Finals hopes might be all but over for Wellington Phoenix but battle to avoid the wooden spoon continues when they host Melbourne Heart this afternoon. We’ll have live scores from 2.30pm AEDT.
With three home games in eight days, the past week was a chance for a Phoenix side who has disappointed consistently throughout this campaign to turn around their season.
It didn’t work out that way. A 2-2 draw last Sunday against Adelaide was followed by the departure of foundation coach Ricki Herbert the day afterwards, and the Phoenix sunk further on the Wednesday night when they were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle.
They currently sit seven points outside the top six and with only three games remaining after today, it would be a massive ask for a side who have won just five times in 23 matches.
Wellington’s season might be all but over but the same cannot be said for today’s opponents Melbourne Heart, who get the opportunity to move ahead of Brisbane (sixth, 28 points) with a win this afternoon.
But to do so, John Aloisi’s men will need to overcome a horrendous away record, with their only road victory this season coming in round 1 in the Melbourne Derby – at Etihad Stadium, no less.
With Josip Tadic still unavailable, Aloisi will need Eli Babalj to step up. Babalj continued his barren return to the A-League last weekend in the 3-1 win over Sydney and if it continues this afternoon the Heart might see themselves returning across the Tasman with less than three points.