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Western Sydney vs Wellington
A-League Round 23
|Sydney Showground Stadium|
The Wanderers have built on their Champions League triumph in midweek with an impressive home victory against the Wellington Phoenix.
Western Sydney Wanderers 3
Wellington Phoenix 1
It’s a six pointer for sixth place at Spotless Stadium as the Western Sydney Wanderers will look to convert their Asian Champions League form to their A-League campaign as they welcome the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night. Join The Roar for live updates from 7pm AEDT.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had A-League action, but the Wanderers have managed seven points out of a possible 12 in their past four home matches. Their last result coming from a bore 0-0 draw at home against Adelaide United.
Wellington let slip a two-goal lead at home last time out to fall short of three points in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Perth Glory. The Nix haven’t had the best of times in Sydney this season going down 3-1 to Sydney FC earlier this year.
Brendan Santalab returns to the squad from his injury which is an important pickup for Tony Popovic with his goal scoring woes in the A-League continuing. However, with Lachie Scott’s important goal on the big stage in the Champions League in midweek, it may be time to hand the reigns over to the 19-year old with another start in the A-League.
Nico Martinez is also in line to start again having been rested in Korea against FC Seoul.
Wellington have a full strength squad after a fortnight’s break but are weighed down by the departure of favoured right full-back Jacob Tratt who has returned to Sydney for personal reasons.
Tratt has been an important player for Wellington down the right but his likely replacement in Matthew Ridenton or Adam Parkhouse are capable of filling his shoes.
Santalab’s inclusion into the squad is vital as he holds a healthy goals record against Wellington scoring in both matches away this season. His inclusion from the bench along with the work down the right-wing against Adam Parkhouse will provide the Wanderers with plenty of chances against a shaky Wellington defence.
Wellington’s main threat comes through marquee man Kosta Barbarouses who scored a pearler in their 3-3 draw against Perth Glory. Barbarouses has scored the majority of his away goals in his career in Sydney are looks set to cause problems for Jack Clisby on Sunday.
Against the contrary, I think the Wanderers will carry some good form with them into this match and take home a win. I’ll go for the Wanderers to win and over 1.5 goals in the match.
Join The Roar for live updates from 7pm AEDT.