Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers – A-League Betting Preview and Prediction
The annual Sisters Cities Shield fixture between the Wellington Phoenix of Porirua and Western Sydney Wanderers of Blacktown City is set to take place on Sunday, February 21 at WIN Stadium, where these two sides will meet for the first time this season. Check out our betting preview for the match with a free betting prediction.
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Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney
When: Sunday, February 21 – 18:10 AEDT
Where: WIN Stadium
Weather: Sunny, 24°C
Things aren’t looking too good for Wellington Phoenix, who have managed to put together only four points in six outings. They enter this match with a 1-1-3 record in their last five, which includes two back-to-back losses against Sydney FC (1-2) and Central Coast Mariners (0-2).
As if their poor form wasn’t enough, the Nix are also unable to play at home due to New Zealand’s strict anti-COVID policies. They instead need to continue the 2020/21 A-League season in Wollongong, which is obviously not ideal.
In their most recent outing, the Nix lost at “home” against Mariners (0-2), but I wouldn’t be too critical of that loss considering Nix lost David Ball in the 27th minute and had to play with only 10 men ever since. Phoenix ended the match with 42% ball possession, shot the ball 1/7 and leaked 12 fouls.
Western Sydney Wanderers were far more successful in their most recent league fixture, where they crushed Melbourne Victory 2-0, to lock in their third win of the season and extend their unbeaten run to six in a row. During that stretch, Wanderers drew against Sydney (1-1), Newcastle Jets (1-1), Macarthur FC (2-2) and pocketed three wins against Jets (2-1), Mariners (1-0), and the aforementioned 2-0 win against Victory.
In their match against Melbourne Victory, Wanderers struggled to find the back of the net until the 72nd minute when Graham Dorrans converted a penalty kick. They also added a late 88-minute goal via Kwame Yeboah, who scored his first for the team, just 22 minutes after he got subbed in. Wanderers ended that match with 53% ball possession and shot the ball 3/13.
These sides last met in July 2020, when Wanderers won 1-0. It marked their first head-to-head meetings since November 2018 when they won 3-0, but have since lost four in a row with 2-3, 1-3, 1-2 and 0-2.
Even though Nix managed only one win in their last four, I am not ready to give up on this team just yet. Besides their superb head-to-head record, we must also consider that they performed well even in their recent losses.
The Nix have scored at least one goal in all but one of their last six. What’s more, they have beaten the current frontrunners Mariners and held Macarthur at a 1-1 draw which is quite impressive considering how strong the Bulls have proven to be in their debut season. That is not to say Phoenix looked good in their loss against the Mariners, but it’s not fair to draw any conclusions from a game where they had to play with a man down.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix +0.00 Asian Handicap