Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers – A-League Betting Preview and Prediction
Following a lackluster start of the season, Wellington Phoenix managed to win two consecutive fixtures and will now play host to WS Wanderers in hopes they can extend their run to three and get themselves closer to the top six. The fixture between Phoenix and Wanderers is slated to take place this Saturday, December 7, at Eden Park.
Wellington Phoenix resurgence in form
Wellington Phoenix are entering the Saturday’s bout with 2-1-4 record on the year and 2-1-2 in their last five. Looking back, Phoenix started their 2019/20 campaign the worst possible way, seeing how they lost all of their opening five fixtures against Western United (0:1), Sydney FC (1:2), Perth Glory (1:2) and Melbourne City (2:3). On a more positive note, Phoenix drew with Melbourne Victory (1:1) and won their most recent two fixtures against Brisbane Roar (2:1) and Adelaide United (2:1) last weekend.
Wellington Phoenix’s win against Adelaide United was another step in their rise up the ladder and we have to give it to them – it was a very solid effort. The visitors entered the match as heavy underdogs, but it did not look like it based on what they have shown in the opening 45 minutes. Going against all the odds, Phoenix took over the match in the first quarter, where they produced 13 goal attempts and four shots on goal, in comparison to Adelaide who ended the first half with five goal attempts and three shots on goal. Despite all the goal attempts, neither side managed to score the goal in the opening 45 minutes. The first goal of the match came in the 67th minute when Mileusnic got Adelaide in a lead. Wellington responded in 67th and added another four minutes later via a penalty. There were no more goals on display for the remainder of the match, meaning Wellington produced a huge upset and won their second in a row
Wellington Phoenix ended the fixture with 52% ball possession, 26 goal attempts and nine shots on goal. They also completed 83% of their passes. Adelaide United on the other side put up a disappointing nine goal attempts and three shots on goal with 48% ball possession.
All in all, Wellington Phoenix were a far superior team and deserved to win. We would even go on to say they could’ve won by a larger margin if they had some more luck with their shots. Either way, a win is a win and a very solid one for that matter.
WS Wanderers three-game slump
WS Wanderers are traveling to Eden Park with a 3-1-3 record on the year with all three losses coming from their last three fixtures. In regards to their last five, Wanderers defeated Sydney FC (1:0) and drew with Brisbane Roar (0:0), to which they added a streak of three consecutive defeats against Western United (1:2), Melbourne City (2:3) and Newcastle Jets (0:2) last weekend.
If we take a closer look at Wanderers’ defeat against Newcastle, it would be fair to say Jets deserved to come out with all three points. The first half ended 0-all despite some very solid displays in the attack. That said, Jets were far more dangerous in the attack, producing four shots on goal out of five goal attempts, while Wanderers shot the ball 1/7. The second half was closer in terms of what the two sides showed in the attack, yet it was Jets who were more efficient with the ball. Thurgate opened the scoring in 78th minute and put up an assist for the second goal in 86th minute to get the hosts two goals up. Wanderers on the other side failed to see the same success despite producing 15 goal attempts and three shots on goal.
The match ended with a well-deserved 2:0 win for Jets who showed much more. Throughout the fixture, the Jets shot the ball 10/14 with 48% ball possession while Wanderers put up 22 goal attempts and four shots on goal with 52% ball possession.
It would be safe to say Wanderers severely underperformed, which was the case for all of their last three fixtures. Reports suggest Babbel is on the verge of being sacked and it’s fair to think if Wanderers fail to win this weekend, Babbel could be well on his way out of the club.
Verdict & Prediction
The last two meetings between Wellington Phoenix and WS Wanderers ended in Phoenix’s favor (3:2 and 3:1), which suggests this bout could end the same way and considering the form of the two sides, it’s fair to think so.
This will be a must-win match for Babbel if he wishes to keep ahold of his job which should spark some added motivation for WS Wanderers to perform up to par, yet we have some doubts whether that will be enough for them to defeat Phoenix. Wellington, despite their disastrous start of the season, have drastically improved and now look like a very serious contender for a playoff spot. While we will never know for sure how long will they manage to keep their momentum going, the weekend’s clash against WS Wanderers should not prove to be too tough of a match to win.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix to win
Odds: 2.32 Pinnacle