Happy New Year and welcome to Round 22 of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season. With the title race wide open following Melbourne Victory's loss to North Queensland Fury it's all up for grabs as we move into the final six rounds of the season.
On Saturday Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar face off at Westpac Stadium with Brisbane desperate to make amends following their 5-1 loss to Gold Coast United. Wellington will be looking to continue their impeccable Westpac Stadium form that has seen them unbeaten at the Wellington ground this season.
In Gosford the Mariners take on North Queensland Fury in what could be a make or break game for both sides. Sitting in 7th and 8th respectively a win could propel one team into serious finals contention while another loss will leave Central Coast languishing with six losses in a row while a loss for either side will result in the loser being the first team to record 10 losses this Hyundai A-League season.
Late Saturday, Adelaide United visit Skilled Park to take on Gold Coast United. The Reds need to make a move now if they are going to make a late push for the finals and find the form to take them into the AFC Champions League. Gold Coast however will be a tough task, and with the fans starting to make their presence felt in Robina, Adelaide will have a battle on their hands to get the three vital points on offer.
On Sunday, Newcastle Jets host Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory welcome the visit of top-of-the-table Sydney FC in matches that see four of the top 5 teams meet in 180 minutes of football that will go a long way in deciding season 5 of the Hyundai A-League.
Stats, facts & milestones
- Central Coast Mariners have lost their previous five matches, and are aiming to avoid becoming the only club (apart from former team New Zealand Knights) to lose more than five consecutive games in the Hyundai A-League.
- Gold Coast United are aiming for their fifth consecutive Hyundai A-League win. Only two other Hyundai A-League clubs have had a winning streak of five or more home matches previously: Brisbane Roar (once) and Melbourne Victory (twice)
- Newcastle Jets are aiming for their third home match victory in a row against Melbourne. The Jets have not won three consecutive home matches (in the same season) in the Hyundai A-League since its Championship-winning season 2007/08
- Sydney FC has not conceded a goal in their previous four matches and are now aiming to equal the Hyundai A-League record of not conceding in five matches in a row, held by Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory and previously by Sydney FC
Birthday celebrations - Howard Fondyke (Perth Glory) turns 20 on Tuesday, 5 January - Mitch Nichols (Brisbane Roar) turns 21 on Tuesday, 5 January - Kristian Rees (Gold Coast United) turns 30 on Wednesday, 6 January - Travis Dodd (Adelaide United) turns 30 on Wednesday 06 January - Michael McGlinchey (Central Coast Mariners) turns 23 on Thursday, 7 January - Cassio (Adelaide United) turns 30 on Friday, 8 January - Simon Colosimo (Sydney FC) turns 31 on Friday, 8 January - Tom Pondeljak (Melbourne Victory) turns 34 on Friday, 8 January - Adrian Caceres (Wellington Phoenix) turns 28 on Sunday, 10 January - Anderson (Gold Coast United) turns 27 on Sunday, 10 January - Richard Greer (Gold Coast United) turns 21 on Sunday, 10 January