Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix preview
But the reigning champs will be desperate to continue their good recent form of three wins and three draws in their past six as they prepare for the Asian Champions League which kicks off next month.
With the Sky Blues sitting eight points out of the top six, they have no chance of sneaking into the finals so will have to look toward the ACL where they can go about redeeming themselves after a disappointing domestic season.
Coach Vitezslav Lavicka won't be too deterred by the result but will want to see a strong performance from his men who take on Korea's Suwon Bluewings on March 2.
In the Wellington Phoenix camp, things are slightly different as they strive to keep their spot in the playoffs by adding to the two wins they have recorded on the trot. The only way they can miss out on finals action is if they lose both their remaining games whilst the Newcastle Jets, currently on a five-match winless run, need to win their two final regular season matches and also pull back the five-goal difference the Phoenix has on them.
The odds certainly point to the Phoenix but stranger things have happened so they won't want to be leaving anything to chance and will be looking to get at least a point here, which I feel they can achieve.
Verdict: 1-1 draw
Sydney FC v Wellington PhoenixDate: Wednesday, 9 February 2011 Venue:Sydney Football Stadium, SydneyLocal kick-off: 7.00pm AEDT Referee: Peter Green Head-to-Head: All matches (played 12): Sydney FC wins 7, Wellington Phoenix wins 4 (1 draw) Match fact: This will be Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert's 100th Hyundai A-League match as coach.
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2, FS2 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partner is SBS 6 (Digital), The Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam REDDY, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matt JURMAN, 18. Juho MAKELA, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23, Rhyan GRANT *three to be omitted* In: Liam REDDY (returns from suspension), Brendan GAN, Kofi DANNING, Rhyan GRANT (all promoted) Out: Dimitri PETRATOS (Ankle - 6 weeks), Dylan MITCHELL Unavailable: Hayden FOXE (groin - 2 weeks), Mark BRIDGE (stomach - 1 week), Terry ANTONIS (knee - indefinite)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 3. Tony LOCHHEAD' 4. Nicky WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 9, Chris GREENACRE, 10, Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11. DANIEL, 12. James MUSA, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 15. Jade NORTH, 19, Danny VUKOVIC, 20, Reece CROWTHER, 21. Marco ROJAS, 23. Dylan MACALLISTER, 24. Sean LOVEMORE, 26. Aaron CLAPHAM In: Sean LOVEMORE (injury replacement), Aaron CLAPHAM (injury replacement). Out: Vince Lia (injury), Andrew Durante (suspended - 2 matches) Unavailable: Paul IFILL (leg - 4 weeks), Mark PASTON (gk, knee - season), Leo BERTOS (injury), Ben SIGMUND (Suspended), Manny MUSCAT (suspended)