Wellington Phoenix should be supported in their Saturday evening clash with Sydney.
Sydney’s 3-0 defeat at City means they’re now winless in seven, losing four of these games, and as a result have slipped down to 7th. Phoenix, meanwhile were beaten 4-0 at home against the league leaders Adelaide to remain in 9th, 10 points clear of the Mariners at the foot of the table but still eight points off Sydney.
Having been excellent defensively in the early stages of the season when they kept six clean sheets in their opening nine games, Sydney have now conceded at least twice in four of their last six. Their home record this season is W3-D4-L3 as each of their wins have come over current bottom-three sides. Indeed, Sydney’s record when hosting bottom-three teams since the start of last season is W6-D2-L0 as they kept five clean sheets in these matches.
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Phoenix had won two of three matches heading into the Adelaide game, one of which was a remarkable 5-2 victory at the Wanderers, but Guillermo Amor’s side proved too strong for them as they were well beaten. Their away record this season is W2-D2-L8, and while they’ve managed to find the net in nine of these games they’ve conceded at least twice in their last seven. Their record at sides between 4th and 7th this term is W1-D1-L2 as they beat Perth in their opening road game of the season and managed a goalless draw at Sydney but lost at both Melbourne sides, who are currently 4th and 5th.
Despite Sydney’s excellent home record when hosting bottom-three teams, we’re taking them on in this one. They’re in poor form at the moment and also had to travel to Korea and the Pohang Steelers on Wednesday night in the Champions League, while Phoenix have shown improvement in recent weeks. They’ve led at the break in their last two on the road, scored in their last five away and their only defeat by more than one goal in their last five was against the league leaders.