Western United vs. Wellington Phoenix – A-League, April 22, 2021
Both Western United and Wellington enhanced their Finals Series ambitions by claiming wins last weekend, with the former beating high-flying Central Coast on Saturday.
The two sides clash in Tasmania on Thursday, April 22, with just two points between them on the A-League ladder. Still, let’s not forget that eighth-place United has two games in hand over ninth-place Wellington.
In this Western United vs. Wellington Phoenix betting preview, I assess the bookmakers’ odds, look at the teams, and share my prediction and pick.
Western United vs. Wellington Phoenix Odds
I can’t say that I’m surprised by the prices for this matchup. Western United (2.30) is the rightful favorite, although the narrow odds gap is fair.
The Nix (2.90) managed to beat United 3-2 earlier in the month, yet they still find themselves trailing the Green & Black on the A-League ladder.
Now that we’ve seen what the best online sportsbooks make of this game let’s take a closer look at both sides.
Western United Analysis and Team News
The Mariners bombarded Ryan Scott’s goal last time out, racking up 13 shots in Launceston. However, Connor Pain’s fifth-minute strike eventually proved to be the difference between the teams.
Western United has struggled for goals at times this season, but the backline has remained solid throughout the campaign.
Mark Rudan’s men have now won four of their last six games, with three 1-0 victories coming in that time. They have also managed to claim some notable scalps along the way, seeing off first-place Melbourne City and in-form Central Coast.
United enjoyed the lion’s share of possession against Wellington when the two sides met earlier in the month, yet they were unable to make the most of their dominance. Rudan will be hoping that his players are more clinical this time around.
If Besart Berisha can add to his tally of seven goals and three assists in 15 appearances this term, United won’t need to worry about keeping things tight at the other end of the pitch.
Assessing Wellington’s Recent Form
Following victories over United and Perth, Wellington heads into Thursday’s game on the back of consecutive wins for just the second time this term.
Ulises Davila, Jaushua Sotirio, and Ben Waine got on the scoresheet in the victory over United. Last time out, Waine and Sotirio were on target again as the Nix beat the Glory 3-1.
Despite sitting fourth from the bottom in the standings, Ufuk Talay’s men are currently the third-highest scorers in the division. Only first-place Melbourne City and third-place Adelaide United have netted more goals this season.
Having said that, only two sides – Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory – have a poorer defensive record than Wellington. If the Kiwis want to start moving up the ladder, they will need to stop conceding so many goals.
Given that Talay’s men have only kept two clean sheets in 17 matches this term, Thursday’s game is destined to produce goals.
Western United vs. Wellington Betting Pick
There was very little to separate these two sides when they met two weekends ago. Both teams created plenty of goalscoring opportunities, with Wellington coming from behind to win 3-2.
This time around, I believe the draw is the best bet for Western United vs. Wellington Phoenix. Both sides have enjoyed an upturn in form of late, meaning this is likely to be a closer encounter.