Football has plenty of twists and turns – that’s probably why we love it! But every match has a history and a context, here's our teenage football whiz Dan Moskovitz with a background preview.
Setting the scene:
It hasn’t been a perfect start for the Nix, as we lost last round to Melbourne City 1-0, as well as losing before that 3-2 to last season’s champions Sydney FC. However, there is a sense of optimism amongst Nix fans, at least from what I’m seeing. In both games, the Nix were competitive, holding their own, and at least deserving a draw from their troubles. Now that we are back home at Westpac Stadium, this could be the game that kicks our season into action.
Former Phoenix players Corey Gameiro and Jade North will both return to face their old club, while current Nix players Dario Vidosic and Andrija Kaludjerovic will play against their former employers.
Wellington Phoenix 3-2 Brisbane Roar, October 24, 2015
In another early season home match against Brisbane Roar, the Nix showed that they can win early games. Dimi Petratos hit first in the 26th minute, before a stunning free-kick ten minutes later from Michael McGlinchey levelled things before the break.
The action began again quickly in the second half, with Roy Krishna pouncing on a counter attack and scoring in the 49th minute. At the hour mark, former Phoenix defender Jade North bit the hand that once fed him when he sent the ball low into the goal after a corner.
A draw loomed, but, after being on the pitch for just two minutes, substitute Blake Powell put away a tap-in after a cross came in from the left, which sealed the points for Wellington.
Brisbane’s recent form:
It hasn’t been a happy start for the three-time champions, who have lost every single game so far this season. A 2-0 loss on the opening match of the season to Melbourne City was followed by two home 1-2 losses to Adelaide United and former Nix manager Ernie Merrick’s new team, the Newcastle Jets.
The Nix are short of centre backs at the moment, with club captain Andrew Durante facing a stretch on the sidelines and even possibly surgery on an adductor. Marco Rossi is also a doubt after a groin problem in the last match. This could pave the way for Dylan Fox or Ryan Lowry to start, or coach Darjie Kalezic might even go for a youth player like Liam Wood.
For Brisbane, Daniel Bowles, Shannon Brady and Thomas Kristensen are all still unavailable due to injury but French flyer Eric Bautheac will look better for his first 45 minutes in the A-League.
Players to watch:
Phoenix – Dario Vidosic With 2 goals this season already, the Croatian/Australian attacking midfielder is a pretty good chance to score against his old side.
Brisbane – Massimo Maccarone With 179 goals in 14 years of playing in Italy’s Serie A, and a goal already in the A-league, the 38 year old Italian would be a solid shout to score on Saturday.
- In the last three matches between these two sides, both teams have collectively scored 11 goals!
- Michael McGlinchey’s only goal ever from a free kick for the Phoenix came against Brisbane.
- Brisbane have only won at Westpac once in the previous four meetings at the cake tin – the Nix have won 2 and drawn 1 – although that came in their last visit, a 0-1 win last January.
Elsewhere in the A-league: (Times NZDT)
Friday 27 October
Sydney FC vs Perth Glory, 9.50 pm
Saturday 28 October
Adelaide United vs Melbourne City FC, 9.50pm
Sunday 29 October
Newcastle Jets vs Western Sydney Wanderers, 7.00pm
Central Coast Mariners vs Melbourne Victory, 9.00 pm
Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar, 7.35pm, Westpac Stadium
Live on Sky Sport 3 from 7.30pm.