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TRIBAL TALKING POINTS - A-League Round 7: Cahill start for Melb City; Huge clash for Sydney; Victory need a win;

All eyes on Timmy

In case you missed it, the Socceroos qualified for their fourth consecutive World Cup this week, thanks in part to the heroics of Melbourne City striker Tim Cahill in Australia's playoff against Syria.

Now after a stirring victory at home against Honduras, all eyes turn back to the clubs of each of Australia's heroes, who will now aim to impress the world in hopes of keeping their spot in the squad for Russia in 2018. There may be no player being watched with greater interest than Timmy Cahill.

Despite regular minutes and starts for the national team, Cahill is seeing wildly inconsistent amounts of playing time for Melbourne City as of late. There's still a long way to go between now and the World Cup next June, and Cahill will need to be playing regularly to make sure he's fully fit and firing on the grandest stage of them all.

So if City won't give him minutes, what happens next?

Cahill left things a little open to interpretation after the big win in Sydney this week.

"For me now, I've got to make some big decisions on the level of where I'm playing at and what I'm going to do. It's something that I'll make sure that either way for me I'm always going to play. If I don't, I'll find a way to play," Cahill said to Fox Sports.

Brisbane manager John Aloisi picked up on this uncertainty, and took the chance to play a little mind games in his post match analysis on Fox Sports.

"He virtually said if he doesn't get game time he's off, he's away from Melbourne City," said Aloisi.

Maybe he's just planting some seeds of doubt to unsettle City before their clash with his Roar side on Friday night, but perhaps there's something to it.

This conversation of course is all for nothing if City give Cahill some regular playing time, starting with this match against Brisbane. We shall wait and see.

Potential Grand Final preview

Sydney FC take on league leaders, Newcastle Jets, at home on Saturday night. This game holds particular significance to Sydney as their captain, Alex Brosque, will take the pitch for his 200th game this week; and will simultaneously break the club's all-time appearance record.

Sydney will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat against Central Coast Mariners last week. This will be Sydney's final game before the FFA Cup final on Tuesday night, and they will be hoping to bring winning momentum into the match.

The Jets went top of the table last weekend, and will this week be looking to keep their spot there, and their undefeated streak alive. Their side will be bolstered by the predicted return of fullback, Daniel Georgievski, who has been out with a hamstring injury.

With both teams having won four games a-piece, and only one point separating them on the table, this game could prove to be indicative of who will be the team to beat, come end of season.

Victory woes continue

Another week, another set of words spent talking about Victory's inability to get off the mark this season. It's become a little tiresome to keep bringing it up, but until Victory notch that first win, it simply can't be ignored.

Another loss or draw in their game this weekend against Perth would mean they have gone seven games without a win this season, leaving them in a very precarious position ahead of a daunting task next week against table toppers Newcastle away from home.

If they're going to beat anyone, it may as well be Perth. The Glory will be low on confidence after an absolute battering at the hands of a prolific Wellington Phoenix last week. If the Phoenix can put five past the Glory defence, Victory should be at least capable of snatching a win.

Another big loss would see the heat turned up even more on Kenny Lowe, who had supporters seething after their frankly embarrassing loss last week.

There's a lot at stake here, and there are no two sides more desperate to bounce back with a win than Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory. It's going to be a long week next week for one of these managers.

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Freddie Taylor

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