Six teams. Five games. Three weekends. One champion. The Hyundai A-League 2017 Finals Series is coming.
Hyundai A-League Round 27 guide: top six
With one round left in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season, there are still some matters to be decided – in particular, the positions of teams below Victory and Sydney FC.
With one and two locked up courtesy of Premier's Plate winners the Sky Blues and Victory in second, what will be the finishing order of the teams placed third to sixth?
With teams in third and fourth hosting the Elimination Finals in week one of the Finals Series, it makes for an absolutely thrilling final round - here’s all you need to know ahead of the Easter Round 27.Here are five reasons to get excited about finals football!
THE BEST PLAYERS
If you think you’ve seen the finest moments of the A-League season, think again.
The competition’s greatest players are about to take things to another level.
Super-Serb Milos Ninkovic masterfully pulling the strings in Sydney FC’s midfield with vision and skill in equal measure.
Glory’s sensational Spaniard Diego Castro’s outrageous passing and audacious shooting.
And Marco Rojas living up to his “Kiwi Messi” tag with dazzling goals and assists galore for Victory.
The top strikers in the country are all bang in form.
Victory marksman Besart Berisha continues to tally up his goal count as the league’s all-time leading goal scorer.
City skipper Bruno Fornaroli wants a second successive Golden Boot and is in magnificent goalscoring touch.
And Caltex Socceroos contender Jamie Maclaren’s stunning strikes have Roar right in contention.
Those strikers will need to be at the peak of their powers to unlock the stiffest defences in the Hyundai A-League, which become even more watertight come finals time.
Sydney FC’s backline, marshalled expertly by Alex Wilkinson and backed up by new Caltex Socceroos custodian Danny Vukovic have conceded just 11 times this season, keeping a record-breaking 14 clean sheets.
The Great Dane Thomas Sorensen is back between the sticks for Melbourne City and with countryman Michael Jakobsen also set to return from injury, only the best attackers will find a way past Melbourne City’s rearguard.
And with veterans Jade North and Michael Theo barring the way to Brisbane’s goal, the three-time champions also have their eyes on the big prize.
As excitement reaches fever pitch, the fans will flock to football grounds in massive numbers.
Old rivalries will be renewed and new ones created.
The unique and unparalleled atmosphere, colour and passion of finals football has to be experienced to be believed.
There are no second chances, no double lives.
Lose, and you’re out – it’s as simple as that.
And if 90 minutes isn’t enough to separate two sides, thirty minutes of energy-sapping extra-time or the unmatchable drama of a penalty shoot-out will ensure just one team advances.
Only the best survive.
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