5 reasons to watch the Hyundai A-League Round 5
The Hyundai A-League ladder could start to take shape in Round 5 as teams at top and bottom go head-to-head.
Here are your five reasons to watch this weekend.
CHALLENGERS HOST THE CHAMPS
Four straight wins counts for little until you’ve been tested by the best.
Melbourne City’s early claims to the throne will undergo the sternest of examinations when Sydney FC visit AAMI Park on Friday night.
Graham Arnold reckons he has spotted chinks in City’s armour and if there is a team to expose them, it’s the ruthless reigning champions.
The Sky Blues are edging towards their brilliant best and won’t be settling for a point as the competition’s pacesetters both seek a statement of intent.
ERNIE WELCOMES WELLINGTON
Following his exit from Wellington Phoenix last season, Ernie Merrick is on a mission in Newcastle.
The two-time championship winner has assembled an exciting blend of attacking talent in Roy O’Donovan, Dimitri Petratos, Andrew Nabbout and emerging youngster Joe Champness.
And the free-scoring Jets have proven they can graft, defying a sub-par display to keep their unbeaten run alive against the Wanderers last weekend.
But a Phoenix outfit still stinging from a deflating draw with Brisbane will want to prove they’re better off with new boss Darije Kalezic, whose hunt for a maiden win extends to McDonald Jones Stadium.
EARLY-SEASON SIX POINTER
Perth Glory and Adelaide United have shown flashes of potential over the opening weeks, but both sides will be desperate to prove last weekend’s disappointing defeats were merely aberrations.
Separated by a single point, the nib Stadium encounter could be the catalyst for a surge up the ladder.
It’s just the second time Glory have been at home this season and judging by their boisterous win over the Mariners two weeks ago, we’re set for another carnival atmosphere in the West.
WHICH WAIT WILL END?
The time has come for Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners to get moving.
John Aloisi and Paul Okon are both without a victory and will see Sunday’s clash at Suncorp Stadium as the ideal opportunity to kick-start their campaigns.
It promises to be an intriguing battle between the two ex-Caltex Socceroos, neither of whom will be ready to accept a fifth match without a win.
FRESH STARTS ON OFFER
Never before have Melbourne Victory taken only two points from their opening four fixtures.
Kevin Muscat insists there is no crisis, but the Victory manager expects the best and so too do the club’s fans.
And there will be plenty of them at Etihad Stadium for the traditional Melbourne Cup eve counter against a Western Sydney side looking to put on a show for new boss Josep Gombau.
The Spaniard does not officially take over until after the match, but he will expect to see a willingness to fulfil his vision for a forward-thinking Wanderers.