Shinji Ono started on the bench last weekend. Image courtesy of news.com.au
Western Sydney had one of the toughest assignments in the league facing off against the Mariners in Gosford in round one, and the Premier’s Plate holder managed to sneak away with a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal from recruit Tomi Juric. The Wanderers were almost an unstoppable force in front of the Red and Black Bloc at Parramatta Stadium last season, and they’ll be in full voice again when Wellington makes the trip across the Tasman for its first away game of the season.
Phoenix performed admirably without its All Whites contingent last week against Brisbane Roar, and it was only a late Ivan Franjic-winner which left the home side without anything to show for its effort. The likes of Glen Moss, Andrew Durante, Jeremy Brockie and Leo Bertos are all back in the black and gold for Sunday’s game which adds greatly to the level of experience in the side.
Carlos Hernandez looks much fitter than he did in his stint with Victory, and he should improve after his first proper outing for Phoenix last weekend. The scary thing about the Wanderers is that Tony Popovic was able to start Juric, Shinji Ono and Brendan Santalab on the bench.
Phoenix won the first clash between the teams last season on New Zealand soil, but Wanderers took the other games recording a 2-1 victory in the only match played at Parramatta Stadium. Last season Wellington took just eight points from its 13 trips to Australia.
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