National Youth League preview Week 9

In a National Youth League season of goals - at an average of 4.07 per match - it would be folly to predict any 0-0 stalemates.

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Adamstown Oval, Friday 5pm

In a National Youth League season of goals - at an average of 4.07 per match - it would be folly to predict any 0-0 stalemates, especially when the Jets and Sydney FC are involved.

Visitors Sydney arrive in Newcastle having found the back of the net 24 times in eight games, while the Jets have scored 20 themselves.

The hosts are chasing a fourth-consecutive win, having seen off the AIS 4-0 last Saturday. A double from Chris Payne did his bid for a senior recall no harm, and he could have perhaps added to his tally with a little more composure.

The Sky Blues come into the encounter winless in three games, needing a victory to put their finals campaign back on track.

The home side may have favouritism for this match, but there is only one thing we can confidently predict and that is goals.

Adelaide United FC v Gold Coast United FC Burton Park, Saturday 2.30pm

The woes that have beset their senior team had showed signs of affecting Adelaide United's NYL side, but the Baby Reds claimed a much-needed win over Melbourne Victory last Sunday - their first since Week 2 of the campaign.

Teeboy Kamara's potential has already marked him as one to watch, and he showed further glimpses of his talent by setting up both goals in the 2-1 win over the Victory.

The Reds host a Gold Coast United side forging their way up the table after four wins in the past five matches, with senior defender Ante Rozic, lively forward Gol Gol Mebrahtu and promising goalkeeper Brendan White all crucial in last Saturday's 3-1 win over Sydney FC.

Melbourne Victory FC v AIS Kingston Heath, Saturday 3pm

Melbourne Victory's first-up victory this season has to be drawing nearer - at least it seems to be, with consecutive 2-1 losses a far cry from the heavier defeats earlier in the campaign.

Could the AIS be the Victory's best chance to break their winless run?

Battling to avoid their third loss in succession, the AIS' inconsistency has showed what the lack of cool, more senior heads can provide.

This match-up between the NYL's bottom two sides looms as an intriguing one despite each outfit's lowly station, with Victory fielding senior men Marco Rojas, Jean Carlos Solorzano and Isaka Cernak in last Sunday's loss to Adelaide.

A 4-0 loss to the Newcastle Jets a day earlier would have stung the AIS, and goalkeeper Paul Izzo and his defenders will be keen to atone against Victory.

Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 4pm

Roar began last Sunday just a win from top spot in the NYL. They ended it nursing a 5-2 defeat to Melbourne Heart - despite leading 2-0 at half-time - and having slipped to third on the table.

Like their senior counterparts, Brisbane are finding wins hard to come by. Without victory in three matches, shoring up the defence will be the first task for Roar goalkeeper Matt Acton.

Central Coast will be wary of losing touch with the top four, having sunk to fifth after coughing up an early lead to lose 2-1 to Perth Glory on Sunday.

Mitchell Duke has been a standout for the Mariners this campaign, and how he tests Acton and his defence could go some way to deciding a winner.

Perth Glory FC v Melbourne Heart FC 6PR Stadium, Sunday 5pm

Perhaps saving the best for last, the NYL's top two clash on Sunday. A win for the home side would see them leapfrog their opponents atop the league table; victory for Heart would put them four points clear.

With senior man Travis Dodd crucial, Glory showed their fortitude after coming from a goal down against the Mariners last Sunday to win 2-1. Livewire forward Ndumba Makeche's brace included an 87th-minute winner, and he will need watching closely by Heart coach John Aloisi.

Aloisi's half-time speech seemed to do wonders as his side came from 2-0 to triumph 5-2 over the Roar, with Zac Walker pushing his claims for a starting role after hitting a 10-minute hat-trick off the bench in the win.