The Five Big Questions | Round 4

Who is the form team, are the Reds the real deal and who will stand up for Sydney FC? Just some of the questions for this weekend...

As always there are plenty of talking points ahead of Round 4 of Hyundai A-league season 2012/13.

1. Will the real form team please stand up? Both Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory came into this season with the promise of a mobile, attacking, possession-based game - and while both sides appear headed that way, neither have entirely convinced in the three rounds so far.

The Jets lost their opening fixture to a fired up Adelaide, then showed some real promise in the blockbuster against Sydney FC, before riding their luck to get three points against the Mariners last week.

Gary van Egmond-s side shown their potential in flashes but have struggled to maintain that consistency - can they find their feet against a Victory side facing even more of a struggle.

Ange Postecoglou-s passing game is slowly sinking in but Victory had to fight with everything they had to get their first win of the season against Adelaide United. Outfought by Heart in round 1 and outplayed by Brisbane in Round 2, has that battling result against the Reds shown the Victory squad the level Postecoglou demands?

2. Are the Reds the real deal? Adelaide have arguably been the form team of the competition so far, despite suffering their first loss against Victory last week.

Their pre-season AFC Asian Champions League campaign put John Kosmina-s side on the front foot and they looked to have a well-balanced squad.

The return to form of Dario Vidosic and exciting prospects in Jeronimo Neumann and Fabio Ferreira suggests Adelaide have what it takes to push opposing teams this season, but they can expect a stern test from the visiting Phoenix. Put Ricki Herbert-s side to bed and Adelaide might just emerge as genuine contenders.

3. Can the Wanderers stand firm? Western Sydney travel to Brisbane for what is the biggest test of Tony Popovic-s short tenure at the new club.

The Roar have lost, won and drawn so far but they remain the most dangerous team in the competition, and the Wanderers impressive defence can expect to put under all kinds of pressure.

Of course, there is always the chance of an upset but given Roar-s resources, it-s hard not to see them dominating the midfield and pepper the Western Sydney area with all sorts of chances for Berisha, Broich and Nichols. The question is - how long can the Wanderers keep them at bay?

4. Are the Mariners better than their place on the ladder? The reigning Premiers have struggled so far this season; of course, we-re only three rounds in but that-s long enough to start asking questions about their capacity to score goals.

Goals are the end result of playing well, and Central Coast have done that against the Wanderers, Perth and even in the F3 derby loss last weekend but - but who do they have who can really hurt teams? Neither Sterjovski nor Ibini-isei are particularly prolific and talented youngster Mitchell Duke appears just too raw.

Currently in sixth place, the consistent and organised Mariners will always be a handful for any team - but its not exactly champagne football, and can they claim a place higher up the ladder?

5. Who will stand up for Sydney FC? Other than Del Piero that is... Perth defender Steve Pantelidis was being a little harsh when he suggested earlier this week that Del Piero has “carried” Sydney through their opening fixtures, but there is a ring of truth to his comment and the home side won-t get much time or space from Glory in the big game at ANZ Stadium.

Whether the arrival of ADP disrupted Ian Crook-s plans or the team are struggling how to make the most out of their superstar teammate, Sydney haven-t looked like a cohesive team so far and have found it hard to create many clear goalscoring opportunities.

It-s not unrealistic to expect Del Piero to dominate their games, that-s why they signed him - but is there anyone else in a Sky Blues shirt ready to raise their game?