Western United has the special opportunity of being the first A-League team to visit Sky Stadium in over a year with an important clash against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Saturday, 22 May
Kick-off: 2:05pm AEST (4:05pm NZST)
Sky Stadium, Wellington
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on ABC, Fox Sports 505, Kayo and the MyFootball Live app.
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Western United: DLLLL
Wellington Phoenix: DWDDD
Western United is in need of a victory to end a difficult run of form approaching finals, with the side winless in five games.
Performances have not necessarily merited the results with plenty of chances created across the games, but only one goal scored in 450 minutes of football.
Wellington has picked up the pace in its push for finals with a run of seven games unbeaten, though only three of those have been wins.
Ufuk Talay’s side has failed to win in three games with a trifecta of draws, the last of which was an admirable one against runaway league leaders Melbourne City.
This will be the third time these two sides have met in a little over a month, and the third location for the meeting as well with the previous two coming in Wollongong and Tasmania.
Past meetings between the two have both good and bad memories for Western United, with the club’s first-ever game being a 1-0 win in Wellington courtesy of a Besart Berisha strike.
United hasn’t beaten Wellington since, though, with three losses and a draw in the other games against the New Zealanders.
What Mark Rudan is saying
On the remainder of the season
“I’m confident, I’m staying positive. If the players continue to give me effort, we play finals.
“We see 12 points (from remaining four games), we’re going to go for 12 points. Finish on 40 points, we play finals football.”
Dura’s final game in Wellington
This game also has extra significance being the first since Andrew Durante announced his retirement, and likely his last match in Wellington – a club at which he played 273 games.
Durante has been an excellent servant to the A-League and to Australian football, with his 356 A-League appearances the most of any player to compete in this league.
A Championship and Joe Marston medal winner for man of the match in the Grand Final in 2008, Durante will leave a lasting legacy in Australian football and at Western United, where he has played a major role in developing the club in its early years.