Saturday’s A-League 2016 Round 11 match is between Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers. The opening kick off is set to commence at 17:42 local time with the game to be played at Mt Smart Stadium. The away team Western Sydney Wanderers are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Ernie Merrick’s resignation as coach of the Phoenix surprised many including myself.
Although Wellington have been inconsistent again this season, Merrick has shown the ability to turn things around and certainly had the squad to do it.
Having said that, now that he has stepped down, it will end up being a beneficial move for Wellington if they bring in the right person.
Harry Kewell has been mentioned as a possible replacement, along with a few other young coaches including Chris Greenacre and Mark Rudan.
It would be great to see a young coach be given the opportunity as we’ve seen others such as Popovic, Aloisi and Muscat mature into top class managers when given the chance.
After another 3-0 loss to the Victory, their second 3-0 loss to Melbourne in a month, the Wanderers were frustrated by the same problems.
They were wasteful in front of goal and conceded sloppy goals. But it isn’t time to hit the panic button.
They’re still playing some fantastic football and we all know that Tony Popovic teams come good in the second half of the season.
Their lack of a consistent goal scorer is their main concern with Brendon Santalab having to shoulder most of the load. But they are continuing to create many chances and things will turn for them.
KEY BATTLE: Hamish Watson v Jerrad Tyson
Watson (pictured at top) scored last week so will be full of confidence. The change of manager has provided a nice boost to the squad and he could profit from that.
Tyson (pictured above) should be back in goal after serving a suspension last week and I feel he may have a bit of work to do.
With Phoenix coming off a big win they will feel good going into this one but never ride off the Wanderers, they always bounce back when you least expect it.
Unibet Odds: Wellington $2.80 – Draw $3.50 – Western Sydney $2.45
Tip: Western Sydney Wanderers
Value Bet: First Goal Scorer – M Nichols
Correct Score: Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.DIMAS (c), 9.Kerem BULUT, 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Artiz BORDA, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 23.Lachlan SCOTT.