Round 27 guide: bottom three fight it out!

We’ve reached a fascinating Round 27 in the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season with the top six still to be finalised while the bottom three teams are desperate to avoid the wooden spoon.

The top six are locked in and will jockey for position while preparing for the Finals Series.

Hyundai A-League Round 27 guide: top six

But the bottom four will bring the curtain down on their seasons this weekend. 

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Phoenix cannot change their spot. They finish seventh. 

But where will the remaining three clubs - Mariners, Reds and Jets - end up on the ladder and, most important of all, what do they need to do to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon 


Current position: Seventh

Points: 30

Goal difference: -4

Highest possible finish: Seventh

Lowest possible finish: Seventh

Remaining fixture: Brisbane Roar (A)

Phoenix’s finals flame was finally extinguished last Saturday night.

Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant challenges for the ball with Phoenix midfielder Roly Bonevacia.

It was a brave run by Wellington, but ultimately they left themselves with too much ground to make up after picking up just one point from a possible 15 between rounds 16 and 20.

With coaches Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre and a number of players off-contract, the Phoenix will want to end their season strongly before future discussions begin in earnest.

However, they’ll meet a motivated Roar side who will be keen to avoid a second home loss to Wellington after a 2-1 defeat at Suncorp five weeks ago.


Current position: Eighth

Points: 23

Goal difference: -20

Highest possible finish: Eighth

Lowest possible finish: Tenth (wooden spoon)

Remaining fixture: Melbourne Victory (A)

Having been in the bottom two since before Christmas, the Mariners finally climbed out of the cellar with a well-deserved win in the F3 derby.

Mariners players celebrate a goal in their 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon.

It puts matters into their own hands as they seek to avoid a much-unwanted second consecutive wooden spoon.

While a Friday night visit to Victory provides a daunting end to their 2016/17 Hyundai A-League campaign, Paul Okon’s men will have gained much-needed confidence from Sunday’s win, after four straight defeats.

Even a point might be enough for eighth with the two sides below them facing tough assignments the following evening.


Current position: Ninth

Points: 22

Goal difference: -21

Highest possible finish: Eighth

Lowest possible finish: Tenth (wooden spoon)

Remaining fixture: Western Sydney Wanderers (H)

Adelaide United are the form team in the bottom three, with Friday’s narrow 1-0 loss away at Melbourne City snapping a four-game unbeaten streak.

Adelaide defender Taylor Regan challenges for the ball with City striker Bruno Fornaroli.

With the Mariners and Jets preparing for visits to the A-League’s top two, the Reds finish their campaign at home, where they’ve picked up seven points in their last three outings.

A trip to Korea to face Jeju United in the Asian Champions League will add a challenging layer to Gui Amor’s week, but that might yet work in his favour as Adelaide’s players vie for places in their remaining ACL games.   

Having worked so hard in the last six weeks to clamber clear of the foot of the ladder, the Reds will be fiercely determined to avoid the worst season by a defending champion since Newcastle’s wooden spoon finish in 2008/09.


Current position: Tenth

Points: 22

Goal difference: -23

Highest possible finish: Eighth

Lowest possible finish: Tenth (wooden spoon)

Remaining fixture: Sydney FC (A)

The Jets season has almost entirely derailed.

A despondent Andrew Nabbout in the Jets' heavy 3-0 loss to the Wanderers on Saturday night.

A run of five straight losses during which they haven’t scored from open play tells the story of an abject end to a once-promising campaign.

The 17 unanswered goals they have now conceded also equals the long held record of the unlamented New Zealand Knights.

There is a glimmer of hope though; Newcastle could still grab eighth place with a win in their final game, although that looks highly unlikely, especially given their opposition.

They travel to Allianz Stadium to take on a supreme Sydney FC side which is highly motivated to surpass the Hyundai A-League’s regular season points record with victory on Saturday night.