Get your A-League tips for a bumper round of Week 22 matches, culminating in Sunday’s blockbuster between Sydney FC and Melbourne City.
History: Played 39: Adelaide 17 V Perth 12 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: January 23, 2019: 0-0 draw at nib Stadium
Final Thoughts: Adelaide have slipped back to fifth after going winless in the last four rounds. They low-scoring away draws against Melbourne City and Newcastle were followed up by two-goal losses to Wanderers and Sydney FC.
Perth hold a six-point lead at the top of the A-League and are unbeaten in their last 12 games. But they are coming off consecutive away draws against Western Sydney and Melbourne City.
The Glory prevailed 2-0 in Adelaide earlier this season, but the teams drew 0-0 in Perth. The Glory have picked up two wins and a draw from their last four visits to Coopers Stadium.
Scoring goals has been the reds’ biggest issue this season, which doesn’t bode well for a clash with the competition’s best defence.
17:35 (AEDT), Sat 16th Mar @ McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
History: Played 41: Newcastle 15 V Central Coast 12 (14 Draws)
Last meeting: January 23, 2019: Newcastle 1 d Central Coast 0 at McDonald Jones Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Central Coast Mariners did the Newcastle Jets few favours last weekend with their landslide loss to Wellington. But the seventh-placed Jets’ will be looking to capitalise on the Mariners’ plight to boost their finals prospects.
Near certainties for the spoon, the Mariners have notched just one point from their last seven games and were pummelled 8-2 by the Phoenix. They now have a new coach, with Alen Stajic replacing the axed Mike Mulvey. The Jets are four points adrift of the top six but are in superb form, going unbeaten in their last five games – culminating in a 2-0 away upset of the Victory in Week 21.
The Jets are on a five-match winning streak against the Mariners, including a 2-1 away win in December and a 1-0 victory at home in January. Newcastle outscored Central Coast 15-3 in three encounters last season.
Newcastle have found their defensive resolve – conceding just five goals in their last seven games – while Central Coast have leaked 13 in their last two. This could get ugly.
19:50 (AEDT), Sat 16th Mar @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 42: Victory 20 V Brisbane 14 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: January 15, 2019: Victory 5 d Brisbane 0 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: The third-placed Melbourne Victory have gone off the rails slightly over the last five weeks. On top of a four-game winless streak in the A-League – including a 2-0 home loss to the Jets in Week 21 – the Victory have lost both of their Asian Champions League matches to date.
Brisbane’s rollercoaster form has continued with a 4-1 home loss to Wanderers after beating the Mariners away 3-5. Prior to that, they followed up a 2-1 upset of Sydney with a 4-0 loss to Perth. They are well out of finals contention (barring a miracle) and have conceded 50 goals in 21 games.
The Roar gave picked up a win and a draw in their last two away games against the Victory – both last season. But the Victory went on a scoring spree in both games in Brisbane this season, winning 4-2 and 5-0.
The Victory are on a short turnaround after a trip to Japan and could be vulnerable. But the Roar are a rabble and can’t be backed with any confidence.
17:00 (AEDT), Sun 17th Mar @ Westpac Stadium, Wellington
History: Played 20: Western Sydney 10 V Wellington 6 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: January 8, 2019: Wellington 3 d Western Sydney 2 at Spotless Stadium
Final Thoughts: Wellington arrested a four-match winless run and jumped up to fourth spot by demolishing Central Coast 8-2 last weekend. Roy Krishna scored twice in the first half, while Sapreet Singh bagged two goals after the break. It gives the Phoenix a handy for-and-against boost and some crucial breathing room with the Jets starting to make a move.
Eighth-placed Western Sydney remain 10 points out of the top six, but they have not given up on the prospect of featuring in the playoffs. WSW have won three of their last four, following up their 1-1 draw with Perth by thumping the Roar 4-1 on the road. Oriol Riera has scored three goals in his last three games.
Wanderers extended their unbeaten streak against the Phoenix to eight matches (including six wins) with a thumping 3-0 result in Wellington in November. But the rejuvenated Phoenix won 3-2 on the road in Week 12, courtesy of a late Krishna brace.
A tough one to pick with both sides coming off great wins – Wanderers are enticing value as underdogs. But the over looks the best option in a crunch showdown between two sides with plenty of scoring strike.
19:00 (AEDT), Sun 17th Mar @ Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
History: Played 28: Melbourne City 12 V Sydney 7 (9 Draws)
Last meeting: February 3, 2019: Sydney 2 d Melbourne City 0 at Jubilee Oval
Final Thoughts: Second-placed Sydney FC will be pleased with their recent A-League exploits, beating the Phoenix 1-0 and United 2-0. But it’s been an underwhelming start to the Champions League, kicking off with a scoreless at home to Ulsan and going down 1-0 to Kawasaki in Japan.
Meanwhile, sixth-placed Melbourne City are treading water in the A-League, going winless in their last six matches. But they picked up a crucial point in each of their last two games against big guns the Victory and Glory. Recent recruit Jamie Maclaren has scored all five of City’s goals in their last four games.
Sydney FC are on an eight-match winning streak against Melbourne City, who have not beaten the Sky Blues away since they were known as Melbourne Heart. Furthermore, City failed to score in six of the last seven losses – including a 3-0 defeat in Melbourne and a 2-0 loss in Sydney already this season.
The travel factor is sure to count against Sydney FC, and Melbourne City – desperate with the Jets starting to surge behind them – are capable of snaring a third straight draw against the odds.