Get your A-League tips for a bumper round of Week 23 matches, including a Saturday night barnburner between title contenders Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
History: Played 30: Brisbane 16 V Sydney 11 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: February 8, 2019: Brisbane 2 d Sydney 1 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: The second-last Brisbane Roar are searching for their second home upset of Sydney FC in the space of the space of six rounds. Brisbane have rolled Sydney in two of the teams’ last three meetings, including a 2-1 boilover at Suncorp last month. The Roar have lost just one of their last six at home against the Sky Blues.
But the Roar come into this clash off back-to-back losses to Wanderers (4-1) and the Victory (2-1). The Sky Blues remain in second spot, despite their 2-0 defeat to Melbourne City in Week 22 – a disappointing result after beating Wellington and Adelaide to nil in their previous two.
Sydney have lost three of their last five on the road, while the Roar have managed a win and a draw in their last three at home. But expect the visitors to get the result and – with five of the Roar’s last seven games producing four-plus goals – count on a high-scorer.
17:35 (AEDT), Sat 30th Mar @ Westpac Stadium, Wellington
History: Played 36: Wellington 19 V Newcastle 11 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: February 7, 2019: 1-1 draw at McDonald Jones Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Wellington Phoenix have bounced back emphatically from a four-match winless run, smashing the Mariners 8-2 on the road then accounting for Wanderers 3-1 at home. Roy Krishna scored another goal in the latter win to retain his A-League Golden Boot lead, but was handed a red card in stoppage time rules him out of this encounter.
The Phoenix have jumped to fourth and out of the clutches of surging Newcastle for the time being. The seventh-placed Jets kept the finals race interesting by going unbeaten in five games, but a 3-2 loss to Central Coast may prove crucial – they are now five points adrift of the top six.
The Phoenix boast four wins and two draws from their last eight clashes with the Jets. They won 2-1 at home early this season and came from behind to secure a 1-all draw earlier this month.
Krishna’s absence is a blow for the visitors, but the Jets were abysmal against the Mariners – falling behind 3-0 to the likely wooden spooners – and the value lies with the Phoenix here.
19:50 (AEDT), ), Sat 30th Mar @ ANZ Stadium, Sydney
History: Played 22: Western Sydney 11 V Melbourne City 7 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: January 22, 2019: Melbourne City 4 d Western Sydney 3 at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Western Sydney Wanderers’ resurgence came to a halt in Week 22 with a 3-1 loss away to the Phoenix. They have chalked up three wins and a draw with the table-topping Glory in their previous three.
Melbourne City ended a six-game winless streak with an outstanding 2-0 away upset of Sydney FC. It was the culmination of a handy form turnaround from fifth-placed City, having drawn their previous two against heavyweights the Victory and Glory.
After nine winless visits to Sydney to take on Wanderers, Melbourne City scored a 2-0 away victory on New Year’s Day. City backed up it up with a 4-3 home win three weeks later.
City are favourites but it might pay to hedge here with something on the draw.
22:00 (AEDT), Sat 30th Mar @ nib Stadium, Perth
History: Played 41: Perth 17 V Victory 16 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: February 10, 2019: Perth 2 d Victory 1 at AAMI Park
Final Thoughts: Perth Glory have effectively stitched up the Premiers Plate, leading the field by nine points courtesy of a 13-game unbeaten streak. After away draws against Wanderers and Melbourne City, the Glory downed United 2-0 in Adelaide. Diego Castro has scored in four of Perth’s last six games.
Melbourne Victory closed the gap on second-placed Sydney to one point with a 2-1 win over the visiting Roar, with Kosta Barbarouses bagging a first-half brace. The win ended a four-game winless run and put a 2-0 loss to the Jets in Week 21 in the rearview mirror.
The Victory have won just three of their last 14 against the Glory, who are on a three-match winning streak in the rivalry. The front-runners have banked a pair of crucial away wins against the defending champs this season – 3-2 in Week 2 and 3-1 in Week 18.
The Victory have lost just one game on the road this season, but the Glory have kept four straight clean sheets at home and shape as the smart play in this blockbuster.
17:00 (AEDT), Sun 31st Mar @ Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
History: Played 40: Adelaide 18 V Central 17 (5 Draws)
Last meeting: January 27, 2019: Adelaide 2 d Central Coast 1 at Coopers Stadium
Final Thoughts: Central Coast gave their bid to avoid finishing last a huge boost with a 3-2 upset of the Jets in Newcastle – just their second victory of the season. After conceding 13 goals in their previous two outings, the Mariners stormed to a 3-0 lead against the Jets and held off a late comeback.
Adelaide United are in a bit of hole, going winless in their last five games. They have failed to register a goal in their last three, and lost their last two to Sydney and Perth by 2-0 scorelines. The Reds are still in sixth, but their spot in the finals is by no means assured.
Adelaide are unbeaten in their last six matches against Central Coast, winning five. This season the Reds have chalked up a 3-0 success in Gosford and a 2-1 win at home over the hapless Mariners.
Adelaide have managed three draws in their last four away games but haven’t won on the road since Week 14. After last week’s drought-breaking result, the Mariners are worth backing as big underdogs at home.