Wellington Phoenix host Adelaide United on Saturday evening with both sides looking to bounce back from Round 4 losses.
Mark Rudan’s men began the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season in positive form, downing the 2018 Grand Finalists Newcastle Jets 2-1.
However, since their Round 2 stalemate with Brisbane Roar, the Phoenix have succumbed to 3-0 and 2-0 losses to Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City, respectively.
Youngsters Sarpreet Singh and Liberato Cacace, along with the ever-reliable Roy Krishna, have proven to be shining lights for the Phoenix, and will be pivotal in overturning their slump in form.
Adelaide United, meanwhile, have shown signs over the past four weeks that they may be the real deal.
Despite registering 1-1 draws against Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets in the opening two Rounds, Marco Kurz’s men won the FFA Cup 2018 Final with a combination of stoic defending and free-flowing attack.
This has been epitomised by Craig Goodwin, who has returned to the City of Churches with three goals and two assists in the Hyundai A-League after four Rounds.
Just as the Reds appeared to kickstart their 2018/19 Season with a 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners, they were brought back to earth thanks to a 2-0 Perth Glory clinic.
With both teams coming off losses before the international break, Wellington and Adelaide head into Round 5 eager to turn things around.
KEY OPTA STATS
- Adelaide United are undefeated in their last eight games against Wellington Phoenix (W5, D3); a win or draw this weekend will see them notch their longest undefeated run against the New Zealand-based side.
- The Phoenix have failed to score in their past three games – never have they gone four games within a single season without scoring a goal.
- Adelaide will be looking for back-to-back away wins for the first time since December 2017 after a 3-0 victory against the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium in Round 3.
INS AND OUTS
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Filip KURTO (gk), 4.Mandi SOSA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 6.Dylan FOX, 8.Mitch NICHOLS, 9. Nathan BURNS, 11. David WILLIAMS, 13. Liberato CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Max BURGESS, 27. Steven TAYLOR
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 9. Nathan BURNS (promoted) 13. Liberato CACACE (promoted)
Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 10.Ken ILSØ, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ, 20.Paul IZZO (Gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 30.Isaac RICHARDS (Gk), 32.Carlo ARMIENTO, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Taylor REGAN (promoted), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ (promoted), 32.Carlo ARMIENTO (promoted)
Outs: 31.Mirko BOLAND (hamstring)
Unavailable: 9.Baba DIAWARA (knee), 14.George BLACKWOOD (collar bone)
HOW TO WATCH
Watch this blockbuster clash on FOX SPORTS 505 at 5:30pm AEDT on Saturday, or through the MyFootball Live App.
You can CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.