Preview: Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix

Sydney FC coach John Kosmina is hopeful his players will come out 'angry and hungry' after blowing a 3-0 lead against Central Coast last Sunday.

Date: Friday November 7 Kick-off: 8pm local Venue: Sydney Football Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM. To purchase tickets visit www.premier.ticketek.com.au

Head-to-head Past 4 Hyundai A-League meetings: Sydney FC - 1 win, Wellington Phoenix 2 wins, Draws - 1.

Previous meeting Wellington Phoenix 2, Sydney FC 1, Westpac Stadium, Round 6, September 28, 2008

Past Five Games Sydney FC: Round 6: Wellington FC 2, Sydney FC 1, Westpac Stadium Round 7: Sydney FC 1, Queensland Roar 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 8: Perth Glory 2, Sydney FC 1, Members Equity Stadium Round 9: Melbourne Victory 0, Sydney FC 2, Telstra Dome Round 10: Sydney FC 3, Central Coast Mariners 3, Sydney Football Stadium

Wellington: Round 6: Wellington Phoenix 2, Sydney FC 1, Westpac Stadium Round 7: Newcastle Jets 2, Wellington Phoenix 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 8: Central Coast Mariners 0, Wellington Phoenix 1, Bluetongue Stadium Round 9: Wellington Phoenix 0, Queensland Roar 1, Westpac Stadium Round 10: Perth Glory 2, Wellington Phoenix 0, Members Equity Stadium

Analysis

Sydney FC coach John Kosmina is hopeful his players will come out 'angry and hungry' after blowing a 3-0 lead against Central Coast last Sunday.

It took the Mariners just 17 minutes to square the ledger, costing the Sky Blues a chance to finish Round 10 at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder.

What the result revealed was the importance of experience; especially in defence. Sydney's make-shift line-up performed well against Melbourne Victory and for a half against the Mariners but crumbled when the pressure was applied last weekend.

It's hoped captain Tony Popovic, who's recovered from a hamstring strain, Clint Bolton (neck) and Iain Fyfe, who is back from suspension, can rectify the situation.

Antony Colec and Beau Busch have performed admirably in recent weeks but it'll be a steadier ship if the aforementioned trio are included.

Meanwhile, Robbie Middleby will remain on the sidelines as he recovers from injury.

It was a nightmare fade-out by Sydney but it's by no means panic stations for Kosmina. His side returned to form with a convincing win over the Victory while there were still plenty of positives to take from Saturday's draw.

Mark Bridge, Adam Casey and Terry McFlynn found the back of the net and should be full of confidence heading into the clash against the bottom side. It was Bridge's second goal in as many weeks and the former Jets' consistent contribution makes him an ever-present danger.

The Sky Blues' opponent the Wellington Phoenix have been in Australia all week with the club deciding to fly straight to Sydney after their 0-2 result against Perth Glory on Sunday.

The loss in the west saw the New Zealand side slump to eighth position but coach Ricki Herbert managed to draw positives from the team's performance.

He believes the Phoenix controlled possession and the tempo of the game for a good proportion of the 90 minutes. He did concede that his squad was showing an inability to deliver the killer blow.

Wellington's gun striker Shane Smeltz hasn't been at his best in recent weeks with club management believing his planning for the future may have been weighing him down.

But now he's signed with the Gold Coast it's hoped he'll play with more freedom and in turn revitalize the team's attacking play.

Midfielder Troy Hearfield and defender Manny Muscat were flown over to join the squad during the week and should add some fresh legs to the line up but Herbert will be without Leilei Gao who returned to Wellington with a calf injury.

The teams' positions on the ladder would suggest Sydney FC would romp home in this clash but past encounters would suggest otherwise.

The Phoenix shocked the A-League by recording a 2-1 victory over Sydney in Round 6 while they also had success against them in the preseason.

It's their grit and never-say-die attitude that frustrates their highly-fancied opponent and that'll have to be on full display again if they can cause boilover number three on Friday.

Sydney FC Squad. 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 5.Mitchell PRENTICE, 6. Tony POPOVIC (c), 8.Stuart MUSIALIK, 10.Steve CORICA, 12.Shannon COLE, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 15.Terry MCFLYNN, 18.Adam CASEY, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 23. John ALOISI, 28. Bobby PETTA, 29.Beau BUSCH, 31.Anthony GOLEC.

*One to be omitted.

In. Clint BOLTON (return injury), Iain FYFE (return suspension), Tony POPOVIC (return injury).

Out. Adam BIDDLE (unselected), John FILAN (unselected).

Unavailable. Simon COLOSIMO (groin - 4 weeks), Mike ENFIELD (knee - indefinite), Rob MIDDLEBY (calf - 1 week), Jacob TIMPANO (ankle - 2 weeks), Nik TSATTALIOS (international duty), Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder - 6 weeks).

Wellington Phoenix Squad. 1.Mark PASTON (gk), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. Karl DODD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Vaughan COVENY, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Michael FERRANTE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Glen MOSS (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (captain), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES, 25. Manny MUSCAT.

* one to be omitted.

In. 13. Troy HEARFIELD (promoted), 25. Manny MUSCAT (promoted).

Out. 21. Leilei GAO (calf - 1 week).

Unavailable. 17. Vince LIA (knee - season).