Get your A-League tips for Week 24 of the the 2019-20 season, which includes rescheduled matches from two other rounds as the competition pivots through the COVID-19 crisis.
History: Played 29: Central Coast 12 V Melbourne City 10 (7 Draws)
Last meeting: November 8, 2019: Melbourne City 3 d Central Coast 1 at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Melbourne City are under the pump to keep their top-two spot. Three points against battling Central Coast will is a must.
City FC followed up wins over Brisbane and Perth with an uninspiring home draw against Wanderers last weekend. The last-placed Mariners have lost eight straight, including a 1-0 defeat in Brisbane last weekend – the fifth time during the losing streak they’ve been held scoreless.
Central Coast have won just one of their last 13 against Melbourne City. But they did manage a win and a draw in the teams’ two clashes at Gosford last season. City FC banked a 3-1 home win over the Mariners earlier this season.
With plenty at stake, Melbourne City are better equipped to maintain focus during these uncertain times.
19:30 (AEDT), Fri 20th Mar @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
History: Played 43: Newcastle 18 V Brisbane 13 (12 Draws)
Last meeting: December 28, 2019: 1-1 draw at McDonald Jones Stadium
Final Thoughts: Brisbane Roar have quietly moved into the top four, but they need to overcoming the resurgent Newcastle Jets in this Week 27 fixture to consolidate their position.
The Roar have only lost two of their last 12. They snared wins over WSW (3-1) and Central Coast (1-0) in the past fortnight, with Scott McDonald scoring three of their four goals. The Jets – still six points adrift of the top six – are unbeaten in their last six games, beating Perth (2-1) and Adelaide (3-0) either side of their Week 22 bye.
The Jets are unbeaten in their last seven against the Roar, winning five. They are also on a three-game winning streak in Brisbane. The teams’ encounter in Newcastle earlier this season finished in a 1-all draw.
It’s a big game for both sides: the Roar don’t want to lose ground, while the Jets need to keep banking points to stay in the playoffs hunt. Expect the hosts to try and grind their way to the win by relying on their defensive backbone.
19:30 (AEDT), Sat 21st Mar @ BankWest Stadium, Sydney
History: Played 24: Sydney 12 V Western Sydney 6 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: February 28, 2020: Western Sydney 1 d Sydney 0 at Jubilee Oval
Final Thoughts: These teams met only three weeks ago with their Week 18 clash postponed. Western Sydney snapped Sydney FC’s 13-match unbeaten streak – which had been active since Wanderers’ 1-0 derby win in Week 3.
But eighth-placed WSW were unable to build on the latter boilover, going down to Brisbane (3-1) and drawing with Melbourne City (1-1) on the road since. Sydney FC still hold a 10-point lead at the top of the table with two games in hand, smashing the Victory 4-1 after their recent loss to Wanderers and playing out a scoreless draw with the Glory.
Wanderers’ dual upsets over the Sky Blues came after they won just one of the previous 16 derbies.
Those results will have Sydney FC – easily the superior team in the Harbour City – primed to avoid being on the wrong end of a regular-season cleansweep.
19:30 (AEDT), Mon 23rd Mar @ McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
History: Played 30: Melbourne City 15 V Newcastle 11 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: January 18, 2020: Melbourne City 2 d Newcastle 0 at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Newcastle and Melbourne City will have 72 hours to back up from their crucial Friday night matches and play this Week 26 fixture.
Melbourne City boast seven wins and a draw from their last 10 games against Newcastle. It’s been particularly one-sided this season, with City FC romping to a 4-0 win in Newcastle and a 2-0 victory at home.
The Jets are unbeaten in their last four at home, winning two. Melbourne City’s Week 22 win in Perth snapped a four-game winless run on the road. The early Week 24 results and form could have a bearing, but I like the resurgent hosts here.
21:30 (AEDT), Mon 23rd Mar @ HBF Park, Perth
History: Played 1: Perth 0 V Western United 0 (1 Draw)
Last meeting: October 19, 2019: 1-1 draw at GMHBA Stadium
Final Thoughts: Perth Glory have hit the skids, sliding to fifth place courtesy of a four-match winless streak. After a loss in Newcastle and a home defeat to Melbourne City, the Glory played out a scoreless draw away to Sydney FC last weekend.
Western United have jumped into sixth spot on goal difference (with a game in hand) via back-to-back landslide wins. The A-League’s new boys swamped the Mariners 6-2 in Week 21 before carving up Adelaide United 5-1. Max Burgess scored four goals and Besart Berisha three in the two-game scoring frenzy.
The teams met in Week 2 this season. Panagiotis Kone put Western United on course for an upset with a goal early in the second half, but Kristian Popovic salvaged a 1-all draw for Perth.
Recent form is difficult to ignore ahead of this one. The Glory are well-equipped to snuff out Western United’s newfound attacking flair, but the visitors hold the value.