It’s a tough trip for Darije Kalezić’s first away trip in the Hyundai A-League – off to defending Premiers and Champions Sydney FC this Sunday night.
It’s 558 days since Sydney FC last lost a home game so Kalezić’s men will be under no illusions of the challenge ahead.
Returning to bolster the side that drew 1-1 on the opening weekend are Phoenix’s three All Whites, Michael McGlinchey, Tom Doyle and captain Andrew Durante. With exactly 500 games A-League experience between them they’ll bring greater cohesion to a side that played seven debutants against Adelaide United.
Ali Abbas could be in line for an emotional return to his former club, With Durante having also pulled on a Sky Blues shirt on a short-term contract during their 2011 Asian Champions League campaign.
It took a contentious VAR decision for Sydney FC to break down Phoenix the last time these two sides met, and Sunday could prove another tight affair.
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix, Sunday 15 October, 7pm Allianz Stadium.
Watch on Sky Sport 1, from 9pm.
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Dario VIDOSIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Ali ABBAS, 19.Thomas DOYLE, 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 30.Keegan SMITH (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Gui FINKLER (returns from injury), 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (returns from international duty), 19.Thomas DOYLE (returns from international duty), 22.Andrew DURANTE (returns from international duty),
Outs: 6. Dylan Fox (not selected), 24.Logan ROGERSON (not selected) 18. Sarpreet SINGH (not selected)
Sydney FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Anthony KALIK, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 20.Alex CISAK, 22.Seb RYALL, 26.Luke WILKSHIRE, 30.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7. Michael Zullo (return from injury), 20. Alex CISAK (promoted)
Unavailable: 21.Charles LOKOLINGOY (hamstring – 2/3 weeks), 23.Rhyan GRANT (knee – indefinite)