The fact the All whites have to travel to Bahrain meant that the A-League allowed the Wellington Phoenix to postpone their Round 10 match with the Newcastle Jets to early November as many players represent both the Phoenix and the All Whites.
Viteszlav Lavicka has the Sky Blues playing with renewed confidence but without the pizzazz they were known for in the first few seasons of the competition.
They could have easily demolished the Central Coast Mariners last week with any luck but this week they find themselves with a completely different task on their hands – Melbourne at home.
The reigning champions have hit back well after a slow start, winning their past three, and without any new injury worries, should again prove hard to beat.
Sydney do have midfielder Terry McFlynn back in form with a great performance last week following an injury but it remains to be seen if key striker John Aloisi will recover from his recent lay-off.
Verdict: Victory 2-1.
A loss, a win and a draw for Aurelio Vidmar’s men makes this match almost impossible to pick on form because the Glory were held to a draw by the bottom-placed North Queensland Fury on the weekend after winning two in a row.
The Glory will, however, be without skipper Jacob Burns who has accumulated too many yellow cards whilst the Reds have called Alemao, Daniel Mullen and Fabian Barbiero back into the squad for what proves to be a vitally important clash for them.
Home ground advantage for the Glory and the chance of going to the top of the table if Melbourne and Sydney draw will be enough to see Dave Mitchell salute.
Verdict: Glory 1-0.
Another team to have mixed their form recently, the Mariners will be hoping to bounce back from a potentially devastating loss against Sydney FC last week.
Lawrie McKinna’s men were lucky not to have copped more goals but will be keen to perform much better against a Fury side that has pocketed just seven points from nine matches.
The season-ending injury to left-back Shane Stefanutto and suspension to Ufuk Talay may be too much for the Fury to deal with.
Verdict: Mariners 2-0.
The Round one version did not live up to expectations with United proving too classy for a 3-1 win but the Roar have fought back recently whilst Gold Coast have dropped right off, losing two of their past four with the other two being draws.
Miron Bleiberg will lose two of the best players in the league in Jason Culina and Shane Smeltz who are away on international duty – the return of midfielder Zenon Caravella and the hard-tackling Steve Pantelidis only minor reinforcements.
But the Roar have more worries with Danny Tiatto, Charlie Miller and David Dodd all suspended, skipper Craig Moore in Sydney with the Socceroos (with Culina) and star winger Henrique out with a knee injury.
The return of Young Socceroos Luke DeVere, Mitch Nichols and Tommy Oar plus Matt McKay back from injury will provide some respite but the personnel at Frank Farina’s disposal for this particular outing will not have the class to win.
Verdict: Gold Coast to bounce back 2-0.