Get your A-League tips for Week 16 of the the 2019-20 season, headlined by a Big Blue showdown and a crunch clash between Melbourne City and Perth Glory.
History: Played 37: Wellington 20 V Newcastle 11 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: March 30, 2019: Wellington 4 d Newcastle 1 at Westpac Stadium
Final Thoughts: Wellington’s stunning nine-match unbeaten streak (and three-game winning run) came to a frustrating end in Brisbane last weekend. A string of chances hit the woodwork as they went down 1-0 to the out-of-form Roar. But the fourth-placed Phoenix get an ideal chance to bounce back when they host struggling Newcastle.
The Jets are dead last with just two wins on the board, have picked up just one point from their last seven games. They crashed 2-0 away to Melbourne City in Week 15 – the third time in six games the Novocastrians have been held to nil in their last six games.
Wellington boast five wins and two draws in their last nine clashes with Newcastle. Last season they banked two home wins (2-1 and 4-1) and a draw on the road (1-1) against the Jets.
The Phoenix boast four wins and a draw against Sydney FC in their past five home games. The Jets have been outscored 12-2 in their last three on the road.
19:30 (AEDT), Fri 24th Jan @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 48: Sydney 17 V Victory 15 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: November 11, 2019: Sydney 2 d Victory 1 at Jubilee Oval
Final Thoughts: The latest edition of the Big Blues sees Melbourne Victory precariously placed in eighth, while Sydney FC have opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the A-League ladder.
After seemingly getting their campaign back on track with consecutive wins over City FC (2-1) and the Jets (4-0), the Victory have lost their last two to the Mariners (3-2) and Adelaide (1-0). Sydney boast an 11-1-1 record, winning 10 and drawing one of their last 11. Their last three wins before the Week 15 bye – over City, Adelaide and the Jets – have come by 2-1 scorelines.
Sydney FC have won 10 of the last 13 Big Blue clashes. Their current three-match winning streak against the Victory includes last season’s 6-1 semi-final demolition and a come-from-behind 2-1 win in November. But only one of the teams’ last seven matches have been staged in Melbourne, with the Victory getting up 2-1 on Australia Day last year.
The Victory will be hoping home-ground advantage provides a much-needed edge – they have picked up three wins and two draws from their last five in Melbourne. But at $2.25 head-to-head, the Sky Blues are the clear value option in this grudge match.
17:00 (AEDT), Sat 25th Jan @ Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
History: Played 48: Brisbane 31 V Central Coast 7 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: November 30, 2019: Brisbane 2 d Central Coast 0 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Central Coast Mariners are out to break one of the A-League’s longest-running hoodoos when they host the Brisbane Roar.
The Mariners are winless in their last 16 matches against the Roar, their last victory coming in the 2013-14 season. The Roar have won seven and drawn two of their last nine in Gosford. Brisbane carved out a 2-0 home win over Central Coast in late-November.
The second-last Mariners came back to earth after their staggering comeback win over the Victory in Week 14, crashing 3-0 to Western United on Sunday. But three wins from their last four at Central Coast Stadium provides some confidence.
The Roar have edged back into finals contention with a four-match unbeaten run. They have beaten Wanderers away (2-1) and the in-form Phoenix at home (1-0) either side of a draw against Melbourne City since the calendar flipped over into 2020.
This is an opportunity the Roar must take advantage of if they are a genuine post-season contender. But the Mariners’ home form should point punters in the direction of a draw.
19:30 (AEDT), Sat 25th Jan @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 32: Perth 16 V Melbourne City 7 (9 Draws)
Last meeting: December 6, 2019: Perth 3 d Melbourne City 0 at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Second spot on the A-League ladder goes on the line this Saturday night. Melbourne City – with eight wins and two draws to their name – remain in second spot. But the streaking Perth Glory, now boasting a 7-3-3 record, are just two points shy with a game in hand.
City FC have emerged from a rocky six-week period, where they lost four of six, to beat Western United (3-2) and Newcastle (2-0) either side of a draw in Brisbane (2-2) in their last three outings. But there’s no ambiguity about the Glory’s form – they are on a six-match winning streak. Last week’s 1-0 road win over Western Sydney represented their fifth clean sheet during that period.
Melbourne City have won just one of their last 11 against Perth. The Glory managed a pair of draws against City in Melbourne last season, while they romped to a 3-0 win at AAMI Park last month.
Winning their last three on the road by a combined 7-0, the Glory are top-value underdogs against a patchy City side.
18:00 (AEDT), Sun 26th Jan @ Whitten Oval, Melbourne
History: First meeting
The A-League’s two United outfits come together for the first time on Australia Day. Both teams are coming off confidence-boosting wins.
Fifth-placed Western United snapped a two-game slide with a 3-0 thrashing of the Mariners in Geelong last weekend – the biggest win of their debut season.
Adelaide are two points back with a game in hand. They will be relieved to have ended an arduous four-game losing streak by holding out the Victory 1-0 at home last Friday.
But the Reds – who sit ninth in the league for goals conceded per game – have lost three straight on the road. Last week’s performance should give Western United the impetus to consolidate their playoffs spot with all three points.