Wooden Spoons and Premier's Plates

Gold Coast United's final game of the season against local rival Brisbane could decide who wins the wooden spoon and the premier's plate.

Gold Coast United will need a lot of favours to avoid claiming the Hyundai A-League's wooden spoon for the 2011-12 campaign, although Adelaide United are still in contention for the unwanted prize.

The Glitter Strip outfit occupy last place heading into the final round, but should the Reds lose to Melbourne Heart on Friday night, a Gold Coast win over Brisbane in the final match would see them escape the embarrassment of finishing bottom.

Mike Mulvey's men won just their fourth game of the campaign last start - a 3-0 win over finals side Perth Glory - however it is possible Brisbane could still be fighting for the title come Sunday afternoon, should the Central Coast Mariners not wrap up the Premiers Plate earlier in the day away to Wellington.

Adelaide, meanwhile, will be backing up in the league clash with the Heart just three days after their AFC Champions League win over Gamba Osaka.

While the victory will provide John Kosmina's men with a necessary boost, the Reds may find it tough to bounce back quickly against a Heart outfit that will be buoyant after booking their maiden finals appearance last week.

Should the Hindmarsh Stadium outfit find themselves on bottom at season's end, it would be their second spoon in seven seasons of the Hyundai A-League's existence.

However, should their form hold up after their win over the J-League's Gamba on Tuesday, then they will avoid that dishonour.

Daniel Mullen scored a brace for the Reds at Hindmarsh, while the form of midfielder Osama Malik was lauded, as he was a key part in shutting down any Gamba attacks in the final third.

Whichever way the spoon goes, both the Uniteds will have reason to be disappointed with respectively poor seasons.

Avoiding last place is merely a consolation that no team wants to have to bear late in the season.

It could be worse though. Adelaide and the Gold Coast - unlike their European counterparts - cannot be relegated.