Looking at home sides recent matches, Wellington Phoenix were knocked out of the FFA Cup by Bentleigh Greens. That on its own is bad enough, but if we take into consideration the fact that Bentleigh Greens were a man down since 33′ when Kelly J. got his second yellow card it makes it that much worse. The scoring in that match started in 23′ when Jankovic got his team into the lead. This was also the only goal in the match, as Wellington Phoenix just couldn’t find their way to the net, despite playing against 10 players since 33′. All in all, Wellington Phoenix put up some good results and some poor ones, so it’s hard to say whether they are in a good shape or a poor one at the moment. However, with their new coach Mark Rudan who is a great addition to the team and with Roy Krishna (top scorer of the team) in a good form, we believe they are capable of putting up good results consistently. In addition, Phoenix welcomed 2 new players to their roster; Steven Taylor and Mitch Nichols.
On the other side, we have Newcastle Jets, the runner-ups from last season A-League. Looking at their performance in recent matches, they were knocked out of the FFA Cup by Melbourne City (1:0). The only goal of the match happened in 54′ when Fornaroli scored for Melbourne City. In the most recent friendly match against Edgeworth, Newcastle Jets completely dominated the opponents, winning by 5 goals. Both Petratos and Hoffman scored 2 goals of their own, with Vargas putting his name on the board as well. Although it’s a nice result, they were playing against Edgeworth, so a dominant performance from Jets was to be expected.
We expect Wellington Phoenix to come into this season with 1 goal and 1 goal only. To show their worth to the league and the world. They might not be a strong competitor for the title, but they won’t let anyone think they are a bottom tier team. With Krishna, Burns and Singh leading the attack I could easily see them causing some problems to the opponents. Of course, New Castle Jets are a favorite on the paper, and rightfully so, however, Phoenix have the drive and motivation to prove themselves this year, and what better way of doing it than surprising Newcastle Jets.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix +0.25 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.04 Pinnacle