Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC
Wellington is smarting after travelling 5000km and coming away with nothing from Perth last weekend. The 1-0 defeat would have been a big wake-up call to Ricki Herbert and his men, who are the only team in the competition not to register a win in the first five rounds.
Date: Sunday September 28 Kick-off: 5pm local (2pm AEST) Venue: Westpac Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Sky Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.co.nz
Head-to-head Three A-League meetings: Wellington - 1 win, Sydney 1 win - Draws - 1
Previous meeting Wellington 0, Sydney 2, Westpac Stadium, Round 19, January 2008
Results so far Wellington: Round 1: Wellington Phoenix 1, Queensland Roar 1, Westpac Stadium Round 2: Wellington Phoenix 2, Melbourne Victory 4, Westpac Stadium Round 3: Adelaide United 3, Wellington Phoenix 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 4: Wellington Phoenix 0, Central Coast Mariners 0, Westpac Stadium Round 5: Perth Glory 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Members Equity Stadium
Sydney: Round 1: Sydney FC 0. Melbourne Victory 0, Sydney Football Stadium, Round 2: Central Coast Mariners 2, Sydney FC 3, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 3: Sydney FC 5, Perth Glory 2, Sydney Football Stadium Round 4: Newcastle Jets 0, Sydney FC 0, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 5: Sydney FC 3, Adelaide United 0, Sydney Football Stadium
Analysis Wellington is smarting after travelling 5000km and coming away with nothing from Perth last weekend. The 1-0 defeat would have been a big wake-up call to Ricki Herbert and his men, who are the only team in the competition not to register a win in the first five rounds.
One point from their past four games is not the beginning to the campaign Herbert would have envisioned in the second year and things need to turn around quickly. The coach has marked out the Phoenix's record at Westpac Stadium as crucial to its performances and while two draws from three games is something, the Phoenix need to start winning at home. It was something they did against Sydney last year, taking their first-ever Hyundai A-League win 2-1 in Round 4.
Herbert brings back Leo Bertos and Vaughan Coveny into an extended squad, while his only injury absentee in Vince Lia, who will miss the rest of the year.
Sydney moved back level with Melbourne with its 3-0 win over Adelaide last week. John Kosmina's men are getting some real momentum up having gone unbeaten through the first five games of the season.
The style of those three goals against the Reds was indicative of the confidence the side has. Terry McFlynn's goal was a special, while Brendan Santalab brought back memories of his cracking effort last year with the final goal of the match.
The only inclusion for Sydney is Mitchell Prentice, who comes back from suspension, while one player will be omitted from the squad on match day. Still on the injury list are Mike Enfield, Simon Colosimo, Adam Casey and Jacob Timpano.
Wellington Phoenix Squad. 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. Karl DODD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Vaughan COVENY, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Michael FERRANTE, 11. DANIEL, 12. Richard JOHNSON, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 15. Adam KWASNIK, 16. David MULLIGAN, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Glen MOSS (gk), 21. Leilei GAO, 22. Andrew DURANTE (captain). * three to be omitted. In. 7. Leo BERTOS (return from injury), 8. Vaughan COVENY (promoted) Out. Nil. Unavailable. 17. Vince LIA (knee - season).
Sydney FC Squad. 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 5. Mitchell PRENTICE 6. Tony POPOVIC (C), 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA, 11. Brendon SANTALAB, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 23. John ALOISI, 26. Dez GIRALDI, 27. Matthew JURMAN. *One to be omitted In. Mitchell Prentice (return suspension) Out. Nil. Unavailable. Adam Casey (groin - 1 week), Simon Colosimon (groin - 10 weeks), Mike Enfield (knee - 1 weeks), Jacob Timpano (ankle - 3 weeks).