The A-League is back for a frantic month of football action to crown a champion for the 2019-20 season. Third spot goes on the line as Perth Glory face Wellington Phoenix.
History: Played 40: Perth 19 V Wellington 14 (7 Draws)
Last meeting: February 7, 2020: Perth 4 d Wellington 2 at nib Stadium
Final Thoughts: The scramble for A-League playoffs spots heats up as Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix back for their respective second assignments since the restart in neutral territory.
Both teams have played 21 games. The Phoenix are third with 11 wins and three draws; the Glory and two points and two places back with nine wins and seven draws.
But Wellington suffered an agonising, controversial 3-1 loss to A-League leaders Sydney FC on Friday. They opened the scoring with a Reno Piscopo penalty midway through the second half before being overrun, conceding twice in the dying minutes. Several key calls went against them.
The Phoenix have to forget the result and focus on the positives to come out of a solid performance against the competition’s benchmark. Louis Fenton made an excellent return in his first outing since November.
Perth grabbed a 1-0 win over Central Coast in Gosford on Saturday. Kiwi Dan Ingham’s 32nd-minute goal was enough to get the points against the likely wooden spooners. Bruno Fornaroli and captain Neil Kilkenny were standouts for the Glory.
Perth are on a four-match winning streak against Wellington, whose last win in this rivalry came in February 2018. The Glory have racked up nine wins and two draws in the teams’ last 13 clashes.
This season, the Glory grabbed a 2-1 victory in Wellington and a 4-2 result at home. Fornaroli scored in both clashes for Perth, while Nicholas D’Agostino notched a brace in the latter win. Gary Hooper posted a second-half double for the Phoenix in Perth.
The Glory are the narrowest of favourites at $2.50. There’s little between these teams and both are likely to be a bit cautious as they continue to find their rhythm after a lengthy layoff. The draw shapes as the best value ahead of a vital encounter.