5 reasons to watch Hyundai A-League Round 17

The Hyundai A-League returns with five fascinating fixtures across a significant Round 17.

Young stars are emerging, rivalries are growing and the pressure is beginning to mount on some with only 10 matches to come after this weekend.

Here are five reasons to be watching from Thursday.

WHO CAN HANDLE THE HEAT?

John Aloisi and Kenny Lowe are both under the spotlight for a lacklustre run of results from their respective teams.

Aloisi's men have dropped three straight and are without a win on home turf in two months.

Even Perth Glory have prevailed more recently at Suncorp Stadium, but four straight losses since that 2-1 success have increased the pressure.

It'll be a real test of mettle in the Queensland capital on Thursday night.

Follow the game live in the Match Centre.

Andreu and Luke DeVere
It's sure to be desperate between Brisbane and Perth.

WANDERERS, VICTORY IN TOP FOUR TUSSLE

Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory are at the heart of a four-way battle for prime positioning behind the two frontrunners.

A top four finish guarantees a home final and Friday night's clash at ANZ Stadium will be crucial to determining who gains that advantage.

If Wanderers win, they'll move within a point of Kevin Muscat's men and still have a game in hand.

Will Victory be bold in a bid for three points, or settle for keeping the hosts at bay?

Follow the game live in the Match Centre.

Victory Wanderers
Wanderers and Victory have the chance to shape their seasons.

GUNS DRAWN IN THE HUNTER

Newcastle Jets have rightly earned their reputation as the Hyundai A-League's entertainers, attacking at pace and scoring with regularity.

But they could soon have a fresh challenger if Wellington Phoenix's newly-assembled front four can gel quickly.

With Andrija Kaluderovic at the top, Nathan Burns and Roy Krishna either side and Matija Ljujic in behind, Darije Kalezic suddenly has a forward line capable of causing chaos at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.

Follow the game live in the Match Centre.

Matija Ljujic
Matija Ljujic hit a stunner last weekend.

SYDNEY SEEK REVENGE

Central Coast memorably became the first, and so far only, team to beat Sydney FC this season with their shock 2-0 win in November.

The Sky Blues have been almost untouchable since, claiming 26 of a possible 30 points, but they surely won't be satisfied until they get one back over the Mariners.

Can they reverse the early-season upset, or will Paul Okon lead another rendition of 'Horses' at Allianz Stadium?

Follow the game live in the Match Centre or stream it live and free on TenPlay.

okon
Paul Okon had cause for celebration when Central Coast last met Sydney FC.

YOUNG STARS FACE OFF

Need another reason to get excited by the Hyundai A-League? Then tune into the action at AAMI Park on Sunday evening and feel good about the future of Australian football.

The visiting Adelaide United will be buoyed last weekend's fighting draw against Sydney, which was secured by a youthful starting side featuring the likes of impressive goalkeeper Daniel Margush, livewire forward Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and 16-year-old Lachlan Brook.

But the Reds aren't alone in terms of fresh-faced talent, with the silky Daniel Arzani pulling the strings for Melbourne City and Nathaniel Atkinson handling every challenge thrown at him.

The ingredients are right for a stellar showdown of budding stars.

Follow the game live in the Match Centre.

Daniel Arzani
Daniel Arzani will look to continue his fine form against Adelaide United.