Wellington Phoenix will be coming into this game against the Central Coast Mariners full of confidence following three consecutive victories, including a best-ever away win on New Year’s Day. We’ll have live scores and commentary of this one from 5.00pm AEDT.
The Phoenix players have had plenty of knockers, espescially Stein Huysegems, who answered his critics last time out with a brace and an assist to help Wellington in their third consecutive victory.
This earned him player of the round honours, as the Phoenix demolished the Wanderers at their stomping ground in Parramatta, which coincidently was the first time the Wanderers had conceded more than two goals in a game this season.
Following their poor start to the year, Wellington sit just five points adrift the top six and everything seems to be clicking for Ernie Merrick’s men.
To further boost Wellington’s confidence, the Mariners lost New Zealand international Michael McGlinchey to a transfer to J.League club Vegalta Sandai following their goalless stalemate with Melbourne Heart.
The draw was enough to see the Central Coast side move up to third on the table, however this position isn’t comfortable, with Melbourne and Sydney both just one point behind.
To get the win, the sides must capitalise on opportunities.
Jeremy Brockie has been out of sorts for the Phoenix and hasn’t scored since Round 4; if he fails to score here then he will come under more scrutiny.
Same can be said about the Mariners, they seemed to be the only ones who couldn’t score against the luckless Heart.
Their fortunes have changed since Graham Arnold left the club but, as we seem to be saying every season, they are well and truly in the hunt.
Player to watch
Tyler Boyd – this young forward has been in good form of late, which saw him score against the Wanderers.
His link of play with Huysegems has been good of late and if that continues, the Phoenix will continue to threaten the net.
Phoenix are in form and I expect that to continue, have them to win 2-1.