For Sydney FC, the equation is simple – win. But it won’t be an easy task against a Wellington Phoenix outfit with nothing to lose.
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Saturday, 12 March 2016
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 5:15 PM (Local) (5:15 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Takuto Okabe (Japan)
Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham
Assistant Referee 2: Kearney Robinson
Fourth Official: Ben Williams
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvWEL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Rob STAMBOLZIEV, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Ali ABBAS, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 25.Aaron CALVER, 27.Mickael TAVARES
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Seb RYALL (return from suspension), 17.David CARNEY (return from suspension), 19.Jacques FATY (return from suspension), 23.Rhyan GRANT (return from suspension)
Outs: 4.Zac ANDERSON (not selected), 16. Riley WOODCOCK (not selected)
Unavailable: 14.Alex BROSQUE (hamstring – six weeks)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (GK), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Justin GULLEY, 4. Roly BONEVACIA, 6. Dylan FOX, 8. Alex RODRIGUEZ, 10. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 12. Blake POWELL, 13. Albert RIERA, 16. Louis FENTON, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Tom DOYLE, 20. Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Matthew RIDENTON, 26. Hamish WATSON
Unavailable: 14. Alex RUFER (broken leg, season), 17. Vince LIA (knee injury 2 to 3 weeks), 21.Roy KRISHNA (ankle injury 10 to 12 weeks).
Sydney FC’s crushing loss to Melbourne City last weekend allowed Perth Glory to jump into the top six and relegate the Sky Blues to seventh.
Graham Arnold’s men have now failed to win in their last seven outings and have just three victories in their past 13 outings.
They will be boosted with the return of David Carney, Jacques Faty, Rhyan Grant and Seb Ryall from suspension, though skipper Alex Brosque is likely to miss the rest of the season through injury.
The Sky Blues were ripped apart by a sublime Bruno Fornaroli hat-trick in Round 22 and will need to solidify their defense against a Phoenix outfit that is likely to have a go.
Wellington’s slim finals hopes ended last weekend after being thumped by the Reds and will now look to build towards next season.
Inconsistency has been the problem for Ernie Merrick’s side with the Phoenix only recording two victories in their last 13 matches and they’ve only won back-to-back matches once this season.
But the NZ outfit can take confidence from their last trip to Sydney – an emphatic 5-2 win over the high-flying Wanderers only a month ago.
- Sydney FC are undefeated (W2, D2) in their last four matches against the Phoenix, though the last two have ended in draws and they’ve scored just one goal across those two matches.
- Sydney FC have hosted teams from outside NSW six times this season and they are yet to win such a match (D3, L3).
- Wellington Phoenix have conceded 17 goals in their last six matches away from home in the A-League.
- Three of the past five matches between these clubs have seen at least one team keep a clean sheet.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Sydney have really struggled in front of goal this season netting just 27 goals in 22 matches, with only Newcastle and the Mariners having found the target on fewer occasions.
The Sky Blues have lacked a consistent goal-scorer throughout the campaign with Filip Holosko (six) the only player to net more than five goals.
Graham Arnold will be hoping the likes of Andrew Hoole and Milos Ninkovic can step up and provide some much needed impetus in the final third.
The return of the intelligent David Carney will provide some much needed creativity while Shane Smeltz could come into the starting line-up in place of Matt Simon.
Wellington Phoenix failed to fire against the Reds last weekend but strike duo Blake Powell and Hamish Watson have been impressive in recent weeks.
Powell’s four-goal haul against the Wanderers and Watson’s brace against the Jets illustrate the side’s capability in front of goal – it’s often at the other end where the struggles lie.
Roly Bonevacia has been a little out of sorts over the past month but if the Dutchman can rediscover his touch then the Phoenix will cause the hosts plenty of problems.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Phoenix. They signed hometown hero and Victory striker Kosta Barbarouses on a three-year deal from next season.
Sydney FC: DLDDL
Wellington Phoenix: LWLWL
Sydney FC 1 Wellington Phoenix 1