WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 17: Lawrence Thomas of Melbourne Victory defends his goal as the sun sets during the round seven A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and the Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium on January 17, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Adelaide United vs Sydney F.C

Friday 7:50, Coopers Stadium

Round 9 kicks off with the match of the weekend between Adelaide and Sydney on Friday night, with both clubs coming off consecutive victories.

The contest is expected to be hot from the opening whistle after the two clubs met in a fiery extra-time FFA Cup final only 10 days ago, with Sydney triumphing 2-1.

Adelaide will be more confident of a result this time around on the back of a stellar run of form from winger Ryan Kitto, who will look to spark his side to a third straight win.

But the task will be made more difficult by the return of Sydney playmaker Milos Ninkovic, who is set to return after missing the win over Brisbane.

Prediction: Adelaide United 1 – 2 Sydney F.C

Western Sydney Wanderers vs Brisbane Roar

Saturday 5:35, ANZ Stadium

Western Sydney and Brisbane are both desperately seeking answers after registering only two wins in their combined 15 fixtures this season.

Both clubs are consistent top-six finishers and will look to catapult their position back up the table with a victory.

Brisbane haven’t recorded a win in their last seven road trips, but will be boosted by the return of reigning Roar player of the year Corey Brown to solidify their defensive unit.

Robbie Cornthwaite and Avram Papadopoulos will miss through suspension for the Wanderers and Roar respectively, whilst Brett Holman will miss through injury for Brisbane.

Prediction: Western Sydney Wanderers 2 – 0 Brisbane Roar

Newcastle Jets vs Melbourne City

Saturday 7:50, McDonald Jones Stadium

Newcastle host the battle of second v third on the A-League table on Saturday night and will need to continue their winning ways to keep touch with Sydney at the top of the ladder.

The ladder positions don’t tell the full tale of the fixture, however, as City enter the contest without a win in their last four games, whereas the Jets have won three of their last four games and will enter the match as red-hot favourites.

Osama Malik is suspended for Melbourne City and will miss the match, while Wayne Brown and Daniel Georgievski won’t represent the Jets due to injury.

Prediction: Newcastle Jets 3 – 0 Melbourne City

Wellington Phoenix vs Melbourne Victory

Sunday 2:30, Westpac Stadium

Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory face off in a must-win clash for both clubs if they are to get their seasons back on track, after both sides fell to embarrassing 4-1 defeats in Round 8.

Victory’s supremely talented forward third has failed to fire this season, scoring the equal least amount of goals in the A-League, while the Phoenix have conceded the most goals in the league over the first eight rounds.

Wellington’s chances are set to be boosted by the return of defender Tom Doyle who the home side hopes will strengthen their leaky defence, whereas the Victory will miss Mark Milligan through suspension.

Prediction:  Wellington Phoenix 0 – 2 Melbourne Victory

Central Coast Mariners vs Perth Glory

Sunday 5:00, Central Coast Stadium

Central Coast and Perth both found their touch with resounding victories in Round 8, making for an enticing matchup at Central Coast Stadium.

A win for either side could see them rise to a top four position on the standings, with just the one point separating the two clubs.

Spanish Striker Asdrubal will return after two weeks on the sidelines to give the Mariners further attacking prowess.

Prediction: Central Coast Mariners 2 – 2 Perth Glory