WelClasico weekend in New Zealand with two big derbies

The New Zealand top division resumes after a half-way break with huge derbies in Auckland and Wellington after a week of controversy.

ISPS Handa Premiership leaders Auckland City beat Tasman United 3-1 in their previous game, only to see the three points awarded to Tasman.

Auckland had failed to register Solomon Islands player Micah Lea’alafa before the match, rendering him ineligible.

The result dropped Auckland City to second in the table, one point behind defending champions Team Wellington with a game in hand.

Auckland City play local rivals Waitakere United in the Super City Derby on Sunday, 7 January with local pride at stake.

Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx to NZ Football http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/newsarticle/57436: “We’ve had a good week of training and this game will not only be difficult in a technical sense but the fact it is a derby always adds an extra bit of intensity. These games are very difficult to predict how they will go and Waitakere have recovered some form after a difficult start. This is a tough game to start 2018 with but it’s always a fixture everyone wants to play in.”

Meanwhile, title contenders Team Wellington have a derby of their own against Wellington Phoenix Reserves at David Farrington Park. The match is known as WelClasico and should attract a big crowd.

Other matches include a South Island clash between Tasman United and Canterbury United Dragons at Trafalgar Park, Nelson and Eastern Suburbs vs Southern United at Bill McKinlay Park in Auckland.

The final game of the weekend sees Hawkes Bay United host Hamilton Wanderers at Bluewater Stadium in Napier.

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