Stats Preview: Wanderers must solve horror Victory record to revitalise season
Forget about Western Sydney Wanderers’ much-maligned record in the Sydney Derby, how about the club's struggles against Melbourne Victory?
The Red and Black have won just once in the club’s last 15 encounters with the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions and have lost the last three – including a 4-0 hammering earlier in the season.
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Victory will arrive at ANZ Stadium teeming with the confidence they can replicate that result - Kevin Muscat’s side have played three matches against the Wanderers at the Sydney venue and have failed to concede a goal while scoring six times themselves.
It’s an intimidating record for Markus Babbel’s side, whose opponents are undefeated in their last eight Hyundai A-League fixtures.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory, Saturday 7.50pm
First blow looms as critical in Roar’s desperation-stakes clash with Glory
There has been an avalanche of goals scored in this Hyundai A-League fixture in recent times – 39 goals in the last nine between Brisbane and Perth to be exact.
But there’s plenty of evidence that suggests the first in Sunday night’s clash could be the telling one.
Brisbane, who are aiming to avoid a sixth straight defeat, have failed to win a single game this season when conceding first. Perth, on the other hand, possess a flawless record when notching the first strike, winning seven and drawing one of those matches.
Tony Popovic’s side have conceded just one first-half goal in their last six away fixtures, scoring nine of their own in the opening 45 minutes across this span.
Moreover, the Roar have leaked two goals in the opening 15 minutes of their home fixtures this year – meaning it’ll be a tall order for the Queenslanders to overturn a deficit.
One piece of solace for the hosts is that Perth have recorded just three wins on their last 20 visits to Suncorp Stadium, scoring one first-half goal in their last five trips to the venue.
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory, Sunday 7.00pm
AAMI Park not a happy hunting ground for Newcastle
The odds are stacked against Newcastle Jets on Sunday when they travel to an in-form Melbourne City side.
City are unbeaten in their last three, and should relish the home comfort afforded by AAMI Park – a venue that the visiting Jets have struggled badly at over the past few years.
Newcastle have not won at the ground since Round 4 of the 2015/16 Season, and have scored just onefirst-halff goal in their last five games.
The hosts, on the other hand, have tasted defeat only once in their last seven home matches, and have conceded in the first half just once across this run – against Sydney FC in Round 3.
Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets, Sunday 5.00pm
Wellington face another acid test of Hyundai A-League credentials
Is this the weekend the Wellington hype train runs out of steam?
Marco Kurz will certainly hope so. Adelaide United are undefeated in their last nine meetings with Wellington and have let in five goals during this stretch.
Phoenix are on a fantastic run at the moment, and aim to reach six games unbeaten for the first time since Round 22 of the 2014/15 Season.
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However, Phoenix have only won three times in the 18 fixtures played at Coopers Stadium since the Hyundai A-League began and have conceded 10 goals across their last four matches there.
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix, Saturday 5.35pm
Central Coast’s worst ever Hyundai A-League run to continue?
Central Coast Mariners have a mountain to climb in Friday’s clash with Sydney FC.
Mike Mulvey’s side are winless in their last 16 games (drawing two, losing 14) – their longest ever run without a victory in the Hyundai A-League.
They’ve also tasted defeat in their last four games on the road and will be out to avoid losing a fifth away match for the first time since April 1, 2016.
To make matters worse, opponents Sydney FC boast a strong record over the Gosford club, whom they’ve only lost to in one of their previous 13 meetings.
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners, Friday 7.50pm