A-League round ten preview panel


FRIDAY, Dec 13

Brisbane Roar v Western United at Suncorp Stadium, 7.30pm

Head to head: never played

Last clash: never played

Robbie Fowler's Roar arrive back in Brisbane with their tails between their legs after a 5-1 humbling by Sydney FC last week. Fowler hasn't ruled out changes of formation or players in the wake of the heavy defeat. Western United face the Roar for the first time on the back of their 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory and with former Brisbane favourite Besart Berisha back on one of his favourite stomping grounds in Suncorp Stadium.

Key: Besart Berisha has 34 goals in 46 A-League appearances at Suncorp Stadium and the Roar will be hoping their former favourite doesn't come back to haunt them.

Tip: Western United


Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park, 5pm

Head to head: Victory 20, Phoenix 8, drawn 10

Last clash: Round 5, 2019-20, drawn 1-1 at AAMI Park

Victory's stocks slumped again with last week's loss to Western United. They must quickly find their feet against a Phoenix side riding high on three straight wins that has them fifth, five places clear of the hosts. However, only two competition points separate the teams, who will both be aware that Ola Toivonen has scored in their last four meetings.

Key: Ulises Davila - The competition's first Mexican has been a triumphant signing for Wellington, sitting on the verge of becoming their first player to score in five straight games.

Tip: Draw

Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners at Jubilee Stadium, 7.30pm

Head to head: Sydney 21, Mariners 12, drawn 10

Last clash: Round 19, 2018-19, drawn 1-1 at Leichhardt Oval

Sydney's thrashing of the Roar last weekend meant they now sit five points clear at the top of the league while the Mariners, with a bye, dropped to the bottom of the ladder. Sydney have now won nine of their past 10 A-League matches and have scored 16 goals in their past five matches. The Mariners will have to overcome a horror record against Sky Blues, with just one win against the champions in the past five seasons.

Key: English forward Adam Le Fondre tops the scoring charts with 10 goals so far this campaign, three more than the Mariners have managed altogether.

Tip: Sydney FC

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers at HBF Park, 9.45pm

Head to head: Wanderers 8, Glory 6, drawn 7

Last clash: Round 20, 2018-19, drawn 1-1 at Spotless Stadium

Perth look to have emerged from their rut with last week's 3-0 trouncing of Melbourne City. That spells bad news for the rest of the league, including Western Sydney, who are in an even deeper hole after four straight losses and without a win in Perth for nearly six years. Wanderers have been unlucky - just ask irascible coach Markus Babbel - but they may need more than good fortune to crack a Glory defence looking tight with the return of Tomislav Mrcela.

Key: Neil Kilkenny - The league's most prolific passer went up another gear against City, his creativity setting up two of three Perth goals.

Tip: Glory

SUNDAY, Dec 15

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium, 6.30pm

Head to head: City 13, Jets 11, drawn 4

Last clash: Round 19, 2018-19, Jets 3-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium

Two teams who suffered setbacks last weekend with City going down 3-0 to Perth while Newcastle's three-game unbeaten run came to an end thanks to James Troisi's late strike for Adelaide. The Jets have won eight of their past 12 against City at McDonald Jones Stadium and will be hoping for another positive result to make veteran defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley becoming the third player to appear in 300 A-League matches.

Key: Jamie Maclaren - The Socceroos striker has nine goals this season and is the only multiple goalscorer for City. Drew a blank against Perth last week and will be eager to get back to his scoring ways.

Tip: Newcastle

BYE: Adelaide United.