Wellington have won three of their five clashes with Brisbane since the start of last season.
Wellington continued their poor away form as they lost 3-1 at bottom of the league Central Coast on New Year’s Eve to follow a 3-0 defeat at Adelaide. Brisbane meanwhile have won their last four, including a 2-1 win over Perth last weekend, but three of those games were at home and the only away game was at the Mariners. Nonetheless, they’re up there at the top of the table, a marked improvement from their 6th place finish last season.
Five of Wellington’s last seven games have been on the road and they’ll be grateful to return to New Zealand as they’ve won three of four unbeaten home games since an opening day defeat against the Jets. They only lost four home games last season, with one of those again coming on the opening day of the season against Perth and the other three against Victory and Sydney, last season’s top two. Both teams have scored in four of their five at home this season and the Phoenix have definitely been an ‘overs’ team at home since the start of last season, with 12 of their 19 games seeing at least three goals.
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Brisbane have scored the second most goals this season and also had the second best defence so far but their away form hasn’t been that impressive as their record reads W2-D2-L2 with the wins coming over the Mariners and the Wanderers on the opening day of the season when they hadn’t hit top form. They’ve scored just three goals in their last four on the road and been level at half-time in their last five away, while their record on the road to middle-third sides since the start of last season reads W1-D2-L4, with that win coming over the Mariners last season.
Wellington have won three of their five clashes with Brisbane since the start of last season, including both games at home, but they have a number of selection issues ahead of this fixture. While key defensive midfielder Riera is back from suspension for the Phoenix, right back Muscat and central midfielders Gorrin and Bonevacia are all serving bans, while fellow regular starters Fenton, Sigmund, and Krishna are out injured. As a result we’re a little weary of taking on Brisbane, but they do look on the short side considering Wellington’s excellent home record.