Ladder leaders Sydney FC meet Big Blue rivals Melbourne Victory in the pick of the A-League Round 16 games this weekend.
Fresh off the bye in Round 15, the Sky Blues will head south to AAMI Park to face the Victory on Friday night. Marco Kurz’s Melbourne side will be out to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Adelaide United which left them in eighth spot on the ladder.
The Round 16 action gets underway earlier on Friday when Wellington Phoenix take on basement side Newcastle Jets at Westpac Stadium. Phoenix suffered a 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar last week but remain fourth, and they will fancy their chances against a Jets outfit which suffered a third straight defeat when going down 2-0 at Melbourne City in Round 15.
The first of a Saturday double header sees Roar bid to extend a four-game unbeaten run when they head to Central Coast to face the Mariners. Brisbane were 1-0 winners over Phoenix, while the Mariners went down 3-0 at Western United last weekend.
It is second versus third as Melbourne City entertain Perth Glory on Saturday night. Glory’s 1-0 win at Western Sydney ended Markus Babbel’s reign at the Wanderers and made it six victories in a row, but they face a test against a City side which has two wins and a draw from the last three games.
Australia Day on Sunday sees fifth-placed Western United take on sixth-placed Adelaide United with both sides looking to enhance their finals prospects and stay clear of the chasing pack. The Reds ended a four-game losing run with the success over Melbourne Victory last week, while Western United comfortably saw off the Mariners.
A-League Round 16 Fixtures
Friday, January 24
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Saturday, January 25
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Melbourne City v Perth Glory
Sunday, January 26
Western United v Adelaide United