Isuzu UTE A-League Match Preview | Wellington v Melbourne

Match Details:
Wellington Phoenix
Date: Fri 19 January
Time: 5pm (AEDT)
Location: Sky Stadium, Wellington
Broadcast: Paramount+


Our boys in blue can make it 13 games unbeaten on Friday night when they travel to face Wellington Phoenix at Sky Stadium.

A late equaliser from Central Coast last weekend saw Tony Popovic’s side return to Melbourne one point instead of three, but still remain 12 games unbeaten and sit second on the Isuzu UTE A-League table.

Tough conditions in Sydney in Round 12 saw a few players struggle towards the end of the match, with Ryan Teague and Daniel Arzani leaving the pitch earlier than anticipated, but Popovic has reassured that “a full squad is available”.

“We’ve got a few players that struggled throughout the match, but fortunately for us, there is nothing serious to report and we expect to have a full squad available,” he explained.

Looking ahead to Friday night’s top-of-the-table match against Wellington, Popovic said he’s expecting the Nix to show why they’re sitting on top of the table for a reason.

“They showed a lot of resilience (last time) and we can talk about them not having an attempt on goal, but they went home with a point,” he said.

“And since then they’ve shown that they sit on top for a reason. They deserve to be there as we do.

“We’re anticipating an opponent full of confidence and they will receive one also that’s full of confidence.”

Wellington attacker and former Victory star Kosta Barbarouses is experiencing a renaissance season similar to Bruno Fornaroli, with the Kiwi now having scored eight goals in his last five matches.

“It’s always a challenge, stopping top players,” Popovic said on the Kiwi.

“We feel that if we can limit the good service that he gets, try and get him to receive balls in less damaging areas and can control the game with and without the ball, we’ll make his opportunities far less dangerous for us.

“But we ultimately know the form that he’s in, he’s confident and we have to be aware.”



2.Jason GERIA, 3.Adama TRAORE, 4.Rai MARCHAN, 5.Damien DA SILVA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Zinedine MACHACH, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Connor CHAPMAN, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 17.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 19.Daniel ARZANI, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 22.Jake BRIMMER, 24.Eli ADAMS, 25.Ryan TEAGUE, 27.Jordi VALADON, 28.Franco LINO, 40.Christian SICILIANO

Ins: 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 28.Franco LINO

Outs: 18.Fabian MONGE

Unavailable: 10. Bruno FORNAROLI