As another A League season got underway last weekend, Football commentator and Radio Sport host Jason Pine looks at the key issues for the Wellington Phoenix for the rest of the campaign.

Who scores the goals?

This is the number one question every Phoenix fan wants the answer to. Last season, Roy Krishna and David Williams combined for 30 goals, but both have now left the club.

Englishman David Ball is an out-and-out striker but hasn't been a prolific goalscorer in his career to date, so he'll need help from the likes of Mexican playmaker Ulises Davila and young Australian attacker Reno Piscopo.

Advertisement

OK, but will they keep them out at the other end?

Defensively the Phoenix look very solid.

Incumbent All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic is an imposing presence between the sticks and in front of him, new skipper Steven Taylor will marshal a defence containing experienced A-Leaguers Louis Fenton and Luke DeVere and precocious talent Liberato Cacace.

Coach Ufuk Talay will also employ two defensive midfielders in Alex Rufer and German Matti Steinmann who will look to stifle opposition attacks before they become dangerous.

Who will be the breakout star?

Sarpreet Singh catapulted himself into the consciousness of footballing super-power Bayern Munich through his performances for the Phoenix and then at the under-20 World Cup.

One of his team-mates in that New Zealand side, Callum McCowatt, has been turning heads and scoring goals in the national league and is the type of player who should thrive in a day-to-day professional environment.

Will the Kiwis get much game time?

Advertisement

There are currently ten New Zealand players in the Phoenix squad, with goalkeeper Marinovic, fullbacks Fenton and Cacace and midfielder Rufer likely to be part of the starting team.

McCowatt should also get plenty of minutes while the likes of Ben Waine, Callan Elliot, Tim Payne, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi and back-up goalkeeper Oli Sail might have to bide their time, but are more than capable of performing at this level when called upon.

Where will the Phoenix finish?

Picking the finishing order of the eleven A-League sides is incredibly difficult given high squad turnovers, a re-shaped competition format and the historical inconsistency of many clubs.

With a refreshed squad, a new coach, untested players and unknown opponents, predicting where the Phoenix will end up is practically impossible, but if they can make Wellington a fortress and Talay can get the best out of his players, finals football is definitely achievable. Sixth.