It's not been pretty for Wellington fans this season, it's a trend we think will continue.
Team: Wellington Phoenix
Current position: Tenth | 21 points
The run home: Newcastle Jets (h), Melbourne Heart (h), Wanderers FC (a), Perth Glory (a), Melbourne Victory (h).
The question: Can Wellington snap out of a season long funk?
The performance of Wellington this season might just have been a bigger surprise than that of the Wanderers. Renowned for being physical and tough to break down at home, they came on in leaps and bounds last season and were tipped by many, including us to feature prominently in season 2012/13. Not so.
The Wellington we have seen this season have been a far cry from a stable side. They have tried different philosophies; each with little success and their season has lurched from bad to worse on the back of hammerings at the hands of Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners.
They seem to have lost their once steely resolve and the desire that was once a hallmark of their play.
The big match: Round 23 v Newcastle Jets
The second match of a three-match home-stand for the Nix is a must win game, it-s as simple as that, If they fall to the Jets then it is season over.
A loss will see the currently top six Newcastle side extend their lead over Wellington to a number beyond their reach, and while the Jets have been quite good of late, they are at times vulnerable, especially when it comes to their inability to find the net.
Just one Jeremy Brockie bullet could do some major damage to the Jets- finals hopes and would also Brockie wouldn-t mind giving the club who didn-t want his services a nice kick in the guts late in the season.
The Player: Louis Fenton - New Zealand football is expecting big things from this kid and if Wellington are to drag themselves out of their present predicament, then Fenton is the man most likely.
We're aware it's a lot of pressure for a kid, but in his debut season Fenton has proven himself to be both industrious and creative. The one frustartion is that he has spurned a number of chances throughout the year, but if he can turn those misses into goals Wellington may still have a chance at finals.
We say: Wellington may as well set their sights on the end of season trip, because in truth they have offered little in the form of resistance of late, despite a better performance against a ten-man Adelaide United. The fat lady isn-t warming up for them, she-s almost hit a crescendo.
Prediction: Last 23 points