The A-League is back in action this weekend as Wellington Phoenix take on Central Coast Mariners at the Wollongong Showground on Sunday. The two teams have experienced contrasting fortunes this season and will want to win this game.
Central Coast Mariners are currently at the top of the A-League standings and have exceeded expectations in recent weeks. The Mariners edged Western United to a 3-2 victory last week and will be confident ahead of this fixture.
Wellington Phoenix, on the other hand, find themselves in 11th place in the league table after a poor start to their season. The New Zealand-based side suffered a 2-1 defeat to reigning champions Sydney FC in its previous match and cannot afford to drop points in this match.
Wellington Phoenix vs Central Coast Mariners Head-to-Head
Wellington Phoenix have a good record against Central Coast Mariners and have won 18 matches out of a total of 40 games played between the two sides. Central Coast Mariners have managed 15 victories against Wellington Phoenix and can trouble their opponents in this game.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in March last year and ended in a 3-1 victory for Wellington Phoenix. The Mariners have shown tremendous improvement in recent weeks and have a point to prove in this fixture.
Wellington Phoenix form guide in the A-League: L-W-L-D-L
Central Coast Mariners form guide in the A-League: W-W-L-W-L
Wellington Phoenix vs Central Coast Mariners Team News
Reno Piscopo has resumed training after recovering from a calf injury but is unlikely to be risked in this game. The New Zealand side has not been at its best and will have to field a strong team in this match.
Doubtful: Reno Piscopo
Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners have a fully-fit squad going into this game and will want to make the most of their excellent form this season. The Mariners are unlikely to make drastic changes to their line-up this week.
Wellington Phoenix vs Central Coast Mariners Predicted XI
Wellington Phoenix Predicted XI (4-4-2): Stefan Marinovic; James McGarry, Joshua Laws, Luke DeVere, Tim Payne; Clayton Lewis, Cameron Devlin, Alex Rufer, Ulises Davila; Tomer Hemed, David Ball
Central Coast Mariners Predicted XI (4-4-2): Mark Birighitti; Jack Clisby, Kye Rowles, Ruon Tongyik, Stefan Nigro; Daniel Bouman, Gianni Stensness, Oliver Bozanic, Daniel De Silva; Alou Kuol, Marco Urena
Wellington Phoenix vs Central Coast Mariners Prediction
Central Coast Mariners have been exceptional in the A-League this season and will want to extend their purple patch by a few more weeks. The Mariners do have a few defensive issues to address and will need to be at their best this weekend.
Wellington Phoenix have not been impressive this season and need to take it up a notch in the coming weeks. Central Coast Mariners are the better team at the moment and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix 1-2 Central Coast Mariners