Premiers Plate up for grabs

The battle for the Hyundai A-League Premier's Plate will be decided in the last round of the season this week.

The battle for the Hyundai A-League Premier's Plate will be decided in the last round of the season this week.

Leaders Central Coast Mariners go away to fellow top-six side Wellington Phoenix, while second-placed Brisbane Roar are also on the road, at bottom team Gold Coast United.

At one stage of the campaign, the Mariners looked all but certain to wrap up top spot in the regular-season standings.

But a run of one win in five league matches, and three in the last nine, has allowed Brisbane to close the gap to just two points.

Central Coast finally got back to winning ways on Saturday, beating Adelaide United 1-0 at home.

On Sunday they arrive at Westpac Stadium, knowing a victory will ensure they finish top, regardless of Brisbane's result.

The Mariners defeated Wellington 2-1 in their last visit to New Zealand on November 4, and came out on top 2-0 at home in their most recent meeting on February 18.

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold believes his team's past performances against Phoenix will count in their favour during the final round of the campaign.

"We've got a great record in Wellington, a fantastic record against them and a very good record over there since I've been here, so we'll go there very, very confident to get what we need," he said following last week's win over Adelaide.

Meanwhile, Brisbane's destiny is out of their hands, and all they can do is try and gain maximum points against Gold Coast, while hoping the Mariners slip up.

Sunday's match could prove to be Gold Coast's last outing in the competition, after owner Clive Palmer had his licence revoked by Football Federation Australia last month.

Gold Coast rallied to manage their first win in 14 attempts last week, beating third-placed Perth Glory 3-0 at home.

But it remains to be seen if they will be able to halt reigning champions Brisbane.

The Roar have won five of their last seven matches, drawing the other two, and defeated Newcastle Jets 2-1 away from home last time out.

And they boast the competition's top-scorer, Besart Berisha, among their number.

Albanian striker Berisha has 19 goals in 25 appearances so far this season, and will be keen to add to that tally against the Hyundai A-League's bottom team.

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou this week paid tribute to the efforts of his players in reducing Central Coast's commanding lead at the top of the table.

"Seven weeks ago, we were 11 points behind the Mariners and, in the last seven weeks, we've played every team in the top six away, bar the Heart, and we've won all of them," he said.

"When I look back to then, I thought 'we're going to find it really tough to maybe even stay in the top four if we don't really hit some good form."

"But to win all those games away from home has been a monumental effort from the players."