Sydney FC will be looking to make it two wins from two, after winning an eventful game in Adelaide.
Adam Le Fondre will be looking to continue his goalscoring form but will find it hard in doing so with Steven Taylor marking him. Overall, Sydney may have been lucky to get the win over Adelaide United last weekend and will be looking to a leaky defence to hopefully shut a few up.
However, it was Paulo Retre who committed the foul where Nikola Mileusnic scored off the free-kick and it was Retre again who lazily kept Al Hassan Toure onside for Toure’s second goal. Because of this, Steve Corica will be welcoming back Rhyan Grant, who will most likely slot into right-back.
On the other hand, Wellington Phoenix put up a fight against new team Western United but never seemed to look like they were going to score. There was a report that came about that they should have been a penalty in stoppage time, which I completely agree with, but from open play they never looked like scoring.
They now have been boosted with former Celtic and Norwich City striker Gary Hooper, but, in the unlikely chance that he will be included in the team, he will most likely start on the bench due to him arriving only a few days ago.
Sydney FC squad
Steve Corica will be gladly welcoming back Rhyan Grant into the mix, after grabbing three assists in two Socceroos games, and also being called the man of the match in the latter game against Chinese Taipei. Grant will most likely be thrust straight back into the starting eleven.
Corica will also be welcoming number one shot-stopper Andrew Redmayne, who didn’t receive any action in the games but would have learnt a lot working side-by-side with Brighton and Hove Albion’s first-choice keeper Matthew Ryan. He will most likely also be thrust straight into the starting line-up.
They also welcome back Patrick Flottmann from the Olyroos squad, but he will most likely take up a place on the bench, with the starting centre-backs being match-winner Ryan McGowan and club captain Alex Wilkinson.
Other than that, there probably won’t be any changes in the team that prevailed in Adelaide, and Corica will be looking to the front four to continue combining to find the goals. Michael Zullo is still out with injury, so Josh King will probably resume his place in the starting eleven for now.
Predicted Sydney FC starting eleven
GK: Andrew Redmayne
LB: Joel King
CB: Alex Wilkinson
CB: Ryan McGowan
RB: Rhyan Grant
CDM: Brandon O’Neil
CDM: Luke Brattan
CAM: Milos Ninkovic
CAM: Alex Baumjohann
ST: Adam Le Fondre
ST: Kosta Barbarouses
Wellington Phoenix currently has a full team to play with, although there is an exception in Gary Hooper who may not be ready to play. I sense that Ufuk Talay may change up the formation, but because I’m unsure I will stick with the 4-4-2 for my predicted line-up.
I don’t see any changes for the Phoenix side, with the exception that Ben Waine could start in place of Joshua Sotirio, who never looked to be in the game against Western United.
Predicted starting eleven
GK: Stefan Marinovic
LB: Liberato Cacace
CB: Luke De Vere
CB: Steven Taylor
RB: Louis Fenton
RM: Ulises Davila
CM: Alex Rufer
CM: Ville Matti Steinmann
LM: Callum McCowatt
ST: David Ball
ST: Ben Waine
Predicted match result
Sydney FC is expected to win this game, but you never know. Ufuk Talay knows the inside of Sydney FC, and that can play to the Phoenix’s advantage. However, I think the quality of the front four will be too much for Wellington, and I predict Sydney FC to win 2-1.