Western Sydney Wanderers FC
3
Hyundai A-League
(Sun 19 Mar 2017, 07.00PM LOCAL)
FINAL
Venue: Spotless Stadium
Attendance: 7828
Fox Sports
ABC
Wellington Phoenix
1

Timeline

Hyundai A-League preview: Wanderers v Phoenix

Sixth spot and control of their Hyundai A-League Finals Series destiny is on the line when Western Sydney Wanderers host  Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.

MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Wellington Phoenix

Spotless Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

Kick-Off: 7:00pm (Local) (7:00pm (AEDT))

Referee: Daniel Elder

Assistant Referee 1: Greg Taylor

Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live and Hawkesbury Radio

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvWEL #FFW

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 24.Terry ANTONIS, 29.Ryan GRIFFITHS

**two to be omitted**

Brendon Santalab celebrates one of his two goals against Wellington Phoenix.

Ins: 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Jacob MELLING (back – indefinite)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 6.Dylan FOX, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 99.Shane SMELTZ

**two to be omitted**

Marco Rossi

Ins: 2.Jacob TRATT (returns from suspension), 13.Marco ROSSI (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

After disappointing Hyundai A-League campaigns, both Wanderers and Phoenix have the chance to get back on track with maximum points at Spotless Stadium.

Put simply, this is the biggest clash of the season for both teams.

Sixth v seventh, a win to either team will ensure they finish the weekend in the finals positions. It's that tight in the chase for six. 

For the Wanderers, should the Jets lose to City on Saturday night, a win over Phoenix would propel them five points clear of their Kiwi rivals with just four rounds remaining.

And they will come into this clash full of confidence after securing an impressive 3-2 win over FC Seoul in the ACL on Wednesday night, their first points on the continental front this campaign.

Wanderers players celebrate Terry Antonis converting a penalty against FC Seoul in the ACL.

The Wanderers enjoyed the weekend off in the A-League but the midweek trip to Korea could be a factor against the Phoenix.

And their task isn’t any easier with Sunday’s clash to be held at Spotless Stadium, a venue the Wanderers have failed to win at this season.

Meanwhile, Wellington haven’t played since March 4 and will have had two full weeks to prepare for the trip across the Tasman.

The Phoenix played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Glory at home in their last fixture and appear to be finding form after a patchy run of results.

After dropping trio Roly Bonevacia, Tom Doyle and Ryan Lowry for disciplinary reasons three weeks ago, Des Buckingham’s side have responded with vastly improved performances against Roar (won 2-1) and Glory (3-3 draw).

Wellington will view this match as a must-win given they will be without Glen Moss, Roy Krishna, Andrew Durante, Tom Doyle, Michael McGlinchey and Shane Smeltz for next week’s clash with Newcastle Jets.

And with three of their last five matches away from Westpac Stadium, Wellington are going to need to find a way to pick up maximum points on the road.

Wellington Phoenix players celebrate a goal in their 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar.

OPTA DATA

  • Western Sydney Wanderers have won four of their last six games against the Phoenix, scoring exactly two goals in five of those six fixtures.
  • Wellington have scored nine goals in their last four visits to Western Sydney Wanderers, winning twice in that span.
  • Western Sydney Wanderers have failed to score in their last two games, the last time they went longer without a goal was a four-game streak from December 2014 to January 2015.
  • Wellington claimed a 2-1 win against Brisbane in their most recent away fixture and now search for back-to-back road wins for the first time since a three-game streak in March 2015.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Star Wanderers trio Nico Martinez, Brendon Santalab and Jumpei Kusukami saw little game-time against FC Seoul and should be fresh for the weekend.

Youngster Lachlan Scott netted his first goal in the Asian Champions League midweek and will be brimming with confidence, while little-used striker Ryan Griffiths failed to see any game time in Korea.

Classy attacking midfielder Terry Antonis continues to improve and was impressive against the K-League outfit, finding the target from the penalty spot to give Tony Popovic’s side a 2-0 advantage.

Terry Antonis

It will be interesting to see if the unpredictable Popovic will make many changes from his side’s midweek triumph or look to stick with a winning formula.

For Wellington, speedster Kosta Barbarouses will be out to prove a point after being left out of New Zealand’s squad for this month’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Fiji.

The former Victory star was a shock omission from Anthony Hudson’s squad last week and will want to put in a big shift to send a message to the Kiwi boss.

Brazilian playmaker Gui Finkler provided a much needed spark on his return from paternity leave last round and looms as a key outlet for the visitors in Sydney.

Phoenix attacker Gui Finkler celebrates opening the scoring against Glory on Saturday.

His composure, guile and eye for goal was a feature against the Glory and the Nix look a far more threatening outfit when he’s in the team.

Wellington’s leading scorer Roy Krishna (11 goals) will also be a danger with the Fijian having netted three goals in his last four appearances on the road.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Lachlan Scott. The hard-working striker netted his first goal in the ACL against FC Seoul on Wednesday night. He’s now found the net in the Westfield FFA Cup, Hyundai A-League and now the ACL. Some debut season for the 19-year-old.

FORM LINES

Western Sydney Wanderers:  WLWLD

Wellington Phoenix:  LLLWD

PREDICTION

Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 Wellington Phoenix

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Wanderers cement top six spot

Play Video

Santa scores record-breaker for Wanderers

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Western Sydney Rd23 press conference

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Wellington Phoenix Rd23 press conference

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Watching
Wanderers cement top six spot
Wanderers cement top six spot
Watching
Santa scores record-breaker for Wanderers
Santa scores record-breaker for Wanderers
Watching
Western Sydney Rd23 press conference
Western Sydney Rd23 press conference
Watching
Wellington Phoenix Rd23 press conference
Wellington Phoenix Rd23 press conference

Wanderers cement sixth spot with win over Wellington

Western Sydney Wanderers have consolidated sixth spot in the Hyundai A-League with an impressive 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix at Spotless Stadium on Sunday night.

A brace from Brendon Santalab and an early strike from Nico Martinez helped Tony Popovic’s side to a comfortable victory, their first of the season at their adopted home ground.

The Wanderers raced out of the blocks and took a deserved lead inside 10 minutes with Argentine star Nico Martinez firing home from the edge of the box.

The hosts continued to dominate proceedings and doubled their advantage just five minutes before the interval with Brendon Santalab netting a powerful strike.

The procession continued after the break with Santalab extending the hosts’ lead with a close-range finish just three minutes into the second half.

Wellington continued to fight and grabbed a consolation in the  final 15 minutes with Gui Finkler netting  a well-taken free kick.

The win leaves Western Sydney five points clear of seventh-placed Wellington and six ahead of Newcastle Jets with four rounds remaining.

Catch up with all the action at our match centre here

GOALS

1-0 Western Sydney Wanderers: Nico Martinez, 9’

Wanderers fullback Scott Neville won a loose ball inside the Phoenix area with the ricochet finding Martinez who expertly slotted the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers: Brendon Santalab, 40’

Mitch Nichols surged forward down the left flank and picked out Santalab on the edge of the area with the striker taking a touch before firing a powerful left-footed strike past Phoenix keeper Glen Moss.

3-0 Western Sydney Wanderers: Brendon Santalab, 48’

Jack Clisby found Nico Martinez inside the area with the Argentine dinking the ball to the back post with Santalab on hand to bury a close-range header.

3-1 Wellington Phoenix: Gui Finkler, 76’

The Phoenix won a free kick 25 metres from goal with the Brazilian stepping up to curl a delightful strike into the right corner, leaving Janjetovic stranded.

KEY MOMENT

Wellington almost pulled a goal back just before the break with Wanderers keeper Vedran Janjetovic denying the visitors with a smart reflex save.  A long-range strike from Kosta Barbarouses took a wicked deflection and was destined for the back of the net but Janjetovic was able to quickly change direction and parry the ball clear.

OPTA STATS

  • Western Sydney Wanderers  have won five of their last seven clashes with Wellington Phoenix
  • Santalab’s brace moved him ahead of Mark Bridge as Western Sydney’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 29 goals. 

Re-live the match action on Twitter

@ALeague, @wswanderersfc, @WgtnPhoenixFC, #WSWvWEL