Phoenix On Longest Road Trip

Image courtesy of Getty Images/fifa.com
Phoenix will try to repeat the Wanderers' win in Perth last week. Image courtesy of fifa.com/Getty Images
To say Wellington desperately needed the three points they came away from Newcastle with last weekend is an understatement. The New Zealanders hadn’t won since a 2-0 dismissal of Sydney FC on the opening weekend of the season. Two draws followed that, before a three-game losing streak sent them tumbling down the table. Jeremy Brockie’s brace against his old club was the catalyst for the win in an otherwise forgettable encounter in Newcastle.

Perth cracked at home for the first time this season on Sunday against a 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers outfit. Prior to that they’d recorded wins against Brisbane, Melbourne Heart and Newcastle, but the competition’s new boys collected the full points thanks to the solitary goal from Italian Iacopo La Rocca.

Glory owner Tony Sage has already indicated the club has put in an offer to bring David Beckham to Perth for a 10-game stint. Even without ‘Becks’ in the line-up, Perth coach Ian Ferguson is having problems finding room for his best XI. New Zealand international Shane Smeltz has returned from a hamstring problem, but even though he says he’s fit to play the full 90 minutes, Ferguson says he’ll stick with having just one man up front, and at this stage, that will be Billy Mehmet who has scored three goals in six games.

There isn’t a history of goals in this match-up; in the last five encounters, Wellington has won 1-0 twice, as has Perth . Those results were interspersed by Wellington’s 4-0 win at home in early 2011. 

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