MX23RW : Friday, September 17 04:44:09| >> :600:9216090:9216090:
Mar 28, 2021 at 6.05am UK at WIN Stadium
WellingtonWellington Phoenix

Hemed (45+1'), Devlin (61')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Genreau (65')
Jovanovic (48'), Martis (90+2')

Preview: Wellington Phoenix vs. Macarthur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Australian A-League clash between Wellington Phoenix and Macarthur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Macarthur will be looking to continue their impressive debut season in the A-League on Sunday when they travel to take on Wellington Phoenix.

After a fairly inconsistent patch of recent form, Ante Milicic's side have dropped to fifth spot in the Australian A-League table, but a victory last time out will renew their confidence, while the hosts also picked up a win in their last game, comfortable defeating basement side Melbourne Victory.

Match preview

Ante Milicic, now in charge of Macarthur FC, pictured in 2019© Reuters

The Nix got back to winning ways on Wednesday, when they hosted strugglers Melbourne Victory.

The win never looked in doubt either, as Ufuk Talay's side went 4-0 up through Tomer Hemed, David Ball, Ulises Davila and Clayton Lewis, before Elvis Kamsoba netted a late consolation goal for the visitors.

After a poor start to the campaign, Wellington Phoenix have now won three of their last five league games, having won just one of their first eight.

As a result, Talay's side now sit comfortably in eighth spot in the A-League table, with the chance to overtake Brisbane Roar, who sit just one point above them in seventh place.

However, they face a tough obstacle in their bid to continue that upturn in form, as Macarthur will be looking to record back-to-back wins to put an end to a patchy run of recent form.

After two consecutive defeats, Ante Milicic's side returned to winning ways last time out, when they hosted Western United at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

The visitors took an early lead through Dylan Pierias, but goals from Matt Derbyshire and Markel Susaeta turned the game on its head, and guided their side to a crucial victory.

A large reason for Macarthur's small drop down the table has been a below-par attacking record, with only the A-League's bottom two sides scoring fewer than the 16 goals that Milicic's men have netted.

He will be desperate to improve their goalscoring form as they look to break back into the top three in their first season in the A-League, and Sunday presents a good opportunity to gain ground on the sides above them with a second consecutive victory.

Wellington Phoenix Australian A-League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Macarthur Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Wellington Phoenix will remain without centre-back Luke De Vere, who continues his spell on the sidelines with a long-term knee injury.

Worryingly for Talay, Liam Mcging also missed the last game, with the experienced Steven Taylor starting at centre-back in his absence.

Tomer Hemed and David Ball will lead the line for the Nix, having both found the net in the recent win against Melbourne Victory.

They will be supported by the threat of Ulises Davila, who has registered five goals and two assists from midfield this campaign.

Macarthur have managed to keep their squad fairly unscathed this season, with backup goalkeeper Nicholas Suman remaining their only absentee through injury.

Their line will be led by Matt Derbyshire, who has netted eight league goals in 13 appearances so far this campaign.

Meanwhile, the pairing of Benat and Denis Genreau has offered Macarthur some crucial experience and quality in the middle of the park.

Milicic could look to keep the same side that picked up the win over Western United last time out, after he reverted to a system of three centre-backs for that game.

Wellington Phoenix possible starting lineup:
Sail; Fenton, Taylor, Payne, McGarry; Davila, Rufer, Lewis, Piscopo; Hemed, Ball

Macarthur possible starting lineup:
Federici; Jovanovic, Milligan, Susnjar; Franjic, Genreau, Benat, Oar; Susaeta, Derbyshire, Wales

SM words green background

We say: Wellington Phoenix 1-1 Macarthur

While the visitors may possess a stronger blend of quality and experience in their side, the recent resurgence of Wellington Phoenix could give them the confidence to pick up an impressive result at home on Sunday.

Both sides have shown themselves to be very competent defensively, and we see this game finishing as a low-scoring draw.

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