Can Marco Rojas channel Sly Stallone and deliver a 'Rocky' like performance in a heavyweight battle? And can Adelaide find the launch control?
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar: is this Brisbane-s last chance? With just two points separating these two on the ladder, sixth place is at stake and a lot more besides.
The Jets hold the advantage; they-re at home, they-ve got that points buffer and Gary van Egmond-s side appear to be on the up. Although, we-re pretty sure we-ve said this at various times this season only to be left laughing at our own predictions like some skied howler from Emile Heskey.
That said, the link-up between former England dudes Heskey and Michael Bridges last week did appear to give the Jets some much-needed structure upfront. The pair might not have the legs of some of their teammates but their brains have still got it.
Brisbane have to be applauded for bouncing back from their midweek AFC Champions League loss to squeak three points out of a demoralised Wellington. But even they, the Roar weren-t anywhere near where they need to be.
And after this Mike Mulvey-s side have Adelaide (A), Victory (H) and the Mariners (A). Fail to get their claws into the Jets this time and the Roar-s season will finally be over.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory: Can Perth upset the Wanderers- charge? Western Sydney, feel-good story, on a roll, football-s heartland, crazy fans, blah, blah, blah… Yeah, we all know the story by now.
But as Andrew Howe suggested earlier this week, history is against the Wanderers going all the way - and could the real western wanderers derail Tony Popovic-s plans?
Perth-s away record and the Wanderers fearless display against Melbourne Victory last week would suggest the red-and-black will have it all their own way.
But Alistair Edwards has worked hard to give Perth some structure and his players responded with a well-deserved victory over the Mariners last week. Glory have nothing to lose and their coach is only on until the end of the season. Last season-s grand finllists can-t have fallen that far that they can-t give the new boys a run for their money.
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory: Can Victory handle the physical challenge? No Archie Thompson, Marcos Flores in doubt… Just how much weight can Marco Rojas shoulder? The Kiwi Messi has gone off the boil, just a little, in recent weeks, as Victory have struggled with injuries and opposition defences that have applied a bit more pressure.
We saw with Adelaide and Western Sydney that Victory might just be wilting under the physical challenge, as teams look to knock them out of their stride.
Rojas, perhaps more than most, has lost a little bit of his mojo. The striker might need to take a lesson from Rocky Balboa - smaller than all his foes, the Italian Stallion took the blows and still came back strong.
If Adelaide-s Red menace was Ivan Drago and Western Sydney were Clubber Lang, the reigning premiers are surely Apollo Creed.
Graham Arnold-s side are the team to beat right now and Victory need to land a knockout blow if they want to keep them in check. Whether the Mariners will follow similar tactics to United and the Wanderers remains to be seen, but either way, this is heavyweight contest is not to be missed.
Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United: Can the Reds find launch control Much like Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber, the Reds are having trouble getting off the mark when it matters most, and while we-re aware that might be a cheap shot at Webber-s skills, we challenge you not to be nervous when he starts a car.
The Reds are a lot like that right now. Things started in such a promising manner this season. Now they are fourth and on the slide and to make matters worse they haven-t jagged an away win since Round Eight when they beat Sydney. A trip to Wellington might just be the cure for those problems. The Phoenix are at their lowest on-field ebb in years and are completely lacking in confidence.
The problem for Adelaide is they-re at a low point of their season too. A shock win over the Victory had them looking decent again, but then they were outclassed by a charging Sydney side.
If they want to remain in the race for the Premier-s Plate nothing but a decisive victory over the team in last place will do. It-s time for them to hit top gear and do so quickly.
Melbourne Heart v Sydney FC: Can Sydney keep charging? Of late it-s been the charge of the Sky Blue brigade in the Hyundai A-League and rather ironically it started against Melbourne Heart in a match that was, to steal a quote from WWE commentator Jim Ross “bowling shoe ugly”.
Several of the media at the game commented on what a poor display of football it was throughout the 90 minutes, but it started something in Sydney, who in their last six have only lost to Melbourne Victory.
Make no mistake, they want finals football and have a belief in themselves now that many would have thought unlikely at the start of the season.
As for Heart, they are the worst away team in the league, but at home they are different. They look enterprising and have a habit of causing an upset, and it-s a quality they will need again in a match that shapes as a real six pointer, because if they lose and the Jets knock off the Roar, they could be five pints out of the six at the end of the round.
Screengrab taken from Rocky IV, 1976