The 2020-21 edition of the A-League is back in action this weekend as reigning champions Sydney FC travel to New Zealand on the second day of the new year to take on Wellington Phoenix at the Wollongong Showground. The two teams have enjoyed good years so far and will want to start 2021 on a positive note.
Wellington Phoenix have revamped their squad going into the new season and will want their new recruits to prove a point against Sydney FC. The New Zealand-based side finished in third place last season and will want to build on their progress over the last few years.
Sydney FC will approach their new campaign with a largely unchanged set of players and will want to retain their title in 2021. With star striker Adam Le Fondre departing to the ISL, however, the Australian giants will have to find a new talisman to take the reins this season.
Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC Head-to-Head
Sydney FC have a good record against Wellington Phoenix and have won 23 matches out of a total of 41 games played between the two teams. Wellington Phoenix have managed 13 victories against Sydney FC and can potentially trouble their opponents this weekend.
The previous game between the two teams earlier this year ended in an emphatic 3-1 victory for Sydney FC. Trent Buhagiar scored two goals on the day and will have to play an important role in this game.
Wellington Phoenix form guide: L-L-D-L-D
Sydney FC form guide: W-W-L-D-D
Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC Team News
Reno Piscopo picked up a calf injury earlier this month and has been ruled out of Wellington Phoenix's curtain-raiser this weekend. The Wellington-based outfit will have to field its best eleven going into this game.
Injured: Reno Piscopo
Doubtful: Tomer Hemed
Adam Pavlesic was involved in a sickening clash in the AFC Champions League in December and has been ruled out of this fixture. Sydney FC have a powerful squad and have a point to prove going into this match.
Injured: Adam Pavlesic
Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC Predicted XI
Wellington Phoenix Predicted XI (4-4-2): Stefan Marinovic; James McGarry, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Luke DeVere, Liam McGing; Ulises Davila, Cameron Devlin, Alex Rufer, Mirza Muratovic; David Ball, Jaushua Sotirio
Sydney FC Predicted XI (4-4-2): Tom Heward-Belle; Joel King, Ben Warland, Alex Wilkinson, Rhyan Grant; Luke Brattan, Alexander Baumjohann, Milos Ninkovic, Anthony Caceres; Kosta Barbarouses, Trent Buhagiar
Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC Prediction
Sydney FC overcame several challenges to win the A-League title last season and will need to display the same resilience against the Oceanic rivals in the coming months. The reigning champions have a powerful attacking squad and will want to put their best foot forward in this match.
Wellington Phoenix also have plenty of talent in their ranks and are perfectly capable of pulling off a victory this weekend. Sydney FC have been the better team in the history of this fixture, however, and hold the upper hand going into this game.
Prediction: Wellington Phoenix 1-2 Sydney FC
Published 30 Dec 2020, 16:09 IST