5 key ins for Hyundai A-League Round 16

The final round of the Hyundai A-League’s Summer Football Festival throws up five more intriguing matches, kicking off on Friday night with Newcastle Jets hosting Brisbane Roar. 

We’ve picked out five stars who could make a big impact for their respective sides this weekend.

Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)

McKay returns after serving a two-game ban for his silly red card in Roar’s win over Adelaide in Round 13.

And the Roar skipper will be desperate to repay his teammates with a big performance against the in-form Jets.

His midfield battle with Newcastle’s exciting youngster Steven Ugarkovic could be a key to John Aloisi’s side getting a result in the Hunter.

Newcastle Jets vs Brisbane Roar 

Fri 12 Jan, 7:50 pm (AEST), McDonald Jones Stadium - Match Centre

Matt McKay and Mariners' Danny De Silva on Sunday afternoon in Brisbane
Matt McKay (Roar)

Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers)

It’s always a bonus when you can welcome a current Caltex Socceroo back into your squad.

Risdon has missed the Wanderers’ last two games but should be right to start for the trip to Wellington on Saturday.

His availability will also allow the impressive Raul Llorente to move to his preferred left-back role for Josep Gombau’s side.

Wellington Phoenix vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Sat 13 Jan, 5:35 pm (AEST), Westpac Stadium - Match Centre

Josh Risdon
Josh Risdon (Wanderers)

Carl Valeri (Melbourne Victory)

The skipper’s return comes at the perfect time for a wounded Victory.

Not only are they coming off a disappointing loss to the Phoenix but they’ll also be without the suspended Rhys Williams.

But Valeri’s availability will allow Mark Milligan to shift back into defence, with the former Caltex Socceroo taking a spot in Victory’s midfield for the clash with Perth.

Melbourne Victory vs Perth Glory

Sat 13 Jan, 7:35 pm (AEST), AAMI Park - Match Centre

Carl Valeri walk out
Carl Valeri (Victory)

Shane Lowry (Perth Glory)

Given Glory’s troubles at the back in recent matches, Lowry’s return could not be better timed.

Kenny Lowe’s troops have shipped 11 goals – scoring none – in their last three games and simply must improve if they are any hope of getting a result against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

Lowry will add some much-needed experience and steel to a Glory outfit sure to be a little low on confidence.

Melbourne Victory vs Perth Glory

Sat 13 Jan, 7:35 pm (AEST), AAMI Park - Match Centre

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry (Glory)

Johan Absalonsen (Adelaide United)

The Reds face a tough home clash against champions Sydney FC but will be boosted by the return of their Danish winger.

One of the best players in the Hyundai A-League over the first month of the competition before getting injured, Absalonsen has been in and out of the squad in recent weeks.

If the Reds are to halt the Sky Blue juggernaut, Absalonsen’s guile and eye for goal is sure to play a part.

Adelaide United vs Sydney FC

Sun 14 Jan, 7:00 pm (AEST), Coopers Stadium - Match Centre

Johan Absalonsen
Johan Absalonsen (Reds)