ANDREW VORCE - Friday, December 7, 2012
Wellington Phoenix have been playing well recently and could move into the top four of the A-League with a win over Sydney at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
American midfielder Alex Smith will start once again for the Phoenix.
These two teams met in the opening game of the season and while the game was billed heavily as Sydney FC's Alessandro Del Piero's first game ever in the A-League, Smith did his part to shut down the famed Italian playmaker in a 2-0 win.
Since then Wellington have struggled a bit but have played well in recent weeks to move into fifth place. Last weekend they scored a fortunate goal, but outplayed Western Sydney in a 1-0 win. They are led by Jeremy Brockie who is the second leading scorer in the A-League.
Sydney FC were hoping that Del Piero would boost them into contention but they are mired in last place with just seven points through nine games. Last weekend's scoreless draw with Melbourne Heart snapped a four game losing streak.
Sydney FC's task will be more daunting because Del Piero will miss the game with a strained hamstring. The former Juventus great is the only injury being reported at this time for Sydney.
Wellington will have a full squad for this game.