Round 14 of A-League action kicks off tonight with the vital clash between Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar. Adelaide United (7th) v Brisbane Roar (9th) Hindmarsh Stadium Friday, November 6 Kick-off 7:30pm local (8:00pm AEDT) Both sides are in desperate need of a win which should create an interesting affair at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The Reds have a great head-to-head record against the Roar, winning 6 of their 13 contests and only suffering two defeats so will probably go in as slight favourites although a dour 0-0 draw against the Central Coast Mariners last week and a 3-1 loss to Melbourne Victory the week before doesn't read all that well for this.
In saying that, they face a Roar outfit who have failed to gel since Ange Postecoglou took over the coaching role from Frank Farina, recording a 1-1 draw with bottom side Newcastle Jets last week and before that had four losses on the trot.
With Reinaldo the only really big inclusion for the visitors, they get back some much-needed strike power but going on recent form I'm not sure if they can get the win they are looking for .and neither can Adelaide. Verdict: 1-1 draw
Melbourne Victory (2nd) v Central Coast Mariners (4th) Etihad Stadium Saturday, November 7 Kick-off 7:00pm The most in-form team in the competition in Melbourne, plays host to the best defensive outfit in the Mariners.
The Victory are back to their best, playing free-flowing, attacking football whilst the Mariners continue to shut opposition sides out although in the past three weeks they have mixed their form, recording a 3-0 win (over Brisbane in round 11), a 2-1 loss (to Newcastle in round 12) and a 0-0 draw with Adelaide last week.
Ernie Merrick has his men playing a great brand of football and I believe on home soil they should be good enough to grab their eighth win of the season but Central Coast have already done the job in Melbourne this season with a 2-0 win against the odds in round 1. Verdict: Victory 1-0
Gold Coast United (3rd) v Sydney FC (1st) Skilled Park Saturday, November 7 Kick-off 8:00pm local (9:00pm AEDT) The current top side are away to the one-time league leaders in what promises to be an entertaining match.
Sydney come into the match with great form, winning their past two and four of their past five whilst Gold Coast have dropped their last two encounters and have slipped five points behind top spot.
It will be interesting to see if United fans turn out for this one after voting with their feet over owner Clive Palmer's decision to cap the crowd at 5000 last week, staying away from the North Queensland Fury match.
The players will be keen for some support against a Sky Blues outfit who have come together very well under Vitezslav Lavicka but that may not be enough to get much-needed win. Verdict:Sydney 2-1
Wellington Phoenix (6th) v Perth Glory (5th) Westpac Stadium Sunday, November 8 Kick-off 5:00pm local (3:00pm AEDT) The Phoenix have begun their advance up the table, winning two of their past three and scoring ten goals in the process.
A handy 3-0 victory in their postponed round 10 fixture against the Newcastle Jets on Wednesday enabled Wellington to jump to sixth on the table and the fact Perth have lost their last three bodes well for the home side who could find themselves in the top four if the Mariners lose in Melbourne on Saturday.
The re-signing of striker Paul Ifill is a welcome relief for the Phoenix and it could be a cause for celebration when the Glory come to town. Verdict: Wellington 2-1
Newcastle Jets (10th) v North Queensland Fury (8th) EnergyAustralia Stadium Sunday, November 8 Kick-off 5:00pm Finally, the bottom-placed Newcastle Jets host another in-form team in the North Queensland Fury.
The visitors have transformed their season, winning their last two and going undefeated since round 8 and with star striker Robbie Fowler in brilliant form, they will be very hard to beat.
The Jets are struggling at the moment, highlighted by a 3-0 midweek loss to Wellington and despite being at home, I don't see this week being an easier for them. Verdict: Fury 2-1