The A-League is back for a frantic month of football action to crown a champion for the 2019-20 season. Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar are jostling for position inside the top four.
History: Played 37: Brisbane 20 V Wellington 7 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: January 18, 2020: Brisbane 1 d Wellington 0 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: Wellington Phoenix sit third in the A-League standings with two games to go and are still a chance of finishing second. But fourth-placed Brisbane Roar can leapfrog the nomadic Kiwi outfit with a win in Newcastle on Wednesday night.
It’s been a mixed bag since the season’s resumption for the Phoenix, who are in the midst of a watershed campaign. They lost to Sydney FC (3-1), beat Perth (2-1), drew with Adelaide (1-1) and most recently went down to Wanderers (1-0).
Wellington battled gamely with 10 men against WSW after having defender Luke DeVere sent off. DeVere will miss this assignment through suspension, while Oskar van Hattum is out injured.
The Roar have played twice since the restart, losing to Adelaide (1-0) and defeating Melbourne Victory (2-1). Scott McDonald – scoring his fifth in as many games – and Matthew Ridenton gave the Roar a two-goal lead against the Victory after a scoreless first half.
Brisbane, who are still adjusting to new manager Warren Moon’s style after Robbie Fowler pulled the pin, are unchanged for this match-up.
Even rivalry in recent seasons
The Roar have dominated their rivalry with the Phoenix, winning 20 and drawing 10 of 37 clashes. But the last 10 encounters have been split three wins apiece, with four games drawn.
Wellington prevailed 2-1 at home in Week 7 this season thanks to goals from Steven Taylor and Ulises Davila. Dylan Wenzel-Halls’ 69th-minute strike secured a 1-0 victory for Brisbane in Week 15.
The Phoenix head in as favourites but the draw is shaping as a more attractive head-to-head option. Meanwhile, nine of the Roar’s last 12 games and four of the Pheonix’s last eight have produced less than three goals.