Preview: Wellington v Central Coast

An in-form Wellington line-up has reset its goals and will be playing for a home semi-final when it tackles Central Coast at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

Date: Friday February 12

Kick-off: 7.30pm (5.30pm AEDT)

Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is The Radio Network 1035 AM (Wellington) and Coast FM 96.3 (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit Head-to-head Played 8: Wins: Wellington Phoenix 3, Central Coast 3. Draws: 2

Previous meeting Central Coast 0, Wellington Phoenix 2, Bluetongue Stadium, Round 21, December 2009

Past five matches: Wellington Phoenix: Round 23: Wellington Phoenix 3, North Queensland Fury 0, Westpac Stadium Round 24: Perth Glory 2, Wellington Phoenix 0, ME Bank Stadium Round 19: Melbourne Victory 4, Wellington Phoenix 0, Etihad Stadium Round 25: Wellington Phoenix 1, Adelaide United 0, AMI Stadium, Christchurch Round 26: Gold Coast United 0, Wellington Phoenix 1, Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Central Coast: Round 22: Central Coast Mariners 1, North Queensland 1, Bluetongue Stadium Round 23: Adelaide United 1, Central Coast Mariners 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 24: Central Coast Mariners 1, Gold Coast United 1, Bluetongue Stadium Round 25: Perth Glory 3, Central Coast Mariners 1, Members Equity Stadium Round 26: Central Coast 3, Newcastle Jets 0, Bluetongue Stadium


An in-form Wellington line-up has reset its goals and will be playing for a home semi-final when it tackles Central Coast at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

Earlier results in Round 26 ensured the Phoenix had qualified for their first finals series before a confidence-boosting away victory over Gold Coast which now has them chasing a top-four finish.

Ricki Herbert's men got plenty out of that contest with Paul Ifill scoring the first-half penalty while at the other end of the pitch goalkeeper Liam Reddy worked hard to keep a clean sheet.

He was assisted by Andrew Durante and Jon McKain while the midfield - featuring Tim Brown, Manny Muscat and Vince Lia - was effective too.

This Friday they take on a Mariners side which is out of the finals race but keen for a fresh start after coach Lawrie McKinna announced this will be his last game as coach.

The Scot will become the club's football operations manager while Graham Arnold will lead the team next year.

A 3-0 victory over Newcastle last weekend - Central Coast's first win since November - would haveve also lifted spirits down at Bluetongue Stadium.

Nigel Boogaard scored in the 17th minuted before second-half goals to Adam Kwasnik and Matt Simon sealed the victory.

The Mariners lose Pedj Bojic through suspension, Adam Kwasnik (thigh) and Chris Doig (groin) through injury and have promoted Dylan Macallister, Nick Fitzgerald and Bernie Ibini-Isei for this clash.

The events of the past week should see the Mariners deliver another competitive performance but the Phoenix are on a roll and are set to be cheered on by a big crowd at Westpac Stadium.

Wellington hasn't been beaten in 14 matches at home and will extend that impressive record to tarnish McKinna's farewell from the Hyundai A-League.

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 15. Eugene DADI, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 40. Liam REDDY (gk)

In: DIEGO (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Mark PASTON (gk) (leg - season)

Central Coast squad: 2. Matthew CROWELL, 3. Shane HUKE, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Brady, SMITH, 10. Panny NIKAS, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 24. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 29. Nick FITZGERALD, 30. Mathew RYAN (GK)

In: Dylan MACALLISTER (promoted), Nick FITZGERALD (promoted), 24. Bernie IBINI-ISEI (promoted)

Out: Pedj BOJIC (suspended), Adam KWASNIK (thigh - 2 weeks), Chris DOIG (groin - indefinite)

Unavailable: Pedj BOJIC (suspended), Adam KWASNIK (thigh - 2 weeks), Chris DOIG (groin - indefinite), Nicky TRAVIS (hip flexor - 1 week), John HUTCHINSON (ankle - 10 weeks), Jonathan BROWN (groin - 2 weeks), Ahmad ELRICH (ankle - indefinite)