Midweek A-League action saw Perth Glory open up a commanding six point lead at the head of the A-League table, with a 3-1 home win over Sydney FC on Wednesday evening. On the same night, Melbourne Victory also stumbled in its pursuit of the Glory with a loss away to Adelaide. Also in midweek action, Wellington Phoenix extended its unbeaten run to seven with an exciting win against the Western Sydney Wanderers, widening the gap between the sixth placed Phoenix and the seventh placed Jets to seven points ahead of this week’s Match Day 13 games.
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar, Friday 11 th Jan, 7.50 pm AAMI Park
An in-form fourth placed Melbourne City has the opportunity to draw level on points with both Sydney FC and Victory as it meets the two bottom sides within the next week beginning with the ninth placed Roar. The Roar have yet to win under caretaker coach Darren Davies although they gave league leader Glory a scare at their last outing, when striker Adam Taggart scored a brace to take his season tally to nine goals. Still, it’s hard to see them scoring a winning score against the league’s best defence.
Wellington Phoenix V Central Coast Mariners, Saturday 12th, 5.35 pm Westpac Stadium
These two met on the same turf just over a month ago when the Phoenix won comfortable by 2-0. Today’s match gives the Nix, (unbeaten in their last seven), the chance to set a new club record for an unbeaten A-League run, before it embarks on a challenging run of four matches against the top four teams in successive games. The winless Mariners have lost nine straight matches and it’s difficult to see them avoiding the unenviable run extending to double figures. Central Coast defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis could make his season debut as cover for a suspended Kalifa Cisse.
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets, Saturday 12th Jan, 7.50 pm AAMI Park
The Grand Final replay sees both teams backing up from last start defeats. Victory’s growing injury toll is finally biting, with the loss of centre backs Nick Ansell and George Niedemeier particularly noticeable in the mid-week loss to Adelaide. The Jets’ in form striker Roy O’Donovan will test the Victory defence as well as renew acquaintance with Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas after their last previous meeting in last season’s grand final which resulted in a hefty 10 match suspension to O’Donovan for a dangerous foul on the Victory keeper.
Sydney FC V Adelaide United, Sunday 13th Jan, 6.00 pm Jubilee Stadium
Third hosts fifth in arguably the match of the round. The match gives the fifth placed Reds the chance to make a statement of intent by claiming a second big scalp within a week, after having struggled for results against the top teams earlier in the season. With just four points separating both teams, there’s a lot at stake for both teams with the Sky Blues coach looking for a reaction from his team after the midweek loss to Glory. Sydney will want to keep in touch with the league leader whilst the Reds will be trying to break into the top four. If their star midfielder Isaias can repeat his excellent midweek performance against Victory, the Reds have a good chance of getting a result.
Perth Glory V Western Sydney Wanderers, Sunday 13th Jan, 8.00 pm HBF Park
Glory has scored 11 goals in its last three outings taking it to equal highest in the goal scoring tally. Chianese was in particular fine goal scoring form against Sydney in midweek and his form may be enough to keep star striker Andy Keogh again sidelined. Western Sydney must wish it had a striker of Keogh’s calibre as it makes the difficult trip west without the services of two injured marquee men Alexander Baumjohann (hamstring) and Oriol Riera (groin). The Wanderers were unlucky to lose to Phoenix at their last start but will have a much tougher challenge trying to come away with a result from the league leaders.
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory Tuesday 15th Jan, 7.50 pm
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City 16th Jan, 7.50 pm
Both Melbourne teams travel midweek to take on struggling opposition, and should be consolidate their positions with wins.