Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory
Back in action! After last week’s postponement, Phoenix are raring to get their top six push back on track
Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory Sunday 23rd January 5:00pm
Back in action! After last week-s postponement, Phoenix are raring to get their top six push back on track. Make some noise!
It-s time to step up. Wellington Phoenix have put in some outstanding displays in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, yet they haven-t managed to find any consistency whatsoever. So far, the team has failed to win two games on the spin at any stage.
Their last ten games perfectly illustrate the kind patchy form that has left Ricki Herbert-s side on the outskirts of the top six rather than nestled within it. Loss, win, draw, loss, win, loss, win, draw, win, loss. If ever there was a time to put a run together, it-s now, starting with the visit of Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon.
It-s a match-up that will evoke very happy memories for The Fever Zone. The last time Glory made the long trip East was for last season-s Elimination Final. With footy fever reaching boiling point ahead of last summer-s World Cup, nearly 25,000 turned up for the do-or-die battle against this Sunday-s opponents.
And what a game it was, as Phoenix won on penalties after 120 minutes of unbearably tense football. As Wellington look to get themselves back in the knock-out competition again this season, expect similar levels of passion and commitment from Ricki Herbert-s players.
The two occasions that Phoenix have made the arduous journey to Perth in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season have led to differing outcomes. In the first meeting, Glory continued their fine start to their campaign with a 2-1 win in front of over 10,000 fans. In contrast, the visitors grabbed a very rare away victory when they returned in November, thanks to Tim Brown-s goal in the very first minute of the game.
Although Phoenix are one of the best home sides in the Hyundai A-League, they need to be more than a little wary this weekend. A game at the Westpac against Perth might seem like a home banker but Glory travel to Wellington on the back of some really promising form on the road.
Their last two games away from nib Stadium yielded a couple of fine draws. After a 0-0 stalemate at Skilled Park, Ian Ferguson-s side went to Suncorp Stadium and picked up a fantastic point against the runaway ladder leaders, Brisbane Roar. Glory were even in a position to come away with an unlikely win for a while too, after Mile Sterjovski opened the scoring in the 31st minute.
While Mitch Nicholls equalised for Brisbane with a second-half header, Perth were still good value for their draw, and will use the result and the performance as inspiration to head to the Westpac without fear.
Fever Zone, if you want your side to recapture the thrills of last year-s Grand Finals drama - and hopefully do even better this time - then you need to keep turning up to the Westpac in numbers and really getting behind them.
There aren-t a huge number of points left to play for, and Phoenix need as many as possible if they are to make a late charge into the top six, so get along this weekend and help them start a winning run that will lead them to glory. Make some noise!