Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory
Saturday 7.10pm (AEDT)
Traditionally the Big Blue is one of the most anticipated games of the A-League season, however this season might be the quietest game between the two most successful clubs in the history of the A-League. Melbourne are currently at the lowest point in the history of their club, sitting last on the A-League ladder, with just seven points from eleven matches.
After a 6-0 annihilation at the hands of arch-rivals Melbourne City, the Victory suffered a 3-1 loss at home against Adelaide United. The Victory have only one win from its past seven matches. Sydney have found some strong form with two consecutive wins against New South Wales rivals in Western Sydney and Newcastle.
To go with their awful form this season, the Victory’s recent record against the Sky Blues doesn’t make for positive reading. Sydney has won its last five matches against Melbourne, and by some convincing margins. The last four matches between the two sides have produced score lines of 4-1, 3-0, 2-1 and 6-1. Defence has been at the forefront of the Victory struggles this season, conceding 26 goals, the most in the A-League, no other side has conceded more than 20 goals this season. The Victory are so far off the pace at the moment, and it’s near impossible to see them challenging the Sky Blues.
Melbourne City vs Central Coast Mariners
Monday 7.05pm (AEDT)
The game of the round comes on Monday night as the red hot Melbourne City host the league leading Central Coast Mariners. City have been the form team of the comp over the past few weeks, winning four games in a row. The Central Coast are unbeaten in their last three matches, and are sitting six points clear at the top of the A-League ladder.
The two sides faced off in February, with the Mariners staging coming from two goals down to beat City 3-2. The Mariners have been well balanced in both defence and attack this season, leading the league for goals (22) and third for least goals conceded (13). The Mariners potency in attack has been a real highlight of their play so far this season. Alou Kuol (6 goals form 12 appearances) and Matt Simon (6 goals from 12 appearances) have been crucial to the Mariners success, their varying styles have caused defences plenty of trouble this season, and they’ll be up for the challenge against City
Melbourne City have been dominant over the past few weeks. The win streak kicked off with a 3-2 win over Sydney FC, before dominant performances against the Wanders, Victory and Macarthur have them right back in the mix at the top end of the table. The Mariners will take plenty of confidence from their ability to win away from home this season, holding a 4-0-1 record in away matches. They come into the clash as the outsiders, but with the consistency they’ve shown throughout the season and their ability to consistently put the ball in the back of the net, the Mariners are primed to pick up a crucial win in enemy territory.
Central Coast Mariners