Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
It’s set to be a scintillating six-pointer at the Westpac, as two rivals with finals aspirations
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets Sunday 30th January 5:00pm
Top Six Tussle! It-s set to be a scintillating six-pointer at the Westpac, as two rivals with finals aspirations go head to head.
The Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season is reaching its climax, and, with just four games left for Phoenix, every match from now on takes on increasing importance. This weekend, for example, is a crucial six-pointer, as one of their biggest top six challengers arrive at the Westpac. It-s once again time for the Fever Zone to turn up in force and continue to make their home stadium an impenetrable fortress. You-re certainly going to need to create lots of energy in the stands at the end of a draining week for your players.
It may have been a tiring few days for Wellington Phoenix, but there is no let up for Ricki Herbert-s men as the games just keep on coming. At least, after a gruelling trip to the Gold Coast to face the ladder leaders, Phoenix will end the week at the ground that they are most comfortable - and most dangerous.
The Westpac is a fruitful place for them, as they proved last weekend with a comprehensive win over undermanned Perth Glory. After an own goal from visiting keeper Tando Velaphi gifted Wellington the lead, second half-goals from Dylan Macallister, Vince Lia and substitute Chris Greenacre sealed a 4-0 win which kept their play-off hopes very much alive.
Phoenix-s two games against Newcastle sum up their Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season. In November, a trip over the ditch to New South Wales resulted in a typically frustrating afternoon, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Marko Jesic-s second-half strike. However, a month later, they showed just what a force they can be on their own patch.
Even after suffering an injury to Paul Ifill (which has kept him out since), Phoenix tore Jets apart with three first-half strikes from Tim Brown, Marco Rojas and Chris Greenacre. Dylan Macallister-s goal in the dying stages put the seal on a truly dominant display. If Wellington can pull a similar performance out of the bag, then it will surely result in them gaining all three points on Sunday.
Jets travel to New Zealand knowing that they seriously need an upturn in fortunes if they are to make it into the end-of-season shake-up. Last weekend, they made the trip to Skilled Park with hopes of closing the gap on Gold Coast United, but were seen off in some style and travelled home on the wrong end of a 5-1 thrashing. Considering that result, along with what happened last time they headed to the Westpac, you would fear for Newcastle this Sunday.
Still, if the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected and, regardless of Jets- patchy recent form, Phoenix certainly will need to be at their best if they are to overcome a side that they are neck and neck with in the ladder.
Can Phoenix deal a massive blow to Newcastle-s finals hopes while simultaneously giving themselves a boost? It-s a massively important game at the Westpac on Sunday, so get along and support your boys! Fever Zone, let-s make an incredible atmosphere as Wellington aim to gun the Jets down. Sing to win!