Both teams in this week’s opener suffered 1-3 losses last week and both were in the top three last year.
Instead, both Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory are struggling for form this year. Perth was dominant on paper last week but it was Sydney who ran out undoubtedly the winners whereas Victory looked worse off in their game, and that could make the difference.
If Perth can put in another good performance they can sink the Victorians’ season even further, and it’s already their worst start to the season since they were founded.
Brisbane and Central Coast both reversed their fortunes last week with the Roar losing and the Mariners picking up three points.
Brisbane was disappointing against Wellington after their dramatic comeback against Melbourne City the week before. Central Coast won their first game at home since April and have a chance to follow it up with this trip away.
Both teams are a way off the top five but three points this week would make a difference at closing the gap. With Brisbane’s inconsistency, this could go, to the Mariners.
Newcastle will be fresh off their bye and looking to pick up where they left off almost two weeks ago.
Their opposition this week, the Wanderers, will be out to get their title challenge back on track after a last-minute loss to Melbourne City last week.
The Red and Black have one point from their last three games and another loss here could raise some concerns after a strong start.
The Jets have played the least number of game in the league so have some room for error but it would be better used catching up with the front of the pack.
Western United faced their second 1-0 loss in a row last weekend despite having control of the games, taking them to 212 minutes without scoring.
They will need to find their touch again this week or they’ll be in trouble against a high-scoring Sydney side who have the joint lowest conceded in the league.
Sydney is well on course to challenge for the title again this year and their season could include a win over the newcomers who have trouble taking the lead.
A win for the Sky Blues would take them to the top of the table for the week ahead and two points clear of Melbourne City.
The last game this week pits Adelaide against Wellington. The hosts have four wins on the trot and will be clear favourites.
The Nix won their first game last week, building on one point the week before and closing the gap to the rest of the teams.
The Phoenix have shown some promise in their other games, holding onto the best tackle success rate in the league despite poor results.
Complacency will be a factor Verbeek will try to combat in the lead up to the match because Wellington has the ability to take a chance if given it.
Melbourne City has this week off to bask in their form and stay refreshed for the next set of matches.