Five days after snatching a late equaliser with A-League
leaders Central Coast Mariners, the Wellington Phoenix are
back at Westpac Stadium tonight in another attempt to put a
positive spin on their season.
Battling to get out of the mid to lower regions of the points
table - they could, depending on other round 13 results, find
themselves at the bottom - the Phoenix have to start scoring
goals if they are to have any chance of reaching the business
end of the season.
Coach Ricki Herbert will stick with the same team who claimed
the 1-1 draw with the Mariners, again placing his faith in
the younger players who were impressive enough but without
turning chances into goals against the table-toppers.
"It's all good as far as injuries go," said Herbert, who
added Leo Bertos has a minor hamstring problem. "It will be
the same team, with the same bench.
"I thought the boys did well against Central Coast but we
just have to take our chances. But as long as they keep
working like they have been, I'm confident the results will
Both teams will have had just a five-day turnaround but the
Phoenix have the advantage of playing both games at home and
in at least getting something from Saturday's game. The
Heart, however, have to bounce back from the disappointment
of a last-minute home loss to bitter rivals Melbourne
The two teams battled out a 1-1 draw in Melbourne in round
Tyler Boyd will again start tomorrow night alongside Jeremy
Brockie and Louis Fenton in a lively strikeforce with Dani
Sanchez slotting into the attacking midfield role.
Solomon Islander Benjamin Totori will again be on the bench
but his introduction is certain to stir the Phoenix faithful
after his strong showing against the Mariners.
Defensively, the Phoenix will again be well-organised,
although they were badly caught out in allowing the Mariners
to carve through to score five days ago.
The Phoenix need to string some convincing results together
if they are to be taken as a serious contender which, at this
stage, they are not.
Likely Phoenix lineup: Paston; Bertos, Sigmund, Durante,
Lochhead; Lia, Muscat, Sanchez; Fenton, Brockie, Boyd.