Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert will be hoping the return of leading scorer Jeremy Brockie sparks his team when they host Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In last week-s loss to Brisbane Roar the Phoenix created several goal-scoring chances but all went begging, much to Herbert-s frustration.
New loan signing Corey Gameiro looked lively and went close to scoring, including having a goal disallowed, and his pairing with Brockie at the head of the attack could be just the boost the Phoenix need.
“Given the number of chances we had in Brisbane we really should have got some reward from the game, but if you don-t score goals when you get the opportunity it inevitably comes back to bite you,” Herbert said.
“I was impressed with Corey-s enthusiasm and work rate and with him playing alongside Brocks it should give us a cutting edge.”
Sunday-s game is the first of three at home, albeit that one is in Dunedin, and it is vital that the Phoenix take maximum points to set themselves up for the following two games.
“We have to get points from all three games if we are to have any chance of making the playoffs,” Herbert said.
“Our home form has got us through in the past and we have to get back to winning here.”
Brockie-s return from suspension is offset by attacking midfielder Isaka Cernak, who was substituted early in Brisbane, being ruled out through injury.
Leo Bertos returns from injury at right back, allowing Manny Muscat to return to the holding midfield role he prefers.
Goalkeeper Mark Paston has recovered from illness and will take his place on the bench.