Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix will meet at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday evening, as third place welcomes seventh place.
On paper the game may not seem the most inviting of the week, but I believe this fixtures does have the potential to be more entertaining than the rest, and potentially have the most goals.
After a shocking start to the season Wellington sat rock bottom with four points from 10 games. Adelaide weren’t far ahead of them with six points from their first nine outings.
The table reads much prettier for both sides now, with Adelaide having lost just once in their 10 games and attempting to reach the 30-point mark. It’s taken them four games more than last season, but United are picking up at the right time.
The Phoenix have risen from the ashes so to speak, because they’ve gone under the radar in winning six of their last nine matches. Last week’s 0-5 home loss did represent a potential major step-back, however.
Wellington and Melbourne Heart were completely cut adrift of the rest of the A-League before both teams started there run, and given the form of both the previously bottom sides right now, the A-League is threatening to give us a wonderful finish that will see all 10 sides have a big day in the playoff race.
Wellington now sit in seventh place, which leaves them two points behind the playoffs and just four points behind third place hosts Adelaide United.
These two sides have already met amongst Wellington’s revival, and poor travellers Adelaide went down 2-1 despite a 90th minute reply from Awer Mabli.
Previously Wellington were staying afloat on home form alone, and the Phoenix have now lost just three of their 10 home games. On the road, however, they’ve more competitive than you’d think for their league position.
They’ve now won four of their last five and that’s included wins at the fifth placed Marineers and second placed Western Sydney Wanderers, so they’ve been no pushovers on the road.
They’ve also knocked off the Jets in a five goal affair and all three of their goals in that game came via the deadly trio of Cunningham, Hernandez and Huysegems who now have combined for 17 goals in 10 games.
The goals have been spread around at Coopers Stadium, but United have relied on solid defense to get them through at times this season. They’ve held the Jets, Wanderers and Marineers scoreless in 1-0, 1-0 and 2-0 wins, but they’ve shown some inconsistency and lapses.
Against what we’d call the lesser teams, United have a habit of coming out to play, and it’s seem them get stung with 2-2 home draws against the Heart and Sydney FC, whilst losing to Newcastle 1-2.
Both teams are in solid form and I think they’ll attack each other. Don’t write off another 2-2, but I’m certain both teams have the ability and confidence to score against each other more than once right now.
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