Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
Sky Stadium - Wellington Phoenix
  1. Soccer
  2. A-League

Australian Football: Nix out to stop the rot

Two of the A-League’s out-of-form teams clash on Friday night when Western United entertain Wellington Phoenix.

The clash at AAMI Park is the first of Matchday 17 and it is a tough one to call as both sides are struggling to pick up the wins. At least Wellington Phoenix still sit sixth on the ladder and are in with a shout of making the top six and playing finals in 2023.

The same cannot be said of Western United, the reigning champions, who are having a season to forget down in 11th place in the standings.

Both sides head into the game on the back of back-to-back defeats and a draw, meaning confidence will hardly be flourishing in the dressing rooms. There is a chance we could be in for some goals as both sides have leaked way too many so far this season.

Which is ideal for the neutral who is looking for an entertaining night with plenty of goals. A lot is on the line in this one so let’s take a closer look at both teams with kick-off fast approaching.

What:Western United v Wellington Phoenix
Where:AAMI Park, Melbourne
When:19:45 (AEST) Friday 17th February 2023
How to watch:Paramount+
Odds:Western 29/20, Draw 5/2, Phoenix 9/5

Western struggling for form and points

It is hard to believe that Western United sit second from bottom on the ladder after picking up just four wins in the 2022/23 A-League campaign. Last season they were flying and went on to win the grand final, beating Melbourne City.

Related Australian Football News

Takeaways from Matchday 16

A look at the week ahead

That win was built on a solid defence that kept things tight and did not leak goals. The same cannot be said for this season as they have been the complete opposite. Western have conceded 30 goals in 16 games, almost two a game, and that is costing John Aloisi’s side badly as they attempt to repeat the heroics of last year. 

Making the top six would now be a huge achievement but they remain six points behind the play-offs with Phoenix currently occupying the final spot. They need to get on a good run to have any chance and Friday night would be a good place to start.

Aloisi’s men looked set to get a crucial three points last week when they were leading Adelaide United 2-0 with 22 minutes to go. Last season that would have been game over but now it is a different matter and Adelaide came fighting back to win 3-2.

It will be interesting to see how that effects a Western side that would have been low on confidence already. The defeat to the Reds would have been a real hammer blow. There is a very good chance their will be plenty of goals in this game and over 2.5 can be backed at 8/11.

Nix keen to arrest slide

Wellington had been going great guns with three wins on the bounce to get them right in the mix for a place in finals. However the wheels have come off a little in recent weeks and they have suffered disappointing defeats against sides below them on the ladder.

The 3-1 defeat against Melbourne Victory was disappointing to say the least and they backed that up with another defeat against another struggling side Macarthur.

Indeed Macarthur had not won in four games but they managed to get the points with a 2-1 win. In both of those defeats Wellington were the team to score first but could not build on it and that has to be another concern for boss Ufuk Talay. 

Oskar Zawada scored the opening goal against Melbourne Victory and can be backed at 6/1 to score first against Western. We have been saying for weeks that Wellington need to tighten up at the back but it’s not happening. They have conceded at total of seven goals in the three last games.

It is very hard to win games when you are leaking so many goals. The Nix need to return to winning ways as it is very tight in the race to make the top six. Just two points separate them and Perth Glory who are in ninth.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy