How have Wellington changed in 2018?

Wellington went to AAMI Park with a game plan and it almost worked, they led 1-0 before Daniel Arzani set up two goals for Ross McCormack. But then a 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory and a 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers. While two matches undefeated may not sound a big deal, it is for Wellington. They are on their longest unbeaten run since March-April 2017 (15 matches).

In the first 12 matches of the season the Nix only won seven points of a possible 36 points (one win, four draws). In the first three matches of 2018 Wellington have won four out of a possible nine points (one win, one draw), which at face value doesn’t sound too impressive, but when compared to the rest of the league, it’s not half bad.

The Central Coast Mariners are winless in three games this year, and Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory have lost all of their 2018 matches so far.

Points in 2018

1st Western Sydney Wanderers 8 points

2nd Melbourne Victory 7 points

3rd Newcastle Jets 7 points

4th Sydney FC 5 points

5th Adelaide United 5 points

6th Melbourne City 4 points

7th Wellington Phoenix 4 points

8th Central Coast Mariners 2 points

9th Brisbane Roar 0 points

10th Perth Glory 0 points

And here’s how they have done it.

Stats in 2018

  • Three matches
  • 1027 passes
  • 65 crosses
  • 65 shots
  • 58 clearances
  • 44 fouls won
  • 44 fouls conceded
  • 32 interceptions
  • 12 corners
  • Four goals
  • One offside

New signings

Pato Rodriguez has quickly become one of Newcastle’s best players while Terry Antonis and Dino Djulbic have added a lot to Melbourne Victory’s side. The Phoenix have two summer signings of their own they have helped changed their fortunes. Matija Ljujic and Socceroo Nathan Burns.

Matija Ljujic

  • Two matches
  • One goal
  • Six shots
  • Three chances created
  • 17 passes

Nathan Burns

  • Three matches
  • Four shots on target
  • Two successful crosses
  • Four key passes
  • 20 passes
  • Two dribbles
  • Six fouls won

Wellington face their biggest challenge of the new year when they face the high flying Newcastle Jets at the fortress that McDonald Jones Stadium is becoming. Newcastle were victorious 3-0 when the two sides met earlier this season, and a win could take them off the bottom of the table so that give Wellington the motivation they need to cause an upset and continue their strong start to 2018.

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