Wellington Phoenix v North Queensland Fury - Preview
There’s no place like home! After a disappointing week in Melbourne, Phoenix are looking to get back to winning ways by tearing into struggling Fury.
Wellington Phoenix v North Queensland Fury Friday 24th September 7:30pm Westpac Stadium
Life on the road for Wellington Phoenix is tough. Not only are the journeys long, but players and fans often return home with little to show for their efforts. Last week-s double-header in Victoria saw the New Zealand side pick up just a single point. While the 0-0 draw against Victory was a decent result, the defeat to Heart in the same stadium was a real disappointment.
However, Phoenix are an entirely different proposition in Wellington. Buoyed by the noise created by their passionate Fever Zone, Ricki Herbert-s side are almost untouchable on home soil, and reward their fervent home fans with win after win.
Undefeated in 23 matches at Westpac Stadium, Wellington know that avoiding defeat to North Queensland Fury would see them set a new Australian national league record for remaining unbeaten at a home venue, surpassing Sydney United-s 23 consecutive matches without defeat at Sydney United Sports Centre from 1996 to 1999.
However, more important than breaking records is the quest to get their Hyundai A-League 2010/11 points tally into double figures and mount a challenge at the top end of the table. While the disparity between their home and away form makes Phoenix painfully inconsistent, they are still within touching distance of the top three and, in Fury, take on a team that is in wretched form.
With just one win so far this Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, Franz Straka-s Green Army find themselves at the wrong end of the ladder, propped up by the only side they have overcome so far. Their current standing is in stark contrast to the start they made. Unbeaten in the first three weeks of the season, and totalling seven goals against Perth, Sydney and Melbourne Victory, Fury were flying high.
However, since then, only one point and two goals have been attained. It-s time to halt the slide, but Wellington doesn-t hold happy memories for the Green Army. The last time they travelled to this weekend‘s opponents they were turned over by three second-half goals. Still, having already picked up draws in Perth and Melbourne in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, Fury will take the field at Westpac Stadium knowing that they have the wherewithal to get results in tricky away fixtures. And they-ll need to. The trip to Wellington signals the first of a hat-trick of away games.
Can North Queensland unleash their Fury and halt their winless streak, or will Phoenix-s irresistible home form prove too much for them? Fever Zone, get ready to cheer your side onto a record-breaking victory…