28 December 2019
Western United welcome in-form Wellington Phoenix to the Mars Stadium looking to post two straight A-League home wins for the first time since securing top-flight promotion.
The hosts have overseen an upturn in results recently, as they’ve gone from three consecutive league defeats to three straight games without a loss (W2, D1). Curiously, while all three of their failures in that six-game sequence saw them draw a blank, both of their victories in the same period have witnessed them score two or more goals inside the opening 45 minutes. Also, none of their last five A-League home fixtures has ended in a stalemate (W2, L3), with three of those matches producing over 2.5 goals and seeing both teams score. Slow starts on home turf could be Western United’s main problem here, as they’ve shipped the opener in each of their last five home games, although managing to turn two of those matches around (W2, L3).
Meanwhile, the visitors head to the Mars Stadium on a run of six straight league games without a loss (W3, D3), with five of those fixtures seeing both teams score. Although they’ve broken the deadlock in two of their five A-League road trips this season, the Nix have returned just one point from those matches, with their only league away win so far seeing them come from behind to beat Adelaide United 2-1. An indifferent away form (W1, D2, L2) could be setting Wellington back in their efforts to settle a score with Western United following a 1-0 home defeat in the reverse fixture. Another potential worry for Ufuk Talay could be Wellington’s defensive problems on the road, as they’ve kept a clean sheet only once in five league trips so far this term.
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