Perth get plenty of home games that will give them the opportunity to make a late run, but will it be enough?
Team: Perth Glory
Current position: Ninth | 22 points
The run home: Sydney (H), Newcastle (A), Phoenix (H), Victory (A), Adelaide (H)
The question: Can Alistair Edwards inspire his team? Perth left it late in the season to change their coaching staff; probably too late - but there are some signs that Edwards-s messages are getting through.
Even over the last two weeks, Glory have been better, keeping the ball and playing on the ground. The problem is it takes time for players to get used to this kind of system. Perhaps Edwards knows this and has just decided to show the club hierarchy what he would do if he got the gig full-time.
Glory, for all their woes, still boast a talented roster and arguably the best striker in the competition, even if Shane Smeltz has endured his worst season to date.
And three home games against sides that have serious problems travelling could play into their hands.
The big match: Round 24 v Newcastle
The home games provide the chance for Perth to take the game to the opposition and throw everything they can into getting the points. The real test lies away from home. Newcastle have been far from perfect this season but they still have the pace and power to cause Perth problems. Overcoming the air miles will be a big test for Edwards.
The Player: Shane Smeltz Form is temporary, class is permanent. The Hyundai A-League has seen enough of Shane Smeltz to know his worth as a striker, but injuries have robbed him of fitness and form this season.
If he can start playing 90 minutes regularly, the team that was set up to supply him could just start firing.
We say: The finals are beyond Alistair Edwards and his team but they can still aim to finish the season with a bang, if they can just rediscover some of the confidence that carried them so far last season.
Prediction: Eighth | 30 points