The A-League is back for a frantic month of football action to crown a champion for the 2019-20 season. A win over Newcastle Jets could be huge for Wellington Phoenix.
History: Played 38: Wellington 22 V Newcastle 11 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: January 24, 2020: Wellington 2 d Newcastle 1 at Sky Stadium
Final Thoughts: Wellington Phoenix can keep the heat on Melbourne City in the race to finish second with a win in their last regular-season game. Newcastle Jets are playing purely for pride in their campaign closer.
The Phoenix can draw level with City with a victory on Thursday night. The for-and-against difference between the clubs is two goals in City’s favour.
Wellington have won only one of their five games since the restart. They bookended a 1-0 loss to Wanderers with 1-all draws against Adelaide and Brisbane – coming from a goal down in both – in their last three outings.
Gary Hooper scored the Phoenix’s 82nd-minute equaliser against the Roar but he will miss this game with injury.
The eighth-placed Jets are five points adrift of the top six. It’s unfortunate for the club, because they have been one of the A-League’s form teams before and after the restart. Wins over Sydney FC and Western United either side of a draw with Central Coast since the resumption means Newcastle have lost just one of their last 11 games.
Roy O’Donovan was the match-winner as they overcame Western United 1-0.
Wellington have won six and drawn two of their last 10 against Newcastle, while they’re unbeaten in the last four clashes between the clubs.
The Phoenix prevailed 2-1 at home in the only meeting so far this season. Jaushua Sotirio and Ulises Davila scored for the hosts either side of Abdiel Arroyo’s equaliser for the Jets after a goal-less first half.
There’s always the temptation to get behind the team with the most at stake. But the Jets have been a tough beat since Carl Robinson took over as manager and the draw is the standout head-to-head option. Plenty of value in the under, too.