Sydney FC vs Perth Glory
Friday 7:50, Allianz Stadium
The reigning A-League champions kick off round 4 hosting the Perth Glory. Sydney are still arguably the best team in the league at the moment and look to continue their run of form and get back to their winning ways after a 2-2 draw in the Sydney Derby.
Perth Glory are coming off a win against the Mariners, but face a far sterner test in upsetting the Sky Blues on their home deck. Creative midfielder Mitch Nichols will be a welcome addition to the side after serving a suspension, adding further quality to a lineup not short on weapons in their front third.
For the Sky Blues, Polish international Adrian Mierzejewski returns from injury and should pose a real threat for the Glory defence, strengthening a side who has been near unbeatable at Allianz Stadium over the past year.
Prediction: Sydney 2-1
Wellington Phoenix vs Brisbane Roar
Saturday 5:35, Westpac Stadium
Bottom-placed Brisbane Roar will make the trip to Wellington on Saturday to take on the Phoenix. The Roar are the only team not to register a single point this campaign and will look to get their season rolling against a Phoenix side with just the one point from their early fixtures.
This shapes up to be a pivotal contest for both clubs, who each will be staring down the barrel of a grim season if unable to bag the three points.
Wellington will enter the game favoured to get a positive result, welcoming back Gui Finkler and Andrew Durante from injury, while the Roar have lost defender Corey Brown to a hamstring strain.
Prediction: Wellington 3-1
Adelaide United vs Melbourne City
Saturday 7:50, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide are set to host Melbourne sides two weeks in a row with a difficult test against a red-hot Melbourne City side ahead of them. City have had a perfect start to the 2017/18 season, recording maximum points from the first three rounds.
The game should tell us a lot about the league-leaders as Adelaide also look to keep their unbeaten run going in front of their home crowd. City come into the fixture well-rested, while Adelaide will need to manage their workloads after playing FFA Cup football mid-week in Western Sydney.
Adelaide United are set to be boosted by Senegalese striker Baba Diawara, who returns from injury to add firepower to the side, potentially in a cameo role off the bench.
Prediction: Melbourne City 3-2
Newcastle Jets vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 5:00, McDonald Jones Stadium
Potentially the game of the round, two in-form teams with high aspirations for the season battle it out in an early season six-pointer. Newcastle head in as favourites as a result of holding home-ground advantage, and will look to keep their winning form going.
The Wanderers are going to have to put a sharp focus on stopping sharpshooter Roy O’Donovan, who has found the back of the net five times in three games and will be a headache for the Wanderers’ defence for the full 90 minutes.
The Wanderers have illustrated their own attacking prowess however, with Oriol Riera having three goals to his name in the early goings, helping the Wanderers bag multiple goals in each of their opening three fixtures.
The Jets have lost Venezuelan forward Ronald Vargas due to a horrific ankle injury succumbed last week against the Roar, whilst the Wanderers could go into the game unchanged after coming out of the derby unscathed.
Central Coast Mariners vs Melbourne Victory
Sunday 7:00, Central Coast Stadium
Melbourne Victory have registered just the one point from a possible nine in a far from ideal start for Kevin Muscat’s side, which has been compounded by the suspension of star striker Besart Berisha.
Berisha’s absence leaves a significant gap in the Victory line-up, with no obvious replacement at Muscat’s disposal, potentially forcing his hand into playing a talented winger or midfielder the likes of Troisi or Austin out of position.
The Mariners have the same record as Victory but don’t possess the same quality across the pitch to turn it around and will need to be on top of their game to overcome a desperate Melbourne side.
Andrew Hoole returns from suspension for Central Coast, while the only confirmed out at this stage for either club is the previously mentioned Berisha.
Prediction: Melbourne Victory 2-0