Sydney FC are back in action after a two-week break from the A-League when they face bottom-placed Central Coast Mariners in Round 20 action this weekend.
With their derby against the Wanderers postponed due to wet weather and receiving the bye last week, Sydney haven’t competed in the A-League over the last fortnight – however, they still hold a commanding 10-point lead over Melbourne City in second spot despite playing three games less, such is their dominance.
Sydney will be highly confident of extending that lead when they meet the struggling Mariners in Gosford on Sunday night, with Central Coast coming off a 2-0 loss to Adelaide that saw them slip to last spot on the ladder.
Round 20 kicks off across the ditch as Wellington Phoenix host Western United on Friday. Phoenix got their top four hopes back on track with a win over City last weekend, while United are now four points off a finals place after going down 1-0 to Brisbane.
Western Sydney Wanderers then look to keep pace with the finals when they entertain Adelaide United at Bankwest Stadium. The Wanderers remain seven points adrift of sixth after being held to a 1-1 draw with Newcastle, while Adelaide are sitting nicely in fourth following their victory over the Mariners.
Brisbane Roar will look to to continue their impressive form as they take on Perth Glory in the first game on Saturday in Redcliffe. Brisbane have only lost once in their last eight matches and downed Western United on the weekend to cement their top six status, while Perth return from the bye and can move into second spot with a win.
Two years ago Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory faced off in the Grand Final, but now they are both struggling towards the bottom of the ladder as they clash again on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium. The Jets are 11 points off the finals after a 1-1 draw with the Wanderers, while Victory are seven points adrift following the bye last week.
Melbourne City has the bye this week.
A-League Round 20 Fixtures
Friday February 21
Wellington Phoenix vs Western United
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Adelaide United
Saturday February 22
Brisbane Roar vs Perth Glory
Newcastle Jets vs Melbourne Victory
Sunday February 23
Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC