Shinji Ono should return to Western Sydney's line-up. Image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph/Gregg Porteous
When it rains it pours in ‘Windy Wellington’; after collecting just four points from the first ten rounds of the season, Phoenix has all of a sudden come to life and picked up back-to-back 1-0 wins over Sydney F.C. and Melbourne Heart. Last weekend’s win in Victoria held even more merit as it was done without veteran Paul Ifill who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the win over the Sky Blues the week before.
The acid test comes on Wednesday, though, when the Kiwis travel to Sydney’s west for a clash with the Wanderers , who haven’t skipped a beat after their stunning debut season to sit in second place on the table. They could have crept closer to front-runner Brisbane Roar at the weekend but Gui Finkler’s stunning last-minute equaliser stole Victory a point in Melbourne. It wasn’t a bad result, at all, though, given Tony Popovic omitted stars Shinji Ono and Tomi Juric while Youssouf Hersi was left out of the starting line-up.
Phoenix actually has a decent record against the Wanderers, and both matches so far this season have finished in draws. Western Sydney has been strong over its first season-and-a-half at home and the red and black have picked up 11 of a possible 15 points at Parramatta Stadium this season. Wellington won two and drawn two in 13 games on its travels last season incuding losses in seven of its last eight in Australia. Prior to the win in Sydney, Phoenix had picked up just a solitary point in five away matches to start this campaign.
Click here to bet on A-League matches