A-League snapshot – Round 18

Round 18 of the Hyundai A-League kicks off on Friday night when North Queensland Fury take on Perth Glory.

Round 18 of the Hyundai A-League kicks off on Friday night when North Queensland Fury take on Perth Glory.

Fury, who currently sit in 9th, will be desperate to impress their home fans but will be up against it as they try to dislodge Perth Glory from 5th spot, a position they have found themselves occupy for the past 7 Rounds.

On Saturday we cross the Tasman and test the turf of a new stadium as Wellington move their game to FMG Stadium in Palmerston North. The 7th placed Phoenix, following a couple of disrupted weeks both on and off the field, will be looking to consolidate and what better place to do it than on New Zealand turf where the team will be looking to post their Hyundai A-League record 15th unbeaten match at home. Sydney FC will be looking for back-to-back wins and keep the status quo as the record books currently sees them tied with Wellington in undefeated home matches.

In Gosford, the Mariners face Melbourne Victory in a 4 v 1 match that they will hope unfolds much like the previous meeting between the two teams met in Round 14 when the Mariners trounced the current league leaders 4 - 0 at Etihad Stadium. Victory, following their overnight Asian Champions League grouping, will be looking to consolidate their lead following their Round 17 draw with Wellington. Ernie Merrick will be looking for his charges to continue their assault on the Championship as they also prepare for their ACL matches commencing in early 2010.

On Sunday, Brisbane Roar host Adelaide United. Adelaide find themselves in a form slump that they will need to lift from in order to get their season back on track and prepare for the upcoming Asian Champions League. Brisbane will be again out to impress coach Ange Postecoglou and their fans alike as they strive to work their way up the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Finally, in Newcastle, the Jets take on Gold Coast United at EnergyAustralia Stadium. Newcastle have managed to turn around their season with consecutive wins against Sydney FC and Adelaide United moving them to 6th spot in the league. Gold Coast however have found their form and will look to continue their push for the league title in their debut season.

Stats, facts & milestones

North Queensland Fury (9) v Perth Glory (5)
Friday, 11 December 2009, Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7.30pm local (8.30pm AEDT)

- Having not lost any of their previous four matches, Perth Glory are aiming to remain undefeated for their fifth consecutive match, which would equal the club’s record longest undefeated streak in the Hyundai A-League

Wellington Phoenix (7) v Sydney FC (2)
Saturday, 12 December 2009, FMG Stadium, 7.00pm local (5.00pm AEDT)

- Having secured their record-equalling 14th undefeated home match in a row last weekend, the Phoenix are now aiming to create a new Hyundai A-League record of longest undefeated home streak of 15. The 14-match undefeated home streak record was originally set by Sydney FC (October 2005 to October 2006)
- Sydney FC midfielder Steve Corica is set to make his 200th appearance in Australian national leagues. Corica made 102 Australian national league appearances for Marconi (1990-1995) and has since made 97 Hyundai A-League appearances (2005-) for Sydney FC

Central Coast Mariners (4) v Melbourne Victory (1)
Saturday, 12 December 2009, Bluetongue Stadium, 7.00pm local

- Central Coast Mariners’ defender Dean Heffernan is set to make his 100th Australian national league appearance. Heffernan played for Marconi (20 league appearances) and Wollongong Wolves (18 appearances) on the old national league before joining the Mariners in 2005, where he has so far made 61 Hyundai A-League appearances

Brisbane Roar (8) v Adelaide United (10)
Saturday, 12 December 2009, Suncorp Stadium, 8.00pm local (9.00pm AEDT)

- Adelaide United are winless in their past six starts, which is the club’s longest winless streak since 2007

Newcastle Jets (6) v Gold Coast United (3)
Sunday, 13 December 2009, EnergyAustralia Stadium, 5.00pm local

- Having won their past two matches, the Newcastle Jets will be aiming to win their third on the trot, which would be the first three-match winning streak for the Jets since their Championship-winning season 2007/08

Birthday celebrations

- Diego (Wellington Phoenix) turns 30 on Tuesday 8 December
- Matthew Jurman (Sydney FC) turns 20 on Tuesday 8 December
- Tommy Oar (Brisbane Roar) turns 18 on Thursday 10 December
- Craig Moore (Brisbane Roar) turns 34 on Saturday 12 December
- Daniel (Wellington Phoenix) turns 30 on Saturday 12 December
- Josh McCloughan (Brisbane Roar) turns 34 on Saturday 12 December
- Lloyd Owusu (Adelaide United) turns 33 on Saturday 12 December
- Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix) turns 33 on Sunday 13 December

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