.Ante COVIC (go), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Adam D’APUZZO, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Michael BEAUCHAMP (c), 6.Jerome POLENZ, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.Aaron MOOY, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Jerrad TYSON (go), 22. Dean Heffernan, 23.Jason TRIFIRO
***One to be omitted***
Ins: 23.Jason TRIFIRO (promoted), 5.Michael Beauchamp (promoted)
Outs: 21.Shinji ONO (groin)
Unavailable: 17.Youssouf HERSI (foot), 9. Tomi Juric (knee)