Preview: ASB Prem Grand Final

Take a closer look at the Auckland City FC-Team Wellington Grand Final match-up ahead of Thursday night’s ASB Premiership showpiece match. 

ASB Premiership 2015-16 – Grand Final
Auckland City FC v Team Wellington
Thursday 10 March, 7.35pm
QBE Stadium, Albany #ACvTW
LIVE on SKY Sport 1

Tickets (available at the gate only)
Adults: $10
Students/Seniors: $5
Children 16 and under: FREE

Referee: Matt Conger
Assistant Referees: Simon Lount, Mark Rule
Fourth Official: Campbell-Kirk Waugh

Recent head-to-head

OFC Champions League Final (Apr 16, 2015): Auckland City FC 1-1 Team Wellington (AET) – Auckland City win 4-3 on penalties
ASB Premiership Rd 8 (Jan 17): Team Wellington 2-2 Auckland City FC
ASB Premiership Rd 10 (Jan 28): Auckland City FC 1-0 Team Wellington

Auckland City FC: League position: 1st, Form: W W W W W, TAB Odds: $1.30.

Squad: 1. Jacob Spoonley (GK), 2. Marko Dordevic, 3. Takuya Iwata, 4. Mario Bilen, 5. Angel Berlanga, 6. Jesse Edge, 8. Michael Den Heijer, 9. Darren White, 10. Ryan De Vries, 12. Adam McGeorge, 13. Alfie Rogers, 14. Clayton Lewis, 15. Ivan Vicelich, 16. Daewook Kim, 17. Joao Moreira, 18. Danyon Drake (GK), 19. Micah Lea’alafa, 20. Emiliano Tade, 21. Nathanael Hailemariam, 22. Andrew Milne, 24. Diego Rivas (GK), 25. Fabrizio Tavano

Coach: Ramon Tribulietx

Comment: “Team Wellington have been very good this season and very good against us. They are a team that will press us high at times and they’ve got players that can hurt you on the counter attack like Luis Corrales and Tom Jackson. Ben Harris will be in after suspension and with Andy Bevin they have got a very good front line. We need to understand our job with and without the ball and mentally this is another test for our young players in a situation maybe they haven’t experienced before. But we’ll be ready physically, mentally and tactically so we can at least compete close to our best.”

Fact: Auckland City have appeared in nine previous Grand Finals, winning six. Striker Ryan De Vries – who has hammered in 11 goals in his last six matches – has appeared in the last eight Grand Finals.

Team Wellington: League position: 3rd, Form: W W L W W, TAB Odds: $3.30.

Squad: 1. Scott Basalaj (GK), 2. Liam Higgins, 3. Steven Gulley, 4. Anthony Hobbs, 5. Bill Robertson, 6. Chris Bale, 7. Leonardo Villa, 8. Cole Peverley (capt), 9. Tom Jackson, 10. Luis Corrales, 11. Mario Barcia, 12. Andy Bevin, 13. Alex Feneridis, 14. Billy Scott, 15. Magno Vieira, 16. Ben Harris, 17. Fergus Neil, 18. Saul Halpin, 19. Conor McGlinchey, 20. Kwame Norku, 22. Alex Carr (GK), 23. Taylor Schrijvers

Player: Bill Robertson

Comment: “We recognised our performance against Hawke’s Bay a couple of weeks ago wasn’t at the level we needed to be at.  Since that game we have raised our intensity and our last two performances have been much more efficient. We approach the Grand Final with momentum and confidence. Auckland City and Team Wellington have performed consistently well over recent years which in turn creates a competitive rivalry.  I’m sure this Grand Final will be another closely contested game between the two clubs and will hopefully produce a fantastic finale to the ASB Premiership season.”

Fact: Team Wellington have appeared in two previous Grand Finals, losing to Auckland City and Waitakere United. But with three tight games in recent times and league Golden Boot Ben Harris back in the mix after suspension, Matt Calcott’s team have reason to be confident