Can Flores find his best form in Adelaide? How do the Jets break out of their slump and who will kick-start the Heart? We take a look at the big questions ahead of round 10.
1. Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory: Can Marcos recapture the magic? Not in the too distant past, Melbourne Victory marquee man Marcos Flores was the toast of Adelaide and he ruled the roost at Hindmarsh Stadium, taking the Reds on a wild ride towards glory before collecting the Johnny Warren Medal.
In his current stint at the Victory he hasn-t been the star many thought he would be and has taken a back seat to the likes of Marco Rojas and Gui Finkler, with his return to his old stomping ground he might just be primed for a return to his best and for the Victory that is a necessity.
They-re still minus Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan and with the real prospect of Dario Vidosic returning to drive the Reds midfield, the Victory need Flores to boss theirs.
It-s unlikely Flores will be as well-received in Adelaide as Travis Dodd was when he returned a few weeks ago, maybe the jeers will spur him on, because in truth minus a great performance from him, the Victory could be in trouble.
2. Melbourne Heart v Perth Glory: Who will stand up and be counted? There-s no doubting both these sides have been severely hurt by the timing of the East Asian Cup qualifiers. Perth have lost Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite, while the Heart have lost Richard Garcia, Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone and that-s without mentioning their long injury list.
The ‘outs- have been a big problem for the Glory in recent weeks to and they have badly missed the presence of Jacob Burns in the midfield, the gritty skipper doesn-t just supply physicality but he is also a damn fine footballer and along with the likely return of Liam Miller he can help Perth rediscover their mojo.
For the Heart it-s simply a case of Fred and Josip Tadic standing up and trying to stamp their mark on the game, they were both noticeably quiet last round against a Sydney FC side who are low on confidence.
At their best they are Heart-s best and they need to lead their youngsters from the front.
3. Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners: Can the Jets get out of their slump? One point from their last three games; and it-s not just the lack of points but the uninspired way Gary van Egmond-s men have been going about their football that should be the real cause for concern.
Recently the Jets have looked uninspired and to take just one point from matches with a then out-of-sorts Wellington, the lowly Heart and a quite frankly poor Brisbane Roar is a huge concern for them.
Maybe the F3 Derby is just what they need to aim up. They certainly did in the last version. Last time these two sides met the Jets, who had got off to a surprisingly good start to the season knocked off the Mariners in an out and out surprise, but seven weeks later how things have changed.
Danny McBreen is in career best form, Bernie Ibini is wreaking havoc and the Mariners as usual are solid at the back.
One quandary the Jets have is how do they break down the Mariners? Heskey can-t do it on his own and without Ryan Griffiths and Jobe Wheelhouse the task just got a lot harder.
The Jets need to find a spark, but the question remains from where or who?
4. Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC: Can Sydney cope without ADP? Last time Alessandro Del Piero was hamstrung the Sky Blues turned up, scratch that, didn-t turn up at all and were humiliated by Central Coast in a 7-2 romp at Bluetongue Stadium.
That little stat will hardly inspire confidence from Sky Blues fans, but desperate times call for desperate measures and this might just be one of those times where a despised underdog gets their act together and delivers.
It wouldn-t be the first time in sporting history that not having a megastar available proved to be a boon, there is plenty of evidence in all sports to suggest that when teams have a genuine superstar they become the focal point, sometimes to the detriment of their team.
Arsenal were an example in the last EPL season, the amount of times all they did was look for Robin van Persie to get them out of trouble when he was double-marked was ridiculous, to an extent FC have been doing the same thing with ADP, there is the chance his absence could be a good thing. Another player just has to step up.
5. Wanderers FC v Brisbane Roar: Who will get the rub of the green? One day Tony Popovic would like his team to be awarded a penalty when it-s warranted. Two genuine shouts were turned down last week as they battled manfully against Wellington at the Cake-tin.
Either one being awarded would have resulted in the Wanderers likely getting something from their trip to windy Wellington but Kris Griffiths-Jones didn-t give either.
As for the Roar, well Thomas Broich getting a red card for standing in the way of a seething Josh Mitchell was a shocking decision from Brenton Hayward and to his credit he admitted as much post-game and Broich-s card was rescinded.
But with both teams out of form and struggling to have an impact in the final third, this game might well come down to luck or once again a decision from the man with the whistle, and both teams will be hoping for some rare good luck.