Adelaide United v. North Queensland Fury
The Fury are suffering from injury worries with Payne, Akoto and Cernak the main players out. The fact that another two players (Payne and Malik) have decided to sign contracts elsewhere won’t help matters in the dressing room either. Coupled with the fact that inspirational skipper Ufuk Talay is suspended and it will be a tough ask for the Fury.
Adelaide meanwhile are waiting on the fitness of Cassio, who received a knock in training midweek. They are able to play captain Travis Dodd, however, as the red card he received last week against Wellington has been rescinded.
Melbourne Heart v. Melbourne Victory
The second Melbourne Derby is on and the Victory will be hoping to take revenge on their rivals after an Alex Terra goal gave the Heart first bragging rights. The Brazilian will miss this tie for a Heart side struggling to find the back of the net at the moment. However, John Aolisi returns to the squad, as does Josip Skoko (injury) and Wayne Srhoj (suspension) to bolster their midfield.
The Victory on the other hand welcome back Tom Pondeljak and Adrian Leijer and will be hoping Robbie Kruse and Archie Thompson can put in the type of performance they did against Brisbane last week, a game they were unlucky not to win.
Gold Coast United v. Wellington Phoenix
The Gold Coast picked up an impressive, if not flattering win against Melbourne Heart last week, and will be further boosted by the return of Michael Thwaite, Steve Pantelidis and keeper Glen Moss. While they will still be missing Joel Porter, the form of Culina should give them enough to continue their good form.
The Phoenix picked up a massive three points against second-placed Adelaide last Sunday and will hope they can maintain their position in the Top Six. The blow of Nicky Ward being ruled out for around 4 weeks will have a big impact on the side, but if Ifill can find the back of the net when called upon then they could have a chance.
Sydney FC v. Brisbane Roar
Time really is running out for Sydney (if it hasn’t already), and this is the game to prove that they deserve a place in the Finals. Melbourne Victory put on an impressive comeback against the Roar last week and Vitezslav Lavicka will want a positive response from his team after the 4-0 humiliation against the Central Coast last week. With youngsters Petratos and Antonis starting last week, the inclusion of Cazarine and the return from injury for Alex Brosque could signal that Lavicka is going for experience in this match. A partnership between Brosque and Bridge really needs to start firing if Sydney are to have any chance of a Finals place.
Brisbane were made to look beatable against the Victory last week and will want to get back to their dominant, winning ways. Jean Carlos Solorzano is in top form at the moment and him and Broich should cause Sydney’s defence all kinds of problems, as they were all at seas against the Mariners in their last game.
Perth Glory v. Central Coast Mariners
Perth had a break last weekend, in what will have been a welcome relief from the horror of the past few months. Ferguson will have been getting into his players about their discipline in recent games, which has yielded an amazing 7 red cards in 7 games, as well as another 19 yellows. As a result Brent Griffiths, Naum Sekulovski and Mile Sterjovski will all miss out. They still have a squad which can compete and still cannot be counted out for the season.
The Mariners will be a tough side to beat though, with the side in a confident mood after dispatching Sydney FC 4-0 at home last week. The performance was due to the impressive front pairing of Matt Simons and Adam Kwasnik, who either scored or all four goals. The return of Daniel McBreen from suspension will give Graham Arnold a headache but if he has any decency and any sense he’ll reward Kwasnik with only his fourth start of the season.
There are two midweek games, with Newcastle Jets playing host to Gold Coast United and Sydney FC taking on North Queensland Fury.