Get ready for the first A-League match in NZ in more than a year

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When Western United travel across the ditch to face the Wellington Phoenix this weekend, it will mark the first time an A-League game has been played in New Zealand in over a year.

The last match was played across the Tasman on March 15 last year, so Wellington will be hoping a home crowd, for the first time in over a year, will be the boost they need in order to further their bid for a final’s berth.

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Wellington come into the game undefeated in their last seven matches, however four of those have been draws. Last time out, the Nix showed great character to equalise late against the league’s runaway leaders, Melbourne City.

Western United on the other hand come into the match having lost their last four. Wellington will be hoping to pile on the misery for United and get themselves closer to the top six.

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It has been a hit and miss season for the Nix who have struggled to get any sort of momentum going. Injuries have not helped, with key players missing chunks of the season. However, their squad is almost back to full strength besides the absent Ulises Davila.

Marquee Tomer Hemed netted twice last time out and has looked dangerous in the last few weeks. Given the state of the competition, you would not be surprised if Wellington took one of the final top six places.

The focal point of Saturday’s match will undoubtedly be the return to New Zealand for the first time in almost 15 months for the Nix. If that does not lift the players for the match and egg them on to put in a solid performance, you would think nothing would.

Reno Piscopo started his first game since coming back from injury against City last week. With question marks over outgoing skipper Davila’s chances of playing again this season, before leaving for Macarthur FC next season, Piscopo finding form is more important than ever.

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Saturday’s game is important for both sides to keep their finals hopes alive, it’s sure to be a cracker.

Wellington will go in as favourites, but United have caused a few upsets this season, having knocked off both Melbourne City and the revitalised Central Coast Mariners.

The Cake Tin will be rocking coming Saturday afternoon.

Feature Image Credit: Wellington Phoenix

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Chris Ball
Football fanatic, supporting some, at times, hard to follow sides.

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