Wellington Phoenix vs. Western Sydney Wanderers – A-League, February 21, 2021
The Wanderers will be aiming to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games when they face the Nix in Wollongong on Sunday, February 21.
Carl Robinson’s men currently sit fourth on the A-League ladder – eight points ahead of second-bottom Wellington. The Kiwis head into Sunday’s match, having lost three of their previous four outings.
I discuss the bookmakers’ odds before sharing my Wellington Phoenix vs. Western Sydney Wanderers prediction and betting pick.
Wellington Phoenix vs. Western Sydney Wanderers Odds
Despite coming into this match on an outstanding unbeaten run, the Wanderers (2.65) are viewed by the top online sportsbooks as the marginal outsiders to win this one.
But as you can see, Wellington (2.45) is only the slight favorite to claim all three points. It is worth considering that the New Zealanders are currently based in Wollongong, meaning that home-field advantage isn’t a huge factor here.
Wellington Phoenix vs. Western Sydney Wanderers Preview
It’s fair to say that the Nix have failed to pick up where they left off last term. Ufuk Talay’s men registered an impressive third-place finish in 2020, yet they have only managed to win one of their opening six games this season.
Wellington’s sole victory came against the Mariners at the end of January. But since then, the Kiwis have suffered two straight defeats.
Having already lost to Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets earlier in the campaign, Talay’s side suffered another defeat at the hands of the defending champions last week before falling to Central Coast in their previous game.
Not only are the New Zealanders the second-lowest scorers in the A-League this term, but they also have one of the worst defensive records.
If they carry on the way they’re going, the Nix can wave goodbye to their chances of emulating last season’s third-place finish.
Luke DeVere is out for between 10-12 weeks with a knee injury sustained on Sunday and will undergo surgery today.— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) February 17, 2021
We wish you all the best in your recovery Luke and we can't wait to see you back out on the grass ???
⚫️? | https://t.co/SAVRs4rhYc
By contrast, Western Sydney has enjoyed a solid start to the 2020/21 campaign, suffering just one defeat in seven matches so far.
The Wanderers were beaten by Macarthur on the opening day, but they have since claimed important wins over Newcastle, Central Coast, and Melbourne Victory, along with three draws.
Last time out, WSW comfortably beat Victory 2-0, with goals from Graham Dorrans and Kwame Yeboah handing Carl Robinson’s side all three points. As well as dominating the possession, the Wanderers also created plenty of goalscoring opportunities.
Dorrans has made an instant impact following his arrival from Scotland, with James Troisi also impressing upon his return to the club. With Mitchell Duke still to come back into the team, Western Sydney is only going to get stronger.
Wellington Phoenix vs. Western Sydney Wanderers Pick
Western Sydney Wanderers to Win2.65
Four of the Wanderers’ seven matches this season have come away from home, with Robinson’s men already claiming eight points from a possible 12 on the road. Two wins and two draws have seen WSW become one of the most dangerous traveling teams in the A-League this term.
On the flip side, the Nix have struggled to adapt to their new home. Wellington has lost each of their two games in Wollongong – and their away games haven’t been much better.
In my eyes, backing the Wanderers to win this one at 2.65 is a no-brainer.