Skip to main content

A-League: Merrick's Phoenix face Roar

Wellington have won four and drawn one of their last five matches to be unbeaten since a 1-0 loss at Central Coast in December.

Ernie Merrick's message has finally clicked with his players, prompting a run of improved performances culminating in a thumping 5-0 win over Melbourne Victory last start.

That streak also included a 3-1 triumph away to reigning premiers Western Sydney, but a bigger challenge looms this week.

The Roar have been a little shaky of late, losing 2-1 at home to Adelaide and being held 0-0 away to Perth Glory.

And they could be unsettled by news star striker Besart Berisha, who is suspended for this week's clash, is leaving the club to join Victory at the end of the season.

The Friday night battle at Suncorp Stadium promises to be a beauty and will give Merrick a great indication of just where his side are at.

Victory welcome Sydney to Etihad Stadium on Sunday where Socceroo Rogic will make his debut after joining the club on-loan from Celtic during the week.

The hosts have just one win from their past five, while the Sky Blues are winless from their past five so both teams will be desperate for the three points to keep their finals ambitions on track.

In other matches, Adelaide will be looking at solidifying their position in the top six when they host last-placed Melbourne Heart, who finally notched their first win of the season last week against Newcastle.

The Jets, who sacked coach Gary van Egmond following the loss, have a tough assignment away at Central Coast on Saturday night.

Second-placed Western Sydney will be looking to keep the pressure on ladder leaders Brisbane when they take on Perth Glory in Parramatta to close out the round on Sunday evening.