Both teams are in the midst of a horrible run of form, having taken a combined total of just two points from their past 10 matches.
Date: Saturday, February 2, 2013 Kick-off: 3pm AEDT, 5pm local Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Head-to-head: Played: 18, Wins: Wellington Phoenix 8, Perth Glory 7, Draws: 3
Previous encounter: Perth Glory 1-1 Wellington Phoenix, November 24, 2012
Form: Past five matches: Wellington Phoenix: DLLLL Perth Glory: LLLDL
The Game: Both teams are in the midst of a horrible run of form, having taken a combined total of just two points from their past 10 matches. Wellington have slumped to the bottom of the ladder with 17 points, while Perth are languishing two points above Phoenix in ninth after they were beaten 1-0 by Brisbane Roar at the weekend.
Despite their poor results and thanks largely to the closeness of the competition, Glory could climb as high as fifth with a win over Wellington, who could jump up to seventh with three points of their own.
Phoenix were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle Jets last time out, ending a run of four consecutive losses that included a 7-1 hammering by Sydney FC and a 2-0 home loss to Western Sydney Wanderers. Jeremy Brockie's 73rd-minute equaliser earned Wellington a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Perth at nib Stadium last time the sides met in Round 8.
The Big Issue: Wellington Phoenix - Ricki Herbert's men have claimed only one win from their past five matches at Westpac Stadium and will most likely be looking forward to a temporary change of scenery in Auckland. Phoenix will host their second game at Auckland's Eden Park, where more than 20,000 fans flocked through the turnstiles to see an underwhelming 1-1 draw with Adelaide United last season.
Perth Glory - To put it simply, the West Australian club need to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal. Glory had 19 shots to Brisbane's seven in Round 18, but yet again failed to capitalise on a number of straightforward chances. "Obviously we threw everything at them - the kitchen sink, but just couldn't score again," Ferguson said following the match. "Four or five really great chances that we really should be putting away, but unfortunately we don't."
The Game Breaker: Jack Clisby - The 20-year-old was thrust into the starting line-up against Roar and is set to remain in the heart of defence for the rest of the season following the surprise departure of Dutchman Bas van den Brink. Clisby, promoted from the club's youth team, looked promising on debut and set up some good attacking chances for Perth, who have also lost Billy Mehmet (Bangkok Glass FC) and Jesse Makarounas (Melbourne Victory) this season.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix 1-1 Perth Glory
It would be unfair to predict a winner with both teams in such a poor state of affairs on the pitch. While held to a draw, Wellington showed signs of life against the Jets, with Manny Muscat livening up the midfield in his return from suspension and Paul Ifill adding another dimension up front after a month out through injury.
But, like Perth, Phoenix were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal, followed by the loss of Tony Lochhead, who was sent off for a challenge that resulted in a second yellow card and a free-kick that Emile Heskey converted to level proceedings.
Glory have lost six of their eight matches away from home this season, but will be desperate to find the net in Auckland and would happily walk away with a point.