Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC: match preview
Two of the Hyundai A-League’s most in-form sides clash on Saturday in a match-up that has all the makings to be a cracker.
After failing to win any of their first four games, Wellington Phoenix are enjoying a five-game unbeaten run, including last weekend’s 0-0 draw away to Melbourne Victory.
But they shouldn’t lose any momentum from that result, with Ufuk Talay’s side continuing to play some of the most fluent and eye-catching football in the Hyundai A-League.
A clash against a Sydney FC side that have won six matches on the bounce will provide a stern examination of the Phoenix’s credentials.
The Sky Blues are not only five-points clear at the top of the ladder but are undefeated in their last seven trips across the Tasman. In fact, the last time Sydney FC lost in New Zealand was six years ago.
The first goal could be crucial if Phoenix are to overturn that record, with Steve Corica’s champions one of only two teams (Brisbane Roar) this season yet to drop a single point from a winning position.
Saturday, 21 December 2019
Kick-off: 4.45pm local, 2.45pm AEDT
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
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Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 5.Matti STEINMANN, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7.Reno PISCOPO, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Callum MCCOWATT, 23.Walter SCOTT, 27.Steven TAYLOR (c), 31.Ben WAINE, 32.Sam SUTTON, 88. Gary HOOPER **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 14.Alex RUFER (return from injury), 23.Walter SCOTT (promoted), 32.Sam SUTTON (promoted)
Unavailable: 16.Louis FENTON (shoulder - season)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN, 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 20.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 21.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Marco TILIO, 25. Ryan TEAGUE, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27. Jordi SWIBEL. **2-4 to be omitted**
In: 25. Ryan TEAGUE (promoted), 27. Jordi SWIBEL (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (ACL), 7. Michael ZULLO (calf), 13. Brandon O’NEILL (knee), 19. Chris ZUVELA (knee)
Did you know?
- Wellington Phoenix have won five of their last seven games at home in the Hyundai A-League (L2), including their last two in succession.
- Sydney FC have won eight of their last 10 Hyundai A-League games against the Wellington Phoenix (D1, L1), including their last three on the bounce.
- Phoenix have been caught offside only seven times from nine games this Hyundai A-League season, fewer than any other team in the competition.
- The Sky Blues have won their last five consecutive Hyundai A-League games outside NSW, conceding a total of just four goals in that period.
- Phoenix midfielder Matti Steinmann has conceded 21 fouls so far this Hyundai A-League campaign, the joint-most of any player in the competition.