Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC
Sunday October 23, 5:00pm AEDT
Sydney have flown out of the blocks winning their first two matches 4-0. They also qualified for the FFA Cup Final midweek. Last season was a frustrating one for them in front of goal but this season they can’t miss. It must be said however that both results have well and truly flattered them. Not that they were not the better team but most of the goals have been put on a platter.
It could pay to ignore Wellington’s first two matches. They were overrun by City before coming back in the second half once their opponents went down to 10 men despite having five starting players missing. Those players returned last week but the fatigue of two international matches played in North America showed in the second half when they were eventually worn down by the Glory. Still they were more than competitive in the first half.
- Wellington lost seven of 13 home matches last season but lost only one of their first six. They were poor once their season was over.
- Wellington matches at home were seven or 11 over 2.5 goals and 15 of their past 21.
- Sydney won just three away matches last season (v Western Sydney Wanderers, Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle)
- Sydney average facing 3.1 shots last season and have faced an average of four despite their two wins.
Wellington have assembled their best-ever squad with everyone available and back home for week I think they can hold Sydney.
LAY – Sydney FC for 2 units up to 2.2
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Sunday October 23, 7:00pm AEDT
Western Sydney returned from Adelaide with all three points thanks to an injury time goal to super-sub Brendon Santalab. It is clear they should have been down to 10 men prior and in my opinion nine after the first minute tackle from Jack Clisby. This is their first match at their new home Spotless Stadium and I doubt they can replicate their fine home record of Pirtek Stadium.
Newcastle have been blessed by two home matches to start the season and after taking a point off Adelaide they thrashed Brisbane Roar 4-0. Brisbane were a team looking like they had issues but take nothing away from Newcastle who, despite some injuries were very good particularly going forward.
- Western Sydney lost just three times at home last season to (Sydney, Wellington and Brisbane)
- Western Sydney have faced 12 shots this season well over their average of 3.4 from last season
- Newcastle won four away matches (Central Coast x 2, Melbourne City and Wellington)
- Newcastle have scored from five of their 7 (70%) shots on goal against a conversion rate of 11% last season
- Newcastle have faced just eight shots on target conceding once to a defensive mistake. Last season they averaged facing 5.5 shots per match.
Newcastle have improved and I am going to take a set against the Wanderers at Homebush early in the season, which paid off in Round 1.
LAY – Western Sydney for 2 units up to 1.9