Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City - Friday 17:30, Fox Sports 4

Despite leading 2-1 at the break last weekend, Wellington went on to lose 3-2 at the Jets as Hamish Watson went from hero to zero after netting a brace in the opening 45 but seeing red after 71 minutes after which the Jets went on to find a winner. That result means that Phoenix now trail the Jets in 8th by four points while at the other end of the table City kept up the pressure on the sides above them by winning convincingly 4-1 against the Mariners and they now only trail the Wanderers and Roar by three points.

Wellington were unable to build on their shock win at the Wanderers a couple of weeks ago and they’ve now lost eight of their last 11 to slip from 6th down to 9th. During that run they’ve conceded 24 times (2.2 gpg) and conceded at least three goals in six of these matches. Their home record this season is W3-D2-L3 as they’re unbeaten against top-six sides but have lost all three of their home games against current bottom-four teams, including their last two at home against Perth and the Mariners. Indeed, their record when hosting top-four sides since the start of last season is a decent W3-D1-L4, with three of those defeats coming against last season’s top two, Victory and Sydney and it’s also worth noting that six of these eight games had more than two goals.

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City’s search for their elusive second clean sheet of the season continues as the Mariners in fact took the lead in their clash on the weekend, before City once again showed what a threat they are going forward. Their four goals at the Central Coast Stadium took their tally for the season to 50 after 20 games, with both teams finding the net in 18 of their games and 15 seeing more than three goals, including eight of their last nine. City’s away record this season is W3-D3-L4 with two of those wins against the Jets and Mariners and the other against Adelaide early in the season when they were languishing at the bottom of the table prior to their excellent recent run of form. Indeed, City have now lost three of four winless games on the road, including a 2-1 defeat against the Jets in their last away game, conceding 11 goals across these four matches.

Despite Phoenix being in terrible form, they have that 5-2 win at league leaders the Wanderers and a 0-0 home draw against second-place Brisbane within their current poor run and home wins over Brisbane and Victory earlier in the season suggests they seem to like playing the better teams, particularly at home. With City vulnerable defensively and in poor form on the road, we’re taking them on in this one.
Wellington Phoenix +0.25 Asian Handicap - 1pt @ 1.97