Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets

Can Wellington turn Westpac into a fortress once more? Be the twelfth man and help Phoenix build on last week's impressive draw.

Can Wellington turn Westpac into a fortress once more? Be the twelfth man and help Phoenix build on last week's impressive draw.

With a threadbare squad, many pundits have been predicting the worst for Wellington Phoenix, but there was no sign of such doom and gloom as Ricki Herbert's troops opened their season with a fine draw on the Gold Coast last Sunday. Indeed, were it not for a stunning 88th-minute equaliser for the home side, Phoenix would have registered the rarest of results - an away win. Despite being pegged back, the New Zealand side will take plenty of positives from the the draw. Chris Greenacre continues to find the net, and the stubbornness with which the back-line defended will have pleased their manager.

However, Ricki Herbert will be more than a little worried by the fact that talismanic front-man Paul Ifill (groin), Vince Lia (knee) and Dani Sanchez (calf) were all forced off in the draw. If they fail to recover by Sunday, the coach is going to have yet more head-scratching to do as he selects from the bare bones of a squad.

While Herbert might struggle to get 11 healthy players on the pitch on Sunday, you can help by being the club's twelfth man. With a full Fever Zone giving passionate and vocal support, Phoenix - injury hit or not - are capable of anything on home soil. So, now more than ever, it is time to make sure you are ready to create non-stop noise in support of your boys. Your team needs you!

Just like their hosts, Newcastle Jets have been having a stressful time lately. However, last Saturday, they couldn't have asked for a better end to what was a crazy week. In a curtain-raiser that will hopefully be an indicator of the thrills this Hyundai A-League season has to offer, the Newcastle side won a five-goal thriller against Melbourne Heart thanks to an injury-time goal from defender Byun Sung-Hwan.

Times may have been tough for Jets of late, with the dramatic departure of manager Branko Culina, so you would have forgiven the players from dropping their heads as they went behind in the first-half, but they came back impressively to lead at half-time. A second-half equaliser dampened spirits again but the home side just kept on going, and Sung-Hwan's dramatic late goal sent over 12,000 fans into raptures. What a start to the season!

With both sides taking great heart from their opening weekend results, this is set to be quite the match-up. Can Jets make it a 100 per cent start to the season and return back over the ditch with another win, or will Wellington maintain their home form from last time round? Get yourself along to Westpac, be the twelfth man and watch the drama unfold live.