Stats preview: O'Donovan an F3 Derby danger to vulnerable Mariners

Central Coast Mariners are in dire need of some good news and the sight of their former star striker in Round 22 is unlikely to lift the mood.

Roy O'Donovan boasts an excellent record against the club he once called home and is sure to fancy inflicting some more pain upon the Mariners in the F3 Derby.

Melbourne City also appears vulnerable at the moment and a visit to New South Wales looks likely to do little good for their confidence, while Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar are up against the weight of recent history.

Get across all of that and more in our statistical look at the action ahead this weekend.

CLASS ACT: Victory applauded for ACL gesture
INSIGHT: Opta reveals every club's best player from Round 21
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O'Donovan to compound Mariners' misery?

Alen Stajcic takes charge of Central Coast for the first time when they make the short trip north on Saturday.

The caretaker coach has a big job simply to lift morale after the chastening 8-2 loss to Wellington Phoenix and the omens aren't encouraging ahead of Saturday's clash with the club's closest rivals.

Newcastle Jets have won five straight in this fixture by a combined scoreline of 18-4 and haven’t lost to the Mariners at McDonald Jones Stadium since December 2012.

FULL PREVIEW: Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners

They're in good form, too: Ernie Merrick's men stunned Melbourne Victory last time out to make it five domestic matches without defeat.

O'Donovan has netted three times in that run and loves playing his former employers, having hit five goals in four Hyundai A-League games against the club he left in 2017.

Stajcic and the Mariners might find a silver lining in the fact Newcastle have generally been forgiving in the attacking third this term.

Opta's Expected Goals (xG) figure says the Jets should have produced another 8.35 goals on top of their tally of 26 – only Adelaide United (10.18) have underperformed more significantly.

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners, Saturday 5:35pm (AEDT)

Coopers no comfort to under pressure Adelaide

Adelaide United have stumbled to a four-match winless streak and could slide out of the top six if results don't turn soon.

Taking on league leaders Perth Glory is not exactly the kind of tonic Marco Kurz would have had in mind and hosting rights on Friday night serve as little consolation. 

The Reds have won only one of their past four home meetings with Perth, who prevailed 2-0 when the teams met at Coopers Stadium in Round 4.

FULL PREVIEW: Adelaide United v Perth Glory

Glory's impressive recent run in this fixtures extends to four wins, two draws and just two defeats from their last eight Hyundai A-League games against Adelaide, keeping four clean sheets in that period.

Chris Ikonomidis scored the stoppage-time sealer back in November and confidence has underpinned his excellent campaign, with the winger's 84 attempted dribbles second only in the competition to Riley McGree (90).

It's no surprise that – with Ikonomidis, Diego Castro and Andy Keogh in their ranks – Tony Popovic’s men boast the best shot conversion rate (17%) of all 10 teams.

Adelaide United v Perth Glory, Friday 7:50pm (AEDT)

Brisbane bully Barbarouses can fire Victory back to full health

Melbourne Victory must be relieved to entertain Brisbane Roar on Saturday night as they attempt to shake off a six-game winless stretch in all competitions.

The last three of those matches have been defeats but Brisbane has generally been at Victory's mercy in recent times.

Kevin Muscat's men have put nine past the Queenslanders in their past two encounters – winning both – including five in a Suncorp Stadium whitewash in January.

FULL PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar

Hitting the road won't bring any smiles for Roar either given their last triumph at Marvel Stadium was way back in September 2008.

Kosta Barbarouses has been and gone since then and is now responsible for six of Victory's last 11 goals against his former club.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls shapes the biggest threat at the other end; thanks in part to last weekend's stunner, the emerging forward has tallied the best shooting of accuracy (77%) of players to have registered at least 10 shots on target.

Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar, Saturday 7:50pm (AEDT)

Sydney FC out to maintain one-sided City streak

Melbourne City are at a low ebb in terms of results and there's statistically no side they'd rather face less than Sydney FC.

Though they had to travel to Japan in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday, the Sky Blues will naturally be extremely confident of notching an eighth successive win over this weekend's opponents.

FULL PREVIEW: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

No other team has strung together more than four straight league victories against City.

Warren Joyce's side are also winless in their last five away games against Sydney FC in the competition, while the hosts are undefeated in the two Hyundai A-League fixtures to have been played at Leichhardt Oval.

Rostyn Griffiths will be one man especially keen on an upset as he prepares to make his 150th appearance in Australia's top tier.

The versatile 31-year-old has attempted 27 total shots this season, the joint-most of any player who is yet to score.

Sydney FC v Melbourne City, Sunday 7pm (AEDT)

Three on the trot a tough ask for in-form Wanderers

Wellington are looking to complete back to back wins over Western Sydney for the first time since 2014.

That won't come easy in the context of the Wanderers' recent resurgence, which has seen Markus Babbel's side bank 10 of the past 12 available points.

Six of those have been secured in Adelaide and Brisbane, and Western Sydney are now just one victory shy of their best sequence of road results since November 2015.

FULL PREVIEW: Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers

Laying down a foundation in the early stages at Westpac Stadium could prove crucial to the visitors' hopes of clearing another hurdle.

Wellington have made a habit of fast starts this season, notching a joint-best six goals within the opening 15 minutes of games.

And with four wins from their last five on home soil, it's set up to be a close and engaging contest on Sunday evening.

Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers, 5pm (AEDT)

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