Phoenix to face off against former Wellington player Roly Bonevacia

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NZN

Wellington Phoenix will face something of an unknown foe in Saturday's A-League clash against Western Sydney Wanderers, although there's one familiar face they'll be watching closely.

Roly Bonevacia of the Phoenix scores a goal

Source: Photosport

Coach Darije Kalezic says Wanderers, who are eight points and four places clear of the 10th-placed Phoenix, are proving hard to read.

"They've changed the team in the last weeks, also they have some suspensions and a new signing Marcelo Carrusca from Melbourne City, so it will be for us difficult to know exactly who's going to play," Kalezic said on Friday.

Wanderers drew 1-1 with Adelaide United on Wednesday, and have two wins and a draw from their last three matches, but will be without suspended captain Robbie Cornthwaite and midfielder Chris Herd.

One player who's certain to feature is creative midfielder Roly Bonevacia, who spent three seasons at the Phoenix and scored 14 goals before moving this season to Western Sydney.

Kalezic says the 26-year-old Dutchman plays a key role for the Wanderers.

"He has an important role in the midfield, a player who is really creative and who likes to play forward, and who can also make goals from the second line.

"He's a player we have to take care about, for sure."

Wellington skipper Andrew Durante opted for a tongue-in-cheek approach when questioned about the best way to keep Bonevacia in check.

"He doesn't like being kicked, so we'll make sure we kick him a bit, keep him on the ground a bit," Durante said.

"It's the first time we've come up against him so we're looking forward to it. I know he misses the place, I chat to him often, he really enjoyed his time here.

"It'll be interesting."

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