Tonight’s match sees the Wellington Phoenix face the Macarthur Bulls at Campbelltown Stadium, in the Club’s final match of the 2020/21 season.
Although a top six spot is now out of reach for the Phoenix, the team still has plenty to reasons to fight hard for the win tonight.
Doing so will solidify a seventh-place finish for Wellington – just one point out from the top six – and will further extend their club-record unbeaten run to 11 games, the longest such streak in the A-League this season.
Despite its current position on the ladder, the Phoenix boast the fourth-best goal differential in the competition (+7) and also the fourth-most goals scored with 41. The Club also leads the A-League in both Big Chance Conversion (58.1%) and Cross Completion percentage (27%), and is second in both Duels (2,629) and Penalty Goals (5).
The last time these two teams met, Macarthur earned their first ever win against the Nix thanks to a Denis Genreau goal in the second half; the Phoenix playing that match without two key players in Reno Piscopo (injury) and Steven Taylor (injured in the 9th minute).
Both players will suit up for Wellington tonight – with Taylor just announced today as having re-signed for the 2021/22 season - whereas Genreau won’t be available for the Bulls due to being selected for national team duties.
The biggest attacking threat for the Phoenix will undoubtedly be Tomer Hemed, who has scored in each of his past four games, his five goal-haul over this stretch extending his team lead to 10 goals in 20 matches.
For Macarthur, despite sealing a top six spot this match is important for them to determine their playoff seeding; a win tonight vital for the team’s hope of playing an Elimination Final at home.
This match could also mark a Campbelltown Stadium farewell for Macarthur’s captain, Mark Milligan, who has announced he will retire at season’s end.
As always, Macarthur will be led by the play of Matt Derbyshire – 14 goals, second in the A-League – Markel Susaeta (5 goals) and Milligan (3 goals); no other player in their squad has scored more than two goals this season.
The Bulls have been in good form of late, with their only loss in the past eight matches (W3, D4) coming against the Central Coast Mariners late last month.
The Wellington Phoenix take on Macarthur Bulls at Campbelltown Stadium from 9.05pm NZT (7.05 AEDT) tonight.
Did you know:
- Wellington Phoenix have made just two errors leading to shots this season, the joint-fewest of any team (also Melbourne City FC) and are the only team yet to make an error leading to a goal this A-League season.
- Cameron Devlin has made 88 tackles this season, nine more than any other player in the competition.
- No player has had his shot blocked more than Ulises Davila this A-League season (34); the player with the next most blocked shots is Perth Glory’s Bruno Fornaroli with 24.
Macarthur FC squad: 1.Adam FEDERICI (gk), 2.Jake McGING, 4.Benat ETXEBARRIA, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 7.Ivan FRANJIC, 10.Loic PUYO, 11.Tommy OAR, , 12.James MEREDITH, 14.Moudi NAJJAR, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16.Nick SUMAN (gk), 17. Kyle CIMENTI, 19.Michael RUHS, 21.Jake HOLLMAN, 22.Liam ROSE, 24.Charles M’MOMBWA, 27.Matt DERBYSHIRE, 29.Antonis MARTIS, 31.Lachlan ROSE, 33.Markel SUSAETA
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Loic PUYO (return from injury), 17. Kyle CIMENTI (promoted), 21. Jake HOLLMAN (Promoted)
Outs: 3.Antony GOLEC (knee – 1 week),
Unavailable: 6.Aleksandar JOVANOVIC (calf – 1-2 weeks), 8.Denis GENREAU (National Team Selection)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 5.James MCGARRY, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7.Reno PISCOPO, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 13.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Mirza MURATOVIC, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Tomer HEMED, 18.Ben WAINE, 19.Sam SUTTON, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Joshua LAWS, 23.Clayton LEWIS, 27.Steven TAYLOR
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Liam McGING (promoted), 15.Mirza MURATOVIC (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Luke DEVERE (knee injury)