Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers collide in the third derby showdown of the season in the pick of A-League Round 24 matches this weekend.
Only three A-League games will take place this weekend after Football Federation Australia announced a contingency plan for the remainder of the season in regards to the coronavirus outbreak that is crippling sporting competitions across the world.
Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory won’t play for the next two weeks due to recently-established government travel orders that require international travellers to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
The FFA also want to compress the next six rounds of the regular season into a three or four-week period in an attempt to finish the season as quickly as possible.
All remaining games for the foreseeable future will be played behind closed doors.
Phoenix will complete the rest of their season in Australia once their self-isolation period comes to an end.
As a result, the Wellington vs Sydney FC game on Wednesday, Wellington vs Newcastle Jets game on Sunday and Melbourne Victory vs Brisbane Roar game on Sunday will be postponed in Round 24.
The weekend’s action will instead kick off on Friday night in Gosford s Central Coast Mariners face Melbourne City. The Mariners are destined for another wooden spoon after a 1-0 loss to Brisbane last week, while City remain in second spot after a 1-1 draw with the Wanderers.
Sydney and the Wanderers then collide in the derby on Saturday night at Bankwest Stadium. The competition leaders will be out for revenge after losing the previous two derbies to Western Sydney by a 1-0 scoreline. Sydney FC are minor premiers in-waiting, while the Wanderers need all three points to keep pace with the top six.
Finals implications are also strong in the last game of Round 24 on Saturday night when Perth Glory play host to Western United. Glory remain in fifth after a 0-0 draw with Sydney, while United are back in action after last week’s bye, coming into this encounter in sixth spot on the ladder – equal on points with seventh-placed Adelaide and two in front of the eighth-placed Wanderers.
A-League Round 24 Fixtures
Friday March 20
Central Coast Mariners vs Melbourne City
Saturday March 21
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Sydney FC
Perth Glory vs Western United
Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC (Wednesday March 18)
Newcastle Jets vs Wellington Phoenix (Sunday March 22)
Melbourne Victory vs Brisbane Roar (Sunday March 22)