Western United v Wellington Phoenix – A-League Betting Preview and Prediction
After suffering a painful stalemate against WS Wanderers last week, Western United will look to bounce back with a win against Wellington Phoenix this Saturday, December 28. It will be the first time Phoenix will visit Western United’s home stadium, having previously lost to Mark Rudan’s men at Westpac Stadium (0:1) in mid-October. Here is our A-League betting prediction of the fixture between Wellington Phoenix and Western United.
Weather: Cloudy, 29C
Refereeing the Saturday’s bout between Phoenix and Western United will be Shaun Evans who has five A-League fixtures under his belt this season. He previously refereed the Melbourne FC versus Perth Glory match where he handed out two yellow cards. In total, he has shown 12 yellow cards and no reds, however, there were at least two yellow cards in all of his last three matches in charge.
Wellington eager to defeat their former boss
Wellington Phoenix will enter the Saturday’s bout hoping they can claim all three points, which is nothing out of the usual, yet there will be some added motivation behind it, seeing how they will be clashing with their former coach Mark Rudan, who left the team in April 2019 to join the new A-League side Western United.
The Phoenix will take a trip to Mars Stadium for the first time in their history of competing in A-League, where they will look to claim their fourth win of the season, in a bid to cement themselves in the top six for at least one more round.
So far this season, Phoenix have accumulated three wins, three draws and four losses. Phoenix started the season in the worst possible way, when they lost to Western United (0:1), Sydney FC (1:2), Perth Glory (1:2) and Melbourne City (2:3). That being said, the Phoenix are undefeated in their last six, suggesting they have found their rhythm.
As it stands now, Wellington are sixth on the league standings only three points adrift from a top-four and are entering the next match in high spirits after producing a stalemate against Sydney FC last weekend.
In regards to their match against Sydney, Wellington put up an impressive display as they came back from being 0:1 down in 14th minute. Unfortunately, an own goal from Steven Taylor in 56th minute lost them a chance to grab all three points. Despite that, it was a solid effort from the hosts who shot 4/12 and had 54% ball possession, while keeping their adversaries at only 2/5 with 46% ball possession. They also completed 91% of their passes (526/580),
Based on what Wellington have shown in recent five, they look to be set to compete for a top-four finish, that is, if they managed to keep up the pace. They also scored eight goals and conceded only five since November 23, when they defeated Brisbane Roar (2:1), clearly indicating Ufuk Talay is doing something right with the team.
Missing players: Louis Fenton
Western United looking to repeat their success from round one
Having already defeated Wellington Phoenix in round one of A-League, Western United will fancy their chances to do so again, yet they will be facing a much better version of Wellington this time round.
As it stands now, Western United are holding onto a 5-2-4 record on the year with 17 points, which sits them right at the third spot in the league.
Western United are entering their Saturday’s bout following a devastating draw against WS Wanderers (1:1), where Rudan’s men were underwhelming to say the least. We expected to see much more from them yet Western United failed to deliver. They ended the match with only four-goal attempts and two shots on goal with 46% ball possession. WU also completed 80% of their passes (316/395).
It’s worth noting Western United produced a similar display in their bout with Brisbane Roar a week prior, where they saw three shots on goal with six-goal attempts and 28% ball possession, yet still managed to win 2:0.
It goes without saying, we are not too pleased with Wester United productivity in the attack and it will be sooner or later they will get exposed for it.
Missing players: James Delianov, Josh Risdon
Verdict & Prediction
Last time these two sides met it was a 1:0 win for Western United on the road, which suggests they should see the same success here, however, as mentioned, Phoenix they will meet this weekend is much stronger compared to Phoenix they met back in October.
Wellington Phoenix are flying high following a streak of very solid performances, which catapulted them to the sixth place in the league. In a way, Phoenix truly lived up to their name and rose like a Phoenix, yet we believe their ambitions are much higher and if they can continue to play with the same confidence, we might even see them break into the top three.
Their undefeated run started with a draw against Victory (1:1), yet it’s worth noting they narrowly lost to Melbourne City (2:3) a week prior solely due to a controversial penalty kick awarded to the hosts in 63rd minute.
Phoenix’s biggest weapon in their arsenal is their fast-paced playstyle, which leaves many teams unable to keep up the tempo, and from what we have seen, Western United don’t have the tools to stop that and their slow playstyle won’t do them any good.
Phoenix’s star player Ulises Davila scored five times in their last six and we expect him to do some damage here as well. Expect the visitors to avenge their defeat and continue their climb up the league table.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix to win
Odds: 3.08 Pinnacle
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