Gripping finale for fans across this weekend

This Hyundai A-League final round could not be scripted any better: four teams separated by just three points and all with a shot of claiming the Premiers’ Plate between Friday night and Sunday.

Four of the five matches will likely have major ramifications on the final make-up of the top six. Various scenarios could unfold. It all makes for thrilling viewing across the whole weekend. And it all kicks-off on Friday night at AAMI Park .

Fourth-placed Melbourne City hosts Adelaide United in second, with the winner to move above Brisbane Roar to the top of the ladder.

Incredible race for Hyundai A-League Plate

If there is a winner in that one, just 24 hours later Brisbane Roar would then need to take all three points against defending champions Melbourne Victory to regain first spot.

And if those three sides happen to slip-up on Friday and Saturday? Then, waiting in the wings all guns a blazin’  will be Wanderers in Wellington with their clash against Phoenix.

Mitch Nichols and Mark Bridge celebrate combining for the Wanderers' fourth goal against the Mariners.

How incredible is that for a weekend of football in the Hyundai A-League?

But it’s the dramatic climax to the regular season that has again thrown up the discussion about playing all matches in the final round simultaneously on the same day.

It’s a concept that plays out in the FIFA World Cup group stages as well as many of the major leagues across Europe.

Who will ever forget the extraordinary conclusion to the English Premier League four seasons ago when Manchester City won the title with two goals in injury time?

With City losing, cross-town rivals Manchester United celebrated what they thought was the championship as the final whistle went in their game at Sunderland.

But, extraordinarily, news filtered through of City’s last minute goals and win over QPR. 

Joe Hart Manchester City.

It was epic viewing in the UK and globally.

Fans went through a range of emotions as their side’s fortunes swung during their match as scores filtered through from other ground.

It’s that kind of finish that has sparked calls for the Hyundai A-League to employ a similar format for its final round.

But, of course, there are factors as to why the current format also works well for the Hyundai A-League.

Having every match separate and live means no-one misses any of the crucial action with the matches spaced out over the weekend, keeping the interest up right until the final game is completed.

Melbourne Victory players celebrate their win over the Mariners in Gosford with their away fans.

For chief broadcasters Fox Sports it makes sense this way.

Over the five different time slots from Friday to Sunday, Fox is essentially able to get five times the ratings it would playing all matches simultaneously.

There is also the time-zone factor which makes it difficult logistically, with games in locations that could be separated by as many as four hours, in the case that games could be in Perth and Wellington.

Brisbane Roar boss John Aloisi, whose side is in the box seat for the Premiership heading into the final round, is one who likes the current format.

"I think that it adds to it that everyone can watch the games," he said after his side’s 2-1 win over the Jets on Sunday.

Brisbane Roar marquee Thomas Broich.

"It puts us in a good position when on the night before, we can watch Melbourne City against Adelaide and sort of know what's going on there. I don't mind it like it is. 

"Whoever's up there at the end of the season deserves to win it."

Either way, fans of the Hyundai A-League are in for a treat this weekend, with plenty of twists and turns seemingly assured before we find out who will clinch the Premiers’ Plate.

Are you ready for the weekend?