Miron Bleiberg’s United have fought back after a slow start with two draws and two wins from their last four and are now only two points off second.
However, despite good results in recent times, six goals in seven matches is simply not enough and they will need to find more up front if they are going to be a real threat this season.
Leading striker Joel Porter remains on the sidelines so at least he gets return to the line-up but what they have at the moment is not providing the answers so it is lucky that their defence is performing so well, conceding just one goal for the whole month of September.
In the Wellington camp, star striker Paul Ifill returns from a week out with a groin injury which is a huge plus as he adds plenty of fire power to the side that scored twice against North Queensland Fury last week.
Wellington’s head-to-head record (4 matches for 2 wins and 2 draws) against United has them in a good position mentally but the fact they are yet to win away from Westpac Stadium this term evens things up on that account.
But I feel that one of these trends will be broken as the Phoenix claim a rare win on the road in front of a paltry Gold Coast crowd.
Verdict: Phoenix 1-0
Gold Coast United v Wellington Phoenix
Date: Friday, 1 October 2010
Venue: Skilled Park, Robina
Local kick-off: 8.00pm
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 4): Gold Coast United wins 0, Wellington Phoenix wins 2 (2 draws)
Referee: Matthew Gillett
Gold Coast United squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 5.ROBSON, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 11.Bruce DJITE, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 18.James BROWN, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 25.Chris BROADFOOT, 27.Chris HAROLD *two to be omitted*
In: Tahj MINNIECON (returns from national team duty), James BROWN (returns from national team duty), Chris BROADFOOT (promoted)
Out: John CURTIS (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: Daniel Piorkowski (ankle injury – 4 weeks), Matt Osman (knee injury – indefinite), Joel Porter (hamstring injury – 1 week)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Nick WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 10. Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 15. Jade NORTH, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c)
In: Paul IFILL (return from injury), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (returns from national team duty)
Out: Vince LIA (suspended – 1 week), Dylan MACALLISTER (omitted)
Unavailable: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin – 8 weeks), Reece CROWTHER (gk, ribs – 3 weeks), Vince LIA (suspended – 1 week)