PREVIEW OF A-LEAGUE ROUND FIVE MATCHES (all times AEDT):
FRIDAY, Nov 8
Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park, 7.30pm
Head to head: Mariners 11, City 9, drawn 2
Last clash: Round 27, 2018-19 - City 5-0 at AAMI Park
Melbourne climbed to the top of the league after a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Wellington last weekend. They host a Central Coast team on a high after the Mariners upset Perth in Western Australia. Alen Stajcic's men look a different prospect this season and will be keen to end a run of 17 matches without a win in Victoria.
Key: Sam Silvera. The Mariners' youngster scored a brilliant individual goal against the Glory and Stajcic will be hoping the 19-year-old can deliver once more.
SATURDAY, Nov 9
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium, 5pm
Head to head: Jets 8, Glory 26, drawn 8
Last clash: Round 25, 2018-19 - Glory 1-0 at HBF Park
Failure to finish chances dogged the Jets last season and it's been the same again in their winless opening three encounters. Defensive frailties were also exposed in last week's 4-1 hammering from Sydney FC. A greater shock was Perth's 2-1 home loss to Central Coast but they'll still be confident of extending an unbeaten eight-year streak away to Newcastle.
Key: Bruno Fornaroli. The Uruguayan marksman looks ominously settled at his new club, having unleashed a league-leading nine shots on target for Perth.
Western United FC v Western Sydney Wanderers at GMBHA Stadium, 7.30pm
Head to head: none played
Last clash: none played
Western United stunned Melbourne Victory last weekend, coming from two goals down to claim a statement win at Marvel Stadium. Western Sydney's perfect record disappeared with a goalless draw against Brisbane, in which Markus Babbel's men were largely second-best. Defender Matt Jurman and midfielder Pirmin Schwegler are both in doubt for the Wanderers while Babbel says new German recruit Nicolai Muller needs time to get his match fitness.
Key: Alessandro Diamanti. The Italian has been at the heart of everything good for A-League newcomers Western United in their impressive start to the season, making a league-high 44 passes into the box.
Tip: Western United
SUNDAY, Nov 10
Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park, 4pm
Head to head: Victory 20, Phoenix 8, drawn 9
Last clash: Elimination final, 2018-19 - Victory 3-1 at AAMI Park
These teams played out some of the most memorable contests of last season but both have failed to find their feet. The Phoenix have opened with four straight losses, all by the odd goal, while injury-hit Victory have accrued just one win and will still be stewing after throwing away a two-goal lead against Western United FC. Victory's fortunes could be revived by a return to AAMI Park, the scene of Wellington's latest loss to Melbourne City.
Key: Phoenix desperation. Ufuk Talay's last-placed team haven't looked far off but now sit on the verge of a club-record seven-match losing streak on the road.
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar FC at Coopers Stadium, 6pm
Head to head: Adelaide 19, Roar 17, drawn 9
Last clash: Round 17, 2018-19 - Adelaide 4-3 at Coopers Stadium
Adelaide come in refreshed following the bye, a break which means defender Jordan Elsey (knee), forward George Blackwood (hip) and midfielder Mirko Boland (hamstring) are chances to return for the Reds. The Roar's struggles in front of goal continued against Western Sydney, with Roy O'Donovan's stoppage-time equaliser against Perth the only strike for Brisbane in three games.
Key: Riley McGree. The Australian under-23 midfielder has made a sensational start to his second stint at Adelaide, scoring the Reds' past three A-League goals.