MX23RW : Saturday, May 15 12:12:48| >> :600:96578:96578:
Apr 22, 2021 at 10.05am UK at GMHBA Stadium
Western UtdWestern United
1-1
WellingtonWellington Phoenix
Wales (27')
Uskok (10'), Hamill (24'), Durante (40'), Sanchez (53'), Scott (90+4')
Hamill (45+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Waine (7')
Taylor (21'), Sotirio (25'), Ball (69')

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

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

Western United and Wellington Phoenix square off on Thursday with just two points separating the clubs in the A-League standings.

While the home side are ahead of their next opponents with two games in hand, the visitors have recorded two successive victories.


Match preview

With every team in the A-League struggling for consistency this season, just 10 points come between leaders Melbourne City and ninth-placed Wellington Phoenix.

Such a scenario means that games such as this one, between teams at the bottom end of that group of clubs, remains relevant further up the table.

Possessing matches in hand on all but one of the teams in the top seven, Western United could move as high as fourth if they prevail in those fixtures.

Although Phoenix have played two games more than their next opponents, they will move to within seven points of the frontrunners with victory on Thursday.

Western United edged out previous leaders Central Coast Mariners on April 17 to extend their recent record to four wins from six matches.

Phoenix prevailed in the reverse fixture between these clubs six days earlier before backing that result up with success over Perth Glory.

United boss Mark Rudan has guided his side to three successive home victories, a period lasting since March 14.

While Phoenix have competed in just three away fixtures since the end of February, they have been able to claim six points from that triple-header.

Western United Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

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



Team News

On the back of a strong performance against the Mariners, Rudan may opt against making any changes to his United XI.

Despite extending his wait for a goal to 13 matches, veteran Alessandro Diamanti could keep his place in the final third.

Phoenix manager Ufuk Talay may take a similar approach when deciding on his starting lineup.

Although there will be just a four-day turnaround after the triumph in Perth, Talay could prefer to stick with the players which featured for the first 89 minutes of that fixture.

Nevertheless, Joshua Laws, Alex Rufer and James McGarry are all candidates to come into the team having featured regularly this season.

Western United possible starting lineup:
Scott; Imai, Durante, Hamill; Pierias, Sanchez, Uskok, Pain; Diamanti, Berisha, Guarrotxena

Wellington Phoenix possible starting lineup:
Sail; Fenton, Taylor, Payne, Sutton; Davila, Devlin, Lewis, Ball; Sotirio, Waine


SM words green background

We say: Western United 1-1 Wellington Phoenix

Still in relatively close proximity to the top teams in the division, we expect both clubs to push hard for maximum points on Thursday.

Nevertheless, a hard-fought battle may end in a share of the spoils, a result which would not benefit either side at this stage of the campaign.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Western Utd vs Wellington

Western United
45.2%
Draw
25.8%
Wellington Phoenix
29.0%
31
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Melbourne Victory manager Grant Brebner pictured in December 2020
Read Next:
Saturday's A-League predictions including Melbourne City vs. Melbourne Victory
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