Isuzu UTE A-league R18 Preview: Two stats point to wild derby, club record could fall

Your preview for this weekend's Isuzu UTE A-League action.

Round 18 of the Isuzu UTE A-League season kicks off this Friday night! Ahead of the action getting underway, previews all six of the contests.

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!

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Friday, 7:45pm AEDT: Brisbane Roar v Western United

With three defeats in their last five games, Brisbane Roar head into Friday night’s clash with Western United needing a win to ensure they don’t fall too far behind in the race for finals football.

Now sat in eighth position, Ruben Zadkovich’s side are four points behind the Wanderers in sixth, having also played a game more than the teams around them.

The good news for Roar though is that their 5-1 win against Melbourne City ended a five-game winless streak at Suncorp Stadium and they have won three of their last five against Western United.

As for the away side, John Aloisi’s Western claimed all three points in the last meeting between these two sides but will be looking to pick themselves up following their dramatic late loss to Melbourne Victory on Tuesday night.

Western are actually winless in their last nine games outside of Victoria however they take on a Brisbane side which has kept just one clean sheet from eight home games this season.


  • Brisbane Roar: L – L – D – W – L
  • Western United: L – D – L – W – L


  • Brisbane Roar8th
  • Western United12th


  • Western United FC have had 36 big scoring chances in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, the fewest of any team in the competition, while their 36% big chance conversion rate is the third lowest of any team.
  • Jay O’Shea (Brisbane Roar FC) has created 60 scoring chances in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, the most of any player in the competition; he’s created 34 chances in 10 games against Western United FC but is yet to log an assist against them.

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!

Saturday, 5:30pm AEDT: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

Sydney FC are one of the form teams in the Isuzu UTE A-League heading into Round 18.

A hard-fought 2-1 win over Adelaide United last time out saw the Sky Blues leapfrog rivals Western Sydney Wanderers on the ladder and Ufuk Talay’s team are now just two points behind fourth-placed Macarthur.

Another bonus for Sydney FC is that they’ve been able to correct their form at Allianz Stadium. After finishing last season with just five wins at home – a run which carried on in to the early part of this season – Ufuk Talay’s team have now begun to make Allianz a fortress, winning four of their last five home games.

Aurelio Vidmar’s City head into this game off the back of a goalless draw in the Melbourne Derby, but crucially for them it stopped the rot in terms of recent defeats.

Before the derby, City had lost back-to-back matches against Perth and Brisbane, conceding nine goals in the process whilst also suffering four losses in five matches – a run which had seen them drop down the ladder and out of the finals positions.

However they have been the more dominant team when it comes to their recent record against Sydney FC; winning three and drawing one of their last four meetings.

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Vidmar though will be without key midfielder Tolgay Arslan for the clash against Sydney with the 33-year-old serving the final game of his three-match suspension handed down by Football Australia.


  • Sydney FC: W – D – D – W – W
  • Melbourne City: L – W – L – L – D


  • Sydney FC: 5th
  • Melbourne City: 7th


  • Sydney FC have recorded 1.85 Expected Goals per game in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, the most of any team in the competition and .22 per game more than Melbourne City FC (1.63 per game).
  • Melbourne City FC have scored 71% of their total goals from right footed shots (20/28) in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, eight percentage points more than any other team in the competition and 24 percentage points higher than Sydney FC (15/32 – 47%).

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!

Saturday, 7:45pm AEDT: Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers

Adelaide have slid down the Isuzu UTE A-League ladder and now find themselves occupying ninth place.

The Reds suffered a 2-1 defeat to Sydney FC in Round 17 which now leaves them six points behind the Wanderers who currently sit in sixth position.

Furthermore, Adelaide are actually winless in their last four match at Coopers Stadium (D3, L1) and have conceded seven goals in their last two games at the venue.

Head coach Carl Veart could welcome back duo Nestory Irankunda and Ben Halloran to the squad after both missed out on selection for the trip to face Sydney FC last week.

As for the Wanderers, a late 1-0 defeat to Central Coast Mariners in Round 17 saw Marko Rudan’s side suffer their sixth loss of the campaign, but crucially, they’ve now recorded just one win in five.

Western Sydney will be without their head coach for the clash at Coopers Stadium as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension (of which one match is suspended) following comments he made about officials.

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To make matters worse for the Wanderers, striker Marcus Antonsson will now be unavailable for the next eight weeks after suffering a knee ligament injury against the Mariners.

Elsewhere Midfielder Jorrit Hendrix and defender Tom Beadling also remain suspended but, in some welcome relief for the club, they do regain both Tate Russell and Aidan Simmons after both have served suspensions following recent red cards.


  • Adelaide United: W – L – L – D – L
  • Western Sydney Wanderers: L – W – L – D – L


  • Adelaide United: 9th
  • Western Sydney Wanderers: 6th


  • Adelaide United have scored 39% of their total goals from set pieces (12/31) in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, the highest rate of any team in the competition; only Melbourne City FC (4) have conceded fewer goals than Western Sydney Wanderers FC (6) via this method.
  • Western Sydney Wanderers FC have lost their last two A-League Men games away from CommBank Stadium after losing only two of their eight such fixtures prior to that span (W3 D3); the last time they lost more consecutive away games was a four-game period from January to March in 2022.

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!

Saturday, 9:45pm AEDT: Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix

The third Distance Derby of the season takes place in Perth this weekend as the Glory host league leaders Wellington at HBF Park on Saturday night.

After suffering a 4-3 loss to the ‘Nix in Unite Round the Glory have gone on to chalk up a five-game unbeaten run which has seen them score 14 goals on the way to picking up three wins.

Crucial to their run has been the form of striker and club captain Adam Taggart, who has now registered seven goals and one assist in his last seven Isuzu UTE A-League games – and he’ll fancy his chances of adding to that tally given Wellington haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last five visits to Australia.

A win for Alen Stajcic’s team this weekend would also end Wellington’s recent dominance in this fixture given the Phoenix are currently undefeated in the last nine distance derbies (W6, D3)

Sat five points clear at the top of the league after 18 games, Wellington are flying in their first season under Giancarlo Italiano.

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Last weekend’s win over Macarthur extended Wellington’s unbeaten run to seven matches and key to that run has been the form of veteran forward Kosta Barbarouses – but the New Zealand international will not feature for the ‘Nix this weekend due to a minor calf injury.

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Barbarouses has bagged five goals and one assist in his last six Isuzu UTE A-League games, taking his tally for the season to 10 goals and his absence will be sorely missed by the league leaders in Perth.

Interestingly, Wellington have picked up more points (23) against teams placed in the bottom half of the ladder than any other side this season.


  • Perth Glory: W – D – W – D – W
  • Wellington Phoenix: W – D – D – W – W


  • Perth Glory: 10th
  • Wellington Phoenix: 1st


  • Perth Glory (26) and Wellington Phoenix (19) have scored the most and joint-second most goals in the second halves of matches of any teams in the 2023/24 A-League Men season (also Melbourne City FC – 19); although, the Phoenix (12) have conceded six fewer goals than the Glory (18) during this period.
  • Perth Glory (35 goals, +6.8) and Wellington Phoenix (30 goals, +4.9) have exceeded their Expected Goals value by more than any other teams in the 2023/24 A-League Men season.

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!

Sunday, 5pm AEDT: Newcastle Jets v Macarthur FC

The Jets come into this game sat second last on the ladder and with just one win from their last five matches in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Western United now leaves them seven points outside the finals places and with games to come against two of the league’s form sides in Macarthur and Central Coast, if the Jets do make a late push for finals then it needs to start now.

An obvious bright spark for Rob Stanton’s side has been the form of off-season signing Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, who currently leads the way in the Golden Boot standings with 13 goals to his name.

The good news is Newcastle are undefeated in their last three matches against the Bulls (W2, D1) and would have beaten them last time out were it not for a 99th minute equaliser from Valere Germain.

The bad news though is they’ve found themselves behind at half time in their last two matches at McDonald Jones Stadium and that’s something they will want to figure out coming into this game given they face the league’s second most potent attack.

Macarthur head into the contest off the back of their AFC Cup ASEAN Zone Final against fellow A-League side Central Coast Mariners meaning Mile Sterjovski may look to rotate his squad.

The Bulls’ seven game unbeaten run in the league came to an end last weekend when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Wellington.

However Mile Sterjovski’s side are unbeaten in their last four matches away from Campbelltown Sports Stadium, winning their last two, and a third consecutive away win would equal a club record.


  • Newcastle Jets: W – L – D – D – L
  • Macarthur FC: W – D – W – W – L


  • Newcastle Jets: 11th
  • Macarthur FC: 4th


  • Newcastle Jets have scored 96% of their total goals from inside the box (27/28) in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, the highest rate of any team in the competition; although, Macarthur FC (30) have scored the joint-second most total goals of any team in the campaign via this method (Central Coast Mariners – 31, Sydney FC – 30).
  • Jake Hollman (Macarthur FC) has been fouled 46 times in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, more than any other player in the competition; teammate Ulises Dávila (40) is ranked third in this category (Jacob Farrell – 45 for Central Coast Mariners).

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!

Sunday, 5pm AEDT: Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners

Second plays third on the Isuzu UTE ladder this weekend when Central Coast Mariners pay a visit to Melbourne Victory.

Buoyed by their dramatic late win over Western United on Tuesday night Melbourne Victory are now back to within firing distance of Wellington Phoenix after securing their first win in seven matches.

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Having played the full 90 minutes against Western United, leading goalscorer Bruno Fornaroli will be back to full fitness having had more time to recover from hand surgery.

Tony Popovic’s side have certainly been the dominant team in this fixture at AAMI Park, winning 12 and drawing two of their last 14 matches against the Mariners at their home venue.

Victory have also accumulated 15 points against teams in the top half of the competition this season which is more than any other side.

Mark Jackson’s Mariners arrive in Victoria off the back of their clash against fellow Isuzu UTE A-League side Macarthur FC in the ASEAN Zone Final of the AFC Cup, meaning the boss could well rotate his young side.

In terms of league form, the Mariners have suffered just one loss in 17 visits to Victoria having suffered just one defeat in their last 14 A-League matches, picking up nine wins during that run.

Furthermore, the Mariners will arrive at AAMI Park confident of getting a result given their recent away form has them go unbeaten in their last six away matches (W3, D3) whilst also keeping a clean sheet in their last two games on the road.


  • Melbourne Victory: D – D – L – D – W
  • Central Coast Mariners: W – W – D – L – W


  • Melbourne Victory: 3rd
  • Central Coast Mariners: 2nd


  • Central Coast Mariners have scored 55% of their total goals from left footed shots (18/33) in the 2023/24 A-League Men season, 11 percentage points more than any other team in the competition.
  • Daniel Arzani (Melbourne Victory) has been fouled 17 times in the final third this A-League Men season, seven more than any other player in the competition; two Central Coast Mariners players have logged double figures in this category (Christian Theoharous – 10 and Jacob Farrell – 10) – the only team with more than one player in this regard.

Buy tickets to Isuzu UTE A-League HERE!