Perth make the long journey to Wellington seeking a third straight Hyundai A-League win against a Phoenix side that is win-less since early December. Who will triumph in the "Distance Derby"?
Sunday, 7 February 2016
Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-Off: 5PM (Local) (3PM (AEDT))
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount
Assistant Referee 2: Glen Lochrie
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 3.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Radio Sport NZ via website and I-Heart Radio app.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WELvPER
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (GK), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Justin GULLEY, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Troy DANASKOS, 6.Dylan FOX, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11.Kwabena APPIAH, 12.Blake POWELL, 15.James MCGARRY, 16.Louis FENTON, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 28.Joel STEVENS
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 22.Andrew DURANTE (returns from suspension), 23.Matthew RIDENTON (returns from injury)
Outs: 13.Albert RIERA (suspended)
Unavailable: 14.Alex RUFER (broken leg – season), 17.Vince LIA (knee – 2-3 weeks), 18.Ben SIGMUND (hip – 1-2 weeks), 21.Roy KRISHNA (ankle – 10-12 weeks)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (GK), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 12.Jerrad TYSON (GK), 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Hagi GLIGOR, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 23.Krisztian VADOCZ, 24.Jamal REINERS, 25.Jacob COLLARD, 28.Joe KNOWLES
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 15.Hagi GLIGOR (promoted), 23.Krisztian VADOCZ (pending sports visa), 25.Jacob COLLARD (promoted), 28.Joe KNOWLES (promoted)
Outs: 11.Richard Garcia (knee – 1 week), 29.Aryn WILLIAMS (hamstring – 1 week)
Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (4-6 weeks), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee – indefinite)
Phoenix have endured a wretched two months, picking up just two of a possible 24 points in their last eight outings.
While a lack of goals has been the major concern (just six in those eight games), they have also been leaked at an alarming rate at the other end, with Wellington conceding three goals in four of their last five matches.
Perth firmly believe they can make a late run for the finals, and many observers are becoming believers.
While a seven-point gap is significant, Glory's recent form has everyone on notice, led by outstanding Spanish marquee Diego Castro.
Following this game, Perth face three sides in the top six, meaning February could well define their season.
- Wellington have won their last two matches against Perth; a third straight victory would equal their longest streak against the Glory which was set in their first ever three A-League clashes.
- Wellington have lost their last three A-League fixtures 3-1 and haven't scored more than once in a match since Round 9.
- Perth Glory have averaged the lowest possession figure in the A-League this season (40%).
- Phoenix have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of A-League games this season than any other team (6).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Ernie Merrick bemoaned a lack of front-third quality after his side's 3-1 loss to the Mariners last Saturday and moved to boost his striking stocks with the loan signing of Birmingham City youngster Alex Jones during the week.
Unfortunately a delayed flight from the UK scuppered any chance of Jones being rushed straight into the side.
The visitors have had no such problems, banging in eleven goals in their last three matches, five of those from the boot of Diego Castro.
The former La Liga striker's combination with returning Irishman Andy Keogh already looks potent, with Chris Harold's energy contributing to a very dangerous front three.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Diego Castro continues to grab the headlines, with a double against Melbourne Victory, including a cheeky Panenka penalty to win them the game.
Wellington Phoenix: LDLLL
Perth Glory: LLDWW
Wellington Phoenix 1 Perth Glory 2