Get your A-League tips for a bumper round of Week 20 matches, headlined by Saturday night’s derby between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City FC.
History: Played 46: Brisbane 29 V Central Coast 7 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: January 20, 2019: 1-1 draw at Central Coast Stadium
Final Thoughts: Bottom-placed Central Coast are aiming to keep the wooden-spoon battle alive when they host second-last Brisbane.
The Mariners have just one win from 19 games but are coming off one of their best results of the season – a 1-1 draw on the road to Sydney FC in a game they were unlucky not to win. The Roar stunned Sydney for just their second win of the season a week earlier, but returned to earth with a thud courtesy of a 4-0 thrashing from Perth.
Central Coast are winless in their last 15 games against Brisbane, who have won 11 of those encounters. But both clashes so far this season finished 1-all.
The Roar have mustered just three draws from 11 away games this season with a goal difference of -14. The Mariners’ only loss in their last three home games was to the Victory, who scored a late winner. Backing Central Coast to actually close out a match is fraught with danger but they should get a share of the spoils.
17:35 (AEDT), Sat 23rd Feb @ Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
History: Played 39: Sydney 21 V Wellington 14 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: January 23, 2019: Sydney 1 d Wellington 0 at Westpac Stadium
Final Thoughts: Sixth-placed Wellington have only won one of their last six, but last week’s 1-1 draw with the Victory will provide them with ample confidence. Roy Krishna ended a four-game goal drought with a 57th minute strike that was cancelled out by a Victory penalty.
Their home-ground advantage has been negated by having to take this clash to Campbelltown.
Sydney FC are in desperate need of a form reversal after a dismal fortnight against the A-League’s two worst sides, losing to the Roar in Week 18 and getting away with a home draw against the Mariners. They have managed just one goal in five of their last six games.
Sydney FC boast six wins and a draw in their last eight clashes with Wellington. But the Phoenix pulled off a 3-1 upset at Jubilee Oval in Week 7 before the Sky Blues turned the table in Wellington 1-0 in Week 15.
Sydney are unbeaten in their last six in Sydney since their loss to the Phoenix, but this weekend’s ‘hosts’ look decent value with the start against the out-of-sorts heavyweights.
19:50 (AEDT), Sat 23rd Feb @ Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
History: Played 28: Victory 12 V Melbourne City 10 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018: 1-1 draw at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: The Melbourne Victory will be bristling after all but saying goodbye to the Premier’s Plate with a 2-1 home loss to Perth in Week 18 before drawing 1-1 with Wellington. They are nine points adrift of the Glory, but must focus on keeping Sydney FC at bay and hang onto their top-two spot.
Melbourne City FC are fifth and in a slump, picking up just one point from their past four games. They followed up a 1-1 draw against Adelaide with a dismal 3-1 loss at Newcastle. But City are a different side in Melbourne, suffering just one loss and going unbeaten in Victoria since Week 3.
The Victory have picked up four wins and a draw in the last seven Melbourne derbies. But it’s City that have enjoyed bragging rights so far this season, prevailing 2-1 in the opening round and holding the in-form Victory to a 1-1 draw in Week 9.
The crosstown rivalry tends to even things up but the reality is the Victory are comfortably the better team – and solid value head-to-head here.
17:00 (AEDT), Sun 24th Feb @ McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
History: Played 39: Adelaide 15 V Newcastle 12 (12 Draws)
Last meeting: December 30, 2018: Adelaide 2 d Newcastle 1 at McDonald Jones Stadium
Final Thoughts: Newcastle have kept their finals hopes alive with a recent upsurge. The Jets bookended a Week 18 draw against Wellington with big wins over Wanderers (5-1) and Melbourne City (3-1) to close to within six points of the top six. Their attack looks to finally be firing, scoring more than a third of their season total of goals in the past three rounds.
Adelaide pushed their way up to fourth with a superb run of 10 games with just one loss. Last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to struggling Western Sydney at home belied their recent form-line.
Adelaide have won six and drawn four of their last 13 against Newcastle. As well as 5-2 thrashing late last season, the Reds have had the better of the rivalry this season with a 1-1 draw at home and a 2-1 away victory.
Momentum is with Newcastle, who have conceded six goals in their last six games, and shape as a strong option at home.
19:00 (AEDT), Sun 24th Feb @ Spotless Stadium, Sydney
History: Played 21: Western Sydney 8 V Perth 7 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: January 13, 2019: Perth 4 d Western Sydney 3 at nib Stadium
Final Thoughts: Perth Glory continue their march to the Premier’s Plate, opening up a nine-point buffer at the top of the table with last week’s 4-0 demolition of the Roar. They are unbeaten in their last 10 games and have won four straight, while only conceding one goal in their last six games.
Western Sydney may be languishing in eighth, but they have emerged from a 10-game winless streak with back-to-back victories for the first time this season. Wanderers shut out the Mariners 2-0 in Week 18 and picked up a surprise 3-1 win in Adelaide last Saturday.
Perth have won three and drawn two of their last six against Western Sydney. The teams drew 1-1 in in Week 1, while the Glory broke Wanderers’ hearts with three late unanswered goals in a 4-3 thriller in Week 13.
Despite Wanderers’ recent turnaround, it’s difficult seeing them making an impression on the Glory’s brick-wall defence.