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Talking points preview: Wellington vs City

The roadshow must go on! Tonight, we take on Wellington Phoenix in our third interstate game in a row. Opportunities are coming thick and fast for points, and this one is shaping up to be quite the interesting test.

The Phoenix have become such an interesting threat lately, having only played 17 matches compared to our 21, but sitting in the top four. How have they pulled this off? Their goal threat has been considerable all season, but they have leaked goals from all areas of the park... sound familiar?

With our FFA Cup run coming to an end at the hands of the Phoenix in January, we will be looking to get our revenge as we line up for our last interstate match before our first Champions League bout kicks off.

With much riding on this one, here are three talking points ahead of this fixture:

Source: Andrew Wiseman (@wisemansports)

Roos are back

Not that we need them, honestly; first a Championship, now wins against the Roar and Macarthur? Who needs top-class talent when we have our academy?

All jokes aside, it will be fantastic to see Connor Metcalfe alongside Marco Tilio back in the lineup, as the two youngsters fight to secure another title in City blue.

Despite six points from six during the international window, Metcalfe's presence in the midfield was sorely missed, as his control of the game has improved greatly over his tenure at City. It is hard to appreciate what you have until it is gone.

On the other side, another player surely destined for a Europe move at some point: Tilio. How many times have I raved on about the kid? Not enough. His deft touches against Japan showcased the talent that he has, if only Arnie gave him 90...

Source: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Make every second count

This season has been tough on everyone: players not knowing when they're going to be playing their next fixture, fans missing games due to the constant rescheduling... it has been a nightmare.

Now, at the pointy end of the season, with an extra six games to be played in Asia, we are seeing the lasting effects that a COVID-normal season has inflicted on us. With a game to be played every 3.3 days to finish the season on time, our squad will undoubtedly be stretched and tired.

The onus is on our great leader, Patty Kisnorbo. Rally the boys, get behind them! Motivation is hard to come by during a stop-start season, but we deserve to see our lads leave it all out on the field. There is not long to go and we need to make every moment count.

Keeping it tidy

A massive point of discussion this season has been whether or not we have the right stocks in the keeper department. Tommy Glover - like every City player - has been prone to mistakes this season. Be it a dodgy decision to run out, or a somewhat "easier" save missed (if any save can be regarded as easy in the first place), Glover has had questions asked.

However, last week against Macarthur, he registered a 100% save rate as we recorded our first clean sheet in eight matches. Although one clean sheet is nothing to write home about, it is a promising sign that we were able to contain a side that boasts the talent of superstar Ulysses Davila, club legend Craig Noone, and ex-Socceroo Apostolos Giannou.

With only two goals conceded in the past three games, it is looking good for City's defensive coach. Let's keep them in a job, yeah?


The tale of the season, a real tit-for-tat, continues later today; Western United are up first when they take on Central Coast at 2:05pm. If they slip, we could be running through on goal like Demba Ba...

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