Match preview: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
One of these teams could drop out of the race for a top-four spot on Sunday, as Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City face-off at Westpac Stadium.
The clubs are locked on 37 points, one behind Adelaide United who currently occupy the sought-after fourth position with its guarantee of a home Elimination Final.
It means the loser of this one can almost certainly rule themselves out of a top-four finish.
Unfortunately for the Phoenix, it appears their season has hit the skids at just the wrong time.
The Kiwi outfit have lost their last two games, including a shock 2-1 defeat at struggling Brisbane Roar last time out.
Whether their slump has anything to do with the news revealed this week that coach Mark Rudan won’t be in charge next season is up for debate.
Wellington can at least draw on the fact they have defeated City in eight of their last 12 games in New Zealand, including the most recent back in January thanks to David Williams’ early goal.
For their part, City stayed in the hunt for a top-four berth after a goalless draw with Adelaide United last Saturday.
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It maintained their lengthy unbeaten run on home soil, but it is away from home that Warren Joyce’s side have had their struggles.
City have scored just 12 goals in 13 away games this season, making them the only side to average fewer than one goal per game on the road.
Key Opta stats
- Each of the last five games between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City in the Hyundai A-League has been won by the home team on the day.
- Phoenix have conceded five first-half goals over their last two Hyundai A-League games, more than they had conceded in the opening period of their nine games prior (4).
- City have lost only one of their last six Hyundai A-League games (W2, D3); a 3-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers their only blemish in that period.
Ins and outs
Both squads will be announced on Thursday.
How to watch
Which side will put themselves in the box seat for a home final? Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 at 5.00pm (AEST) to find out. You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
CLICK HERE to ensure your seat for this huge clash with major ramifications on a top-four finish.