How to watch Hyundai A-League Round 26
Home finals, second chances and bragging rights; Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory have it all to play for when Coopers Stadium hosts the latest instalment of their inter-city rivalry on Friday night.
Meanwhile, fresh from earning their maiden Premiers Plate last weekend, Perth Glory travel to the Harbour City on Thursday to take on their nearest rivals in the ladder, and the team they have relieved of the title, Sydney FC.
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And the Finals flavour continues on Sunday, when fifth-placed Wellington Phoenix welcome Melbourne City, who lie sixth, in a tantalising battle between two sides sitting just a point away from a home final berth.
Read on to find out how to watch all of this weekend's Hyundai A-League action.
Viewers from outside Australia can find out how to watch at: https://www.a-league.com.au/our-international-broadcasters
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
Thursday, 7.50pm (AEST)
The Hollywood scriptwriters did not get the memo in Round 25. Sydney's derby slip-up handed Glory a golden chance to clinch a historic Premiers Plate on Sunday against Newcastle, an opportunity they grabbed with both hands.
Despite being a thoroughly deserved triumph, neutrals had hoped for a different set of results and a subsequent Thursday night shootout for the title at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Instead, Perth will take to the field with their sights set on winning the double and finding cracks in the armour of Steve Corica's Sky Blues ahead of the upcoming Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Finals Series.
Sydney FC's disappointing (for them) draw against Wanderers has changed their Finals equation. No longer dark horses for the Premiers Plate, they now sit just two points above Victory and need points on the board to confirm their place in the top two.
The sides have shared the spoils in their encounters so far this season, a 2-1 win at HBF Park in Round 9 for the Sky Blues – one of only two defeats for Perth this season – cancelled out by a 3-1 victory to Glory in Round 12, also at HBF Park.
How to watch: Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 for the Thursday night action, with the match kicking off at 7.50pm (AEST). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
Round 26: Sydney FC v Perth Glory
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Friday, 7.50pm (AEST)
The latest episode of the Original Rivalry has arrived with plenty more on the line than just bragging rights for the Reds and Victory.
Kevin Muscat's third-placed outfit are back within touching distance of Sydney FC after their 2-1 win over Central Coast on Sunday afternoon, Ola Toivonen and Georg Niedermeier doing the damage despite a gutsy performance from the Mariners.
Just two points separate the sides in second and third, and Victory's superior goal difference means that a win over Adelaide would bump them into the top two should Sydney fail to do the same against Perth.
Edging closer to a home final, Adelaide United currently hold fourth place by the slimmest of margins, sitting just one point above Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City.
The outgoing Marco Kurz has discovered another gear within his squad over the past two rounds, garnering positive results against those aforementioned teams in consecutive weeks to propel the Reds to their current position.
A 2-0 victory to United the last time these two sides met at Coopers Stadium, in Round 12, will have the hosts confident they can take down their more fancied opponents in front of a raucous home crowd.
How to watch: Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to see whether Victory can stay in touch with second-placed Sydney FC, with kick-off at 7.50pm (AEST). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
Round 26: Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 5.35pm (AEST)
A shock victory against Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium last weekend snapped Brisbane's four-match losing streak, and the hosts will be looking to continue their winning ways against a downtrodden Jets side.
Frenchman Éric Bauthéac provided a mixed bag for Roar in the 2-1 win, scoring a first-half double before being sent off late in the piece after being shown a second yellow card.
The suspension renders Bauthéac unavailable for the upcoming encounter, much to the relief of Jets boss Ernie Merrick, as the attacking midfielder's late header salvaged a 2-2 draw for Roar when these two sides last met in January.
With little but pride on the line on Saturday, the match is a chance for Jets' nine-goal striker Roy O'Donovan to crack double digits for his season's scoring tally, an impressive feat after serving a 10-match suspension earlier in the campaign.
How to watch: Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to catch the Hyundai A-League's Saturday afternoon action with kick-off at 5.35pm (AEST). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
Round 26: Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, 7.50pm (AEST)
After a tough season, Western Sydney proved there is still plenty of life under coach Markus Babbel with a deserved 1-1 draw in the Sydney derby on Saturday night.
The match was a pulsating affair, with Alexander Baumjohann's 57th-minute set-piece strike cancelling out serial Wanderers-nemesis Alex Brosque's opener for the Sky Blues.
Babbel's attention now shifts to a potentially tricky away encounter against Central Coast, a side that caused plenty of problems before succumbing to Melbourne Victory on Sunday afternoon.
Although the wooden spoon is now a certainty following Brisbane's weekend win against the Phoenix, interim boss Alen Stajcic has instilled admirable character into his Mariners players, and Gosford will prove a stern test for the Red and Black.
How to watch: You can catch every minute LIVE and FREE on 10 Bold or tenplay, or tune in to FOX SPORTS 505, with kick-off at 7.50pm (AEST). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
Round 26: Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
Sunday, 5.00pm (AEST)
The jockeying for Finals Series positions continues on Sunday afternoon when Wellington return home after a pair of unexpected defeats away at Adelaide and Brisbane.
After an impressive run of three dominant victories heading into those matches, the two-match skid comes as a surprise for fans across the league, many of whom considered Phoenix to be a home finals certainty just two rounds ago.
The Kiwi outfit hold the narrowest of advantages, sitting level on points with their opponents, but boasting a superior goal difference (+7) to City's (+3).
A goalless stalemate against Adelaide United on Saturday night was not the desired result for Warren Joyce and his charges, but City remain within striking distance of a crucial home final berth in a race that will go to the final week.
Sunday's fixture at Westpac Stadium may need an act of individual brilliance to separate the sides, which is exactly what took place when David Williams' sole strike proved the difference the last time these two sides met, in January.
How to watch: Which side will put themselves in the box seat for a home final? Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 at 5.00pm (AEST) to find out. You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
Round 26: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City