Get your A-League tips for the first half of the split Week 21, featuring three intriguing and crucial matches as the end of the regular season draws near.
History: Played 42: Adelaide 18 V Sydney 16 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: January 13, 2019: Sydney 2 d Adelaide 1 at Jubilee Oval
Final Thoughts: Sydney FC climbed to second spot on the A-League ladder via Saturday’s fiery 1-0 win over Wellington in Campbelltown. It was an important result after losing to Brisbane and drawing with Central Coast in the previous two rounds.
Fourth-placed Adelaide’s momentum has slowed in recent weeks, with draws at Melbourne City (1-1) and Newcastle (0-0) bookending a highly disappointing 3-1 loss at home to Western Sydney in Week 19.
Sydney are unbeaten in the last eight A-League clashes with Adelaide, winning five. But the Reds carved out a 2-1 FFA Cup final victory in October. The Sky Blues prevailed by the same scoreline when the teams met in Sydney last month.
Sydney have won seven and drawn one of their last eight games in Sydney. They should be able to wear down a dogged Adelaide outfit that is winless in their last four on the road.
19:50 (AEDT), Sat 2nd Mar @ Kardinia Park, Geelong
History: Played 39: Victory 16 V Newcastle 15 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: January 12, 2019: Victory 2 d Newcastle 1 at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Melbourne Victory are aiming to regain some momentum after losing second spot with a home loss to Perth and back-to-back 1-1 draws against Wellington and Melbourne City. None of the three performances were poor by any means, but the defending champs’ dominance of the previous three months – 11 wins and three draws from 15 games – has dissipated.
The Newcastle Jets are hanging in the race for the playoffs, closing the gap to the top six to just five points with a four-match unbeaten run. They swamped WSW (5-1) and City (3-1) while grinding out draws with the Phoenix and United.
The Victory boast seven wins and two draws from their last 11 clashes with the Jets – including last season’s 1-0 grand final triumph. The Victory have won both encounters so far this season by one-goal margins.
Lean towards the Victory at home, but it shapes as a tricky assignment with the Jets’ confidence building.
17:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Mar @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 30: Perth 15 V Melbourne City 7 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: January 19, 2019: 0-0 draw at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Perth Glory have won hand on the Premier’s Plate, leading the competition by eight points with seven rounds to play. They are unbeaten in their past 11 games – but last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Western Sydney was a step below their dominant form of the previous two months.
Fifth-placed Melbourne City’s winless streak sits at five matches, but they picked up a valuable point from a nondescript derby draw against the Victory last weekend. Though not overly impressive, it was an important bounce-back from their 3-1 loss at Newcastle in Week 20.
The Glory have proven a massive bogey for City in recent years, with Perth chalking up six wins and two draws in their last nine clashes. The Glory prevailed 1-0 at home in December but were held to a scoreless draw in Melbourne last month.
Poor on the road, City have lost just once in Melbourne this season – back in Week 3 to Sydney. The Glory are undefeated on the road but a low-scoring draw shapes as the most likely outcome here with both teams in consolidation mode.