We’re down to the last four rounds of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season and there’s still plenty to play for in the race for the Premiership, top four and Finals Series.
Here’s a look at the run home for all 10 clubs as the battle to finish as high up the ladder as possible heats up.
Sydney FC (52 points)
To play: Mariners (A), Glory (A), Adelaide (H), Victory (H)
Have the Sky Blues hit a wall? Four games without a win in all competitions may suggest that’s the case but they are still favourites to finish with the Premiers’ Plate with a five-point buffer at the top.
Newcastle Jets (47 points)
To play: Adelaide (A), City (H), Glory (H), Mariners (A)
Even with star attacker Andrew Nabbout leaving for Japan, the Jets don’t look like slowing down on the run-in to the Finals Series. With playmakers Ronny Vargas and Pato Rodriguez now back from injury, they have the confidence and firepower to end the regular season with a bang.
Melbourne Victory (35 points)
To play: Glory (A), Wanderers (H), Phoenix (H), Sydney (A)
Kevin Muscat’s men appear to be timing their run perfectly for a big finals campaign. Now up to third after a big win over the Mariners, Victory will be looking to consolidate that position with three winnable games before their final round Big Blue in Sydney.
Melbourne City (34 points)
To play: Wanderers (H), Jets (A), Mariners (H), Phoenix (A)
Have dropped to fourth after their winless run extended to four games following their draw in Adelaide on Friday night. Face a huge clash with the Wanderers this weekend which looms as a potentially season-defining clash in for their top four hopes.
Adelaide United (30 points)
To play: Jets (H), Phoenix (H), Sydney (A), Wanderers (A)
Like City, the Reds have gone four without a win but have back-to-back home games coming up to try and steady the ship. Building consistency and momentum will be key if they are to keep their spot in the six.
Western Sydney Wanderers (30 points)
To play: City (A), Victory (A), Roar (H), Adelaide (H)
Brisbane Roar’s shock win over Sydney FC all of a sudden has the Wanderers’ top six spot looking a little shaky. Their hopes could well rest on their next two games, both away from home against the Melbourne clubs.
Brisbane Roar (28 points)
To play: Phoenix (A), Mariners (H), Wanderers (A), Perth (A)
John Aloisi’s troops are looking the team most likely to sneak their way into the Finals Series, winning five of their last seven matches. If they can beat the league’s bottom two clubs over the next fortnight, their run of seven straight seasons in the playoffs should extend to another year.
Perth Glory (26 points)
To play: Victory (H), Sydney (H), Newcastle (A), Brisbane (H)
Still plenty to play for for Kenny Lowe’s side but they have arguably the toughest run home of any side. They face the top three sides in their next three matches before a potential final round blockbuster against the Roar. Three games at nib Stadium is a huge plus for them.
Central Coast Mariners (20 points)
To play: Sydney (H), Roar (A), City (A), Jets (H)
Their finals hopes were officially extinguished in Melbourne on Sunday with a limp loss against Victory. Will look to continue their unbeaten run against the Sky Blues this season on Saturday night while the final-round F3 Derby will ensure they stay motivated right until the end.
Wellington Phoenix (17 points)
To play: Roar (H), Adelaide (A), Victory (A), City (H)
Avoiding the wooden spoon is Wellington’s main focus over the final month of the regular season. Caretaker boss Chris Greenacre will have his side playing positive, attacking football so can they play the role of party pooper for a few other sides, starting with the Roar this weekend.