Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United

With both teams leaky in defence, there should be goals at both ends in Sunday's match.

Date: Sunday 24 February, 2013 Kick-off: 2.30pm AEDT, 4.30pm local Venue: Westpac Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 18 Wins: Wellington 4, Adelaide 9, Draws: 5

Previous encounter Adelaide 3, Wellington 1, 16 December 2012

Form: Past five matches: Wellington: LLWDL Adelaide: LWLLL

The Game Adelaide United head coach Michael Valkanis will know his team will struggle to find a better opportunity to break two winless streaks in a single game than Sunday's trip to New Zealand to play Wellington Phoenix.

The Reds haven't won in six away games in the A-League, while they have failed to claim victory in Wellington in their past five attempts.

Valkanis conceded this week his team have been in a "coma" of mediocrity when playing away from Hindmarsh (where they have eight victories from 11 games this season) but with Phoenix bottom of the A-League ladder, Adelaide head to Wellington as favourites.

For Wellington, Westpac Stadium has provided some much-needed positivity over the past two months. All eight of the points Phoenix have earned since December 22 have come at their home stadium.

Adelaide United stalwart Cassio is set to play his 150th match for the South Australian club if selected in Wellington. Cassio has racked up 149 appearances across the A-League, AFC Champions League, the now-defunct Pre Season Cup and the Club World Cup. The 33-year-old Brazilian-born full-back missed week's 2-1 loss away to Sydney FC through suspension.

The Big Issue Wellington: How much do Wellington's players care at this point in the season? Bottom of the A-League with six rounds to go, the reality is Phoenix can still bridge the six-point gap to sixth and make the finals.

Wellington have four games left in New Zealand before the finals, including one at Dunedin's iconic Forsyth Barr Stadium, and considering their recent home form, Rickie Herbert's men could spark a late run but they need to give their confidence a lift and encourage Phoenix fans to provide support with an impressive performance.

Adelaide: Despite just one win in five matches, Valkanis' side remain one of four sides with genuine hopes of winning the championship. But who is going to score the goals to make that happen?

Attacking midfielder Dario Vidosic is Adelaide's top-scorer so far this season with eight goals with Argentine striker Jeronimo Neumann on seven, while young Tomi Juric impressed against Sydney FC with a goal on debut after coming off the bench.

With Bruce Djite struggling with a groin injury, one of Neumann or Juric need to make the lead striker's role their own heading into the finals.

Gamebreaker Corey Gameiro: The Australian striker, on-loan in Wellington from English Premier League club Fulham, impressed during his debut for Phoenix in last week's 2-0 loss away to Brisbane Roar. Gameiro has speed, power and is always keen to shoot, ensuring he should be a handful for Adelaide's defence.

Prediction: Wellington 2-2 Adelaide. With both teams leaky in defence, there should be goals at both ends in Sunday's match.

Wellington have scored in six of their past seven fixtures at home, winning three and drawing twice, and they were unlucky to miss out on a goal in Brisbane last week.

Another positive for Phoenix is that Adelaide central defender Iain Fyfe will be unavailable as he is suspended for the trip to New Zealand. It will be the fourth time in as many weeks that the Reds will change their back four and the lack of stability means Adelaide's goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic is being overworked.

But with Wellington seemingly unsure whether they should be playing direct football, synonymous with their head coach Rickie Herbert, or trying the much-publicised possession-based approach desired by the club owners, Phoenix remain disjointed, which should offer the visiting Reds plenty of goal-scoring opportunities.

With the likes of Vidosic, Marcelo Carrusca, Neumann and Juric up front, Valkanis should have enough attacking options to exploit the home team's leaky defence, which is the second-worst in the A-League.