ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Match ball pictured during the round 20 A-League match between Adelaide United and the Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on February 17, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Hyundai A-League Round 21 preview

Central Coast Mariners vs Wellington Phoenix 

9th place hosts 10th place in a battle that could determine who finishes on the bottom of the table this season.

The Phoenix has struggled all year long, especially away from home, only managing one win and two draws while just scoring six goals in the process.

It’s hard to see them getting on the score sheet let alone winning this game. They did pick up a win last round against the Glory, however, it was in very unconvincing fashion.

The Mariners haven’t fared any better this season, failing to record a victory in their last 11 matches.

Prediction: Central Coast Mariners 0 – 0 Wellington Phoenix 

Brisbane Roar vs Newcastle Jets 

In a must win game for Brisbane Roar, they face the in-form Newcastle Jets at home this week.

The Roar have shown poor form at home this season having only won two games and losing seven. Brisbane however have won three of their past four games, with a convincing win last time out against Melbourne Victory. Brett Holman has scored two goals in his last three games whilst star signing Massimo Maccarone has scored in his last two matches.

The Jets on the other hand are having an excellent season and look the only real challengers for Sydney FC this season. They have been in somewhat of a form slump in the past month, losing two and drawing one in their past four.

This could be good news to Brisbane, as they need a win to stay in the hunt for the finals. A win would see them be one point off the Western Sydney Wanderers, with the Wanderers facing Sydney on Sunday.

Prediction: Brisbane 2 – 1 Newcastle Jets 

Melbourne Victory vs Adelaide United

In the first of two derby games this week, Melbourne welcome Adelaide United to AAMI Park. Melbourne Victory have lost three on the trot in the league and winless in their past five outings while Adelaide is undefeated in their past three games.

The Victory will be playing their second game inside a week, having to travel back from Asia, following their Asian Champions League defeat.

Melbourne have conceded two or more goals in five of their past six games, so look out for Adelaide to try and penetrate and run at the Victory’s defence. George Blackwood will be looking to continue his good from for Adelaide, having scored two goals in past three games.

Prediction: Melbourne Victory 1 – 1 Adelaide United 

Perth Glory vs Melbourne City 

Perth welcome a Melbourne City outfit to NIB Stadium, a venue that they generally struggle at. Before City’s win at NIB in January, Perth had won its five past encounters against City at the venue.

However, this season, Perth have struggled having lost seven and won one game in its past eight matches. Kenny Lowe is under constant pressure to make a push for the finals, but with only seven games remaining. They remain seven points out of the final six.

On the other hand, City were undefeated in their past six games before they lost to ladder leaders Sydney FC last time out. City will be refreshed after a week off, with Daniel Arzani and Marcin Budzinski looking to help City close the gap on 2nd place Newcastle.

Prediction: Perth Glory 1 – 3 Melbourne City 

Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers 

After a spirited draw mid-week in the Asian Champions League against powerhouse Shanghai Shenhua, Sydney will be looking to continue that form and defeat arch rivals Western Sydney.

Sydney have been the team to beat again this season and they’ll be hard to beat again on Sunday night. The Wanderers are undefeated in their past three matches, having climbed their way to sit four points clear of 7th place Brisbane Roar.

Oriol Riera has been unheralded this season, having scored 11 goals to date this season.

The marksman will need to be in fine form to get passed a solidified Sydney defence. Marcelo Carrussca’s playmaking skills will be important if Western Sydney Wanderers intend to cause an upset, however it’ll be a tough ask.

Prediction: Sydney FC 4 – 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 

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