Stats preview: Can Castro break his duck and Glory reverse the form book?

Perth Glory have not lost back-to-back matches on the road for 27 months but in Round 23 they travel to face a Sydney FC side in ominous form.

The last time the Western Australians experienced consecutive road defeats was a five-game losing stretch starting in December 2017. After a 2-1 reverse against Newcastle Jets two weeks ago, it is a fate Tony Popovic will be seeking to avoid on Saturday.

But Sydney clearly have the rub over Perth, winning their last six encounters in a row at home with a combined score of 20 goals to one. They have also taken maximum points in 12 of the last 13 meetings.

Last year’s trophy-winners meet at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, where the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions have won nine of their 10 games – of course, that solitary defeat coming in their last outing in Kogarah against rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.

Watch out for the first goal. The 13 times the Sky Blues have scored it in this campaign, they have gone on to win 12 times and drawn once.

When in need, Glory often look to their talisman Diego Castro. The Spanish maestro has 46 Hyundai A-League goals to his name – but not one against Sydney FC. Indeed, Perth’s captain marvel has never even recorded an assist against the Harbour City side.

HOW TO WATCH: Every Hyundai A-League match in Round 23
MATCH PREVIEW: Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Highlights: Melbourne Victory 1-4 Sydney FC

Pass kings meet foul masters

All the arrows point towards the home team as Western Sydney Wanderers travel to face Melbourne City – and the visitors’ main hopes lie within one man in particular.

Mitchell Duke has scored four of the Red and Black’s last five goals and the Wanderers skipper has contributed 44% of all of their goals all season, a ratio only Western United FC’s Besart Berisha can match.

Erick Mombaerts’ side can take confidence from their record of winning four of their last five matches against Western Sydney, and City have stayed unbeaten against Wanderers in their last five at AAMI Park.

How will the match pan out? Well, City have the second highest average ball possession in the competition (52%) and Wanderers have the lowest (47%), while Western Sydney have given away the most fouls per game in the competition – an average of 14 per game.

MATCH PREVIEW: Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers

Highlights: Perth Glory 2-3 Melbourne City

Mariners go again for the 18th time

Adrian Caceras was the last player to score in a Central Coast win against Brisbane Roar as the Mariners took a 2-0 win at Suncorp Stadium in April 2014.

The Argentine-born journeyman, who played in England, Indonesia, Thailand and Down Under, may well be a distant memory in Gosford as 17 matches against Roar have passed without a win in the corresponding six years. 

Brisbane have claimed 13 triumphs against the Yellow and Navy in that period and, on Friday, Robbie Fowler’s side face a Mariners outfit aiming to avoid a ninth straight Hyundai A-League defeat.

The Queenslander's are in good nick at Suncorp Stadium, winning three on the bounce. They last time the Roar won four on the trot at home was in April 2016.

MATCH PREVIEW: Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners

Mini Match: Grand FInal 2011 – Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners

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Ex-Jet McGree out to sink former club

He may have scored one of the Hyundai A-League’s most famous goals in the colours of Newcastle Jets, but Adelaide United star Riley McGree has barely stopped scoring against them since.

The man once known as the 'Scorpion King' has netted four times in four appearances against the Hunter side and comes into Sunday’s game on strong form, with two goals and three assists in his last four matches for the Reds.

Gertjan Verbeek’s side may have conceded 12 goals in their last three games, but they have also proved to be an attacking force –taking an competition-high average of 18 shots per game this season.

In terms of the form book, Adelaide are unbeaten in six against the Jets, winning the last two, while Carl Robinson’s outfit are without a victory from their last six away trips, averaging three goals against during that stretch.

MATCH PREVIEW: Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets

Highlights: Newcastle Jets 2-1 Perth Glory

Davila-Ball combo back on the hunt

Melbourne Victory are the latest team trying to stop one of the most dangerous duos in the Hyundai A-League – Ulises Davila and David Ball. 

The Mexican master has created 13 chances for the English frontman in 2019/20, the second most deadly combo in the competition, as Wellington Phoenix go in search of a fourth straight win for the first time since March 2015.

The Kiwi club are the most accurate passers in the league, 83.5% of their passes hit the target. The ‘Nix have finished only four games with 88% pass accuracy in the past eight seasons – and all of those matches have come in the last four months.

Struggling Victory are winless in their last six matches outside of their home state, although five of the last six clashes between the two sides have ended locked in a draw.

MATCH PREVIEW: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory

Highlights: Central Coast Mariners 1-3 Wellington Phoenix