Search Box

Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners Sans Star Striker

Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners Sans Star Striker

Oskar Zawada of the Phoenix
Oskar Zawada of the Phoenix reacts to a missed chance during the A-League Men round six match between Western United and Wellington Phoenix at Mars Stadium, on December 02, 2023, in Ballarat, Australia.(Image-Getty)

 The upcoming match between the Wellington Phoenix and the Central Coast Mariners at Sky Stadium promises to be a thrilling encounter as the top two teams in the league face off. However, the Phoenix will have to navigate this crucial fixture without their star striker, Oskar Zawada, who has been sidelined with a groin injury.

Zawada's absence comes as a blow to Wellington, especially considering his recent return from a seven-week layoff due to a thigh contusion. In his comeback match in late January, Zawada made an impact by scoring the winning goal against the Newcastle Jets. However, his resurgence was short-lived as he suffered a groin injury following his second consecutive substitute appearance in a draw against the Brisbane Roar on February 2.

Wellington Phoenix coach Giancarlo Italiano expressed his frustration at Zawada's setback but remained confident in the team's ability to cope without him. Italiano praised Zawada's professionalism and dedication to fitness, emphasizing that his absence will be felt but the team has managed without him before and will do so again.

The timing of Zawada's injury adds to the stakes of the match, with the Mariners eager to seize the opportunity to claim the top spot in the league standings. Currently just two points behind the Phoenix, the Mariners are on an impressive 11-game undefeated streak and will look to capitalize on Zawada's absence when they face off on Waitangi Day, February 6.

As both teams prepare for the showdown, lineup changes reflect the challenges they face. Wellington will welcome back Tim Payne and Alex Rufer from suspension while promoting Seth Karunaratne to the squad. However, they will sorely miss Zawada's presence on the field, along with the suspended Nicholas Pennington.

Meanwhile, the Mariners will count on the return of Storm Roux to bolster their lineup. Despite the absence of key players due to injury, including Harry Steele, Brad Tapp, and Sasha Kuzevski, the Mariners remain determined to secure victory and potentially claim the league's top spot.

With the stage set for a high-stakes encounter, both teams will look to make a statement in what promises to be an exciting clash between two of the league's top contenders.

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url