Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory), Gui Finkler (Melbourne Victory), Marco Rossi (Perugia), Adam Parkhouse (Manly United), Ryan Lowry (ECU Joondaluo SC), Jacob Tratt (Sydney United)
Ben Sigmund, Manny Muscat, Blake Powell, Albert Riera
The Phoenix bowed out early in their FFA Cup campaign, with goals from Watson and Barbarouses not enough in their 3-2 loss to WSW .
Barbarouses, McGlinchey and Rodriguez netted in a 3-0 win over a Capital Select XI, Barbarouses and Krishna scored in a 2-1 win against CCM, and Watson scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against CCM again. The Phoenix remained busy in their pre-season, defeating Melbourne City 4-1 with Krishna and Finkler scoring two each
There is a lot of excitement in a side that was close to having its FFA license taken away from them less than 12 months ago. The ex-Victory coach has now been reunited with ex-Victory players in Barbarouses and Finkler who will undoubtedly add to the deadly attacking partnership with Krishna, McGlinchey and Bonevacia. Their defence may be vulnerable this season, with Durante and Rossi being the most experienced following the departures of Sigmund and Muscat. If Merrick can capitalise on its home games and get his attack clicking together, the New Zealand team may yet prove to be a threat come finals time this season.
City (home), Perth (away), Sydney (home), Victory (away)
Durante, Fox, Rossi, Fenton
Due to international commitments greatly hindering the Phoenix side this week (Durante, McGlinchey, Barbarouses and Fenton), the best eleven is shown here, rather than their predicted round 1 side. In their absence however, expect Fox, Rodriguez and Watson to fill the gaps.
Out of their attacking options, Barbarouses (FWD, 280k) and Krishna (FWD, 260k) have the most fantasy potential for their respective price tags. Both players will undoubtedly lead the front for the Phoenix, and both have immensely useful A-League experience that will shine with the support of their fellow creative attackers and midfielders. Defender Rossi (DEF, 150k) could also be a steal for his price. The Italian comes in with great international experience and will lead from the front using that. If Wellington starts to grab some clean sheets here and there, the Italian might just be your man.
The Wellington side is admittedly pretty thin, so in saying that the main fantasy worries will be Finkler (MID, 310k) and Bonevacia (MID, 290k). They are both excellent players, but are likely to not be worth their top coin at this early stage of the season. Though both capable of free-kicks, long-range efforts and silky skills, they are known to start the season slow, and that may be just enough of an excuse to see how they mould with the new-look attack.
LEAGUE: Don’t forget to join the SuperCoachHQ.com league on aleaguefantasy.foxsports.com.au – the league code is 117-325.