Match Preview: Western United vs Wellington Phoenix

Tomoki Imai Western United

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Western United will make history when it plays the first A-League Men match at Ballarat’s regional football facility at Morshead Park on Saturday against Wellington Phoenix.

Match Details

Western United vs Wellington Phoenix

Saturday, 9 April

Kick-off: 2:05pm AEST

Morshead Park, Ballarat

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+

READ MORE: Last time out – Western United 2-2 Central Coast Mariners

Form Guide

Western United: DLDWD

Wellington Phoenix: LWWLL

Western United comes into this fixture on the back of a patchy run of form. While John Aloisi’s side is unbeaten in six matches, it has only won one of its last five games in the A-League Men.

Three of those five matches have been draws, with United leading at some point in all three of those games. Aloisi and his staff will be hoping for a first clean sheet in six matches to get back to winning ways.

Wellington were making a surge up the table and chasing a spot in the finals, but that chase has come to a grinding halt over the last week.

Ufuk Talay’s side have conceded 11 goals in just their last two games, losing 6-0 and 5-0 to Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners respectively.

Despite that, the Nix are still well on course for a finals berth and will be eager to return to form against United this weekend.

Previous Meetings

Wellington Phoenix have been a serious bogey team for Western United over the past three seasons, with United only beating the New Zealand side once.

That win came in United’s first ever match as Besart Berisha slotted the winner, but since then it has been one-way traffic in favour of Wellington.

Phoenix have won six of the subsequent seven meetings, five of which have come in the league with an extra victory coming in November in the FFA Cup.

United has managed just one point against Wellington since that first win, which came in a 1-1 draw in Tasmania last season.

Team News

Western United will still be without Alessandro Diamanti and Josh Risdon for this clash, though the former is edging closer towards a return from a knee complaint.

Aloisi will also have to check on the fitness of Connor Pain and Dylan Pierias after both picked up knocks in last week’s 2-2 draw with Central Coast.

What John Aloisi is saying

“We’re looking forward to it because it’s a football stadium, the crowd will be close by so there will be a good atmosphere. The players will enjoy playing at Morsehead Park.”

“We know that Wellington have a few injuries and a few players out, so they’ve had a pretty disruptive time of late but they’re still a tough side. We need to make sure we are ready to go, it’s going to be a tough game.”