Bound for Glory? Perth's position compared to past Christmas Day leaders

For the second time in Hyundai A-League history, Perth Glory are top on Christmas Day. But just what has that meant previously?

Tony Popovic's table-toppers suffered their first loss of the league season to Sydney FC last time out.

But the impressive Perth (20 points) remain ahead of Melbourne Victory (19) and the Sky Blues (17), who are the only two teams within a win of the league leaders.

It marks the first time since 2014-15 – when their ladder position was adjusted to seventh following salary cap breaches – they have been top at Christmas.

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Are the omens reason for Glory fans to be merry?

The Opta data behind previous Christmas Day leaders says yes, and no.

While this Hyundai A-League season started later than ever before, we take a look at where teams top at Christmas have finished at season's end:

  • Only once has a team leading the league finished outside the top two (Perth in 2014-15).
  • Of the previous 13 seasons, the team top on December 25 has ended up first on eight occasions.
  • However, only five times have the Christmas Day leaders gone on to win the Grand Final.
  • Only three current teams – Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix – have not led the league at Christmas.

Christmas Day ladder leaders

2018-19: Perth Glory
2017-18: Sydney FC (Premiers and Semi Final loss)
2016-17: Sydney FC (Premiers and Champions)
2015-16: Western Sydney Wanderers (2nd and Grand Final loss)
2014-15: Perth Glory (7th*)
2013-14: Brisbane Roar (Premiers and Champions)
2012-13: Central Coast Mariners (2nd and Champions)
2011-12: Central Coast Mariners (Premiers and Preliminary Final loss)
2010-11: Brisbane Roar (Premiers and Champions)
2009-10: Melbourne Victory (2nd and Grand Final loss)
2008-09: Adelaide United (2nd and Grand Final loss)
2007-08: Central Coast Mariners (Premiers and Grand Final loss)
2006-07: Melbourne Victory (Premiers and Champions)
2005-06: Adelaide United (Premiers and Preliminary Final loss)

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