State of Play: Premiership, a home final, Golden Boot & more all up for grabs this weekend!

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With just one round to play in the Isuzu UTE A-League regular season, sets the scene for what promises to be a dramatic end to the race for the Premiership, the last top-six spot available and the Golden Boot.

There are few certainties heading into Round 26; either Wellington Phoenix or Central Coast will end the regular season as Premiers, one of Melbourne City or Western Sydney Wanderers will miss out on the Finals Series, and the league’s two top-scorers are separated by just one goal.

This is everything you need to know ahead of the final round of the regular season.


The Premiership

Central Coast Mariners are in pole position to win the race to the Premiers Plate ahead of Round 26, despite trailing Wellington Phoenix by a point on the table.

The two Premiership contenders began Round 25 on 49 points apiece but flooding in Dubai left the Mariners stranded en route home from an AFC Cup clash in Kyrgyzstan, resulting in the postponement of their Sunday afternoon clash with Adelaide United.

Wellington dropped points against Newcastle Jets in Round 25; captain Alex Rufer missed a stoppage-time penalty as the ‘Nix were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw. That result put Wellington on top of the table – but the Mariners return to Isuzu UTE A-League action with two games to play, opposed to Wellington’s one, trailing by just one point.

There’ll be drama aplenty on Saturday, April 27 as the two Premiership hopefuls kick off their respective Round 26 fixtures simultaneously. Wellington play host to fourth-placed Macarthur while the Mariners travel to face bitter rivals Newcastle Jets in the F3 Derby. Both games get underway at 5.15pm AEST.

The Premiership will be decided this weekend if:

  • Wellington win and Central Coast lose
  • Central Coast win and Wellington draw or lose
  • Central Coast draw and Wellington lose

If the Mariners draw and Wellington lose, both teams will be level on 50 points – but, the Mariners would wrap up the Premiership due to a superior amount of wins (15 to 14).

Any other combination of results not listed above will result in the Premiership race remaining alive until Central Coast’s clash with Adelaide United, which has been rescheduled to Wednesday, May 1.

READ MORE: Mariners v Adelaide rescheduled fixture locked in & it could decide the Premiership race

Remaining games

Wellington Phoenix

  • Wellington v Macarthur FC – Saturday, April 27 @ Sky Stadium (5.15pm AEST)

Central Coast Mariners

  • Newcastle Jets v Central Coast – Saturday, April 27 @ McDonald Jones Stadium (5.15pm AEST)
  • Central Coast v Adelaide United – Wednesday, May 1 @ Industree Group Stadium (7pm AEST)


Two-team battle for sixth

Five teams have booked their respective spots in the top six and the Finals Series – but the fight for the last spot in the post-season is well and truly alive.

Western Sydney Wanderers have lost three games on the bounce and as a result, Melbourne City have swooped in to claim sixth spot; the Wanderers are two points behind Melbourne City and on an equal number of wins (10 apiece) heading into the final weekend.

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The Wanderers face Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night to round out their regular season; should Marko Rudan’s side defeat Victory, all eyes will remain on AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon as City host Western United.

City would need a win to go back past Wanderers into sixth; if the Wanderers win and City draw, the two teams would end the season on 37 points but the Wanderers would take sixth due to a superior number of wins (11 to 10).

Remaining fixtures

Western Sydney Wanderers

  • Melbourne Victory v Western Sydeny – Saturday, April 27th @ AAMI Park (7.45pm AEST)

Melbourne City

  • Melbourne City v Western United – Sunday, April 28th @ AAMI Park (5pm AEST)


Three-team battle to host Elimination Finals

With the top two locked in, three teams are vying to finish third or fourth to lock in a home Elimination Final in the first week of the post-season.

The Finals Series format pits third against sixth and fourth against fifth in two Elimination Finals, with the winners progressing to face the top two (Wellington and Mariners) in two-legged Semi-Finals prior to the Grand Final.

Melbourne Victory are third and confirmed to finish inside the top four, meaning Victory fans can plan for a home Elimination Final.

Then comes Macarthur, one point behind Victory, and Sydney FC three-points behind the Bulls.

Two of the three clubs above will finish in the top four and host Elimination Finals in week one.

Remaining Fixtures

Melbourne Victory

  • Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers – Saturday, April 27th @ AAMI Park (7.45pm AEST)

Macarthur FC

  • Wellington Phoenix v Macarthur FC – Saturday, April 27th @ Sky Stadium (5.15pm AEST)

Sydney FC

  • Sydney FC v Perth Glory – Sunday, April 28th @ Allianz Stadium (3pm AEST)

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The Golden Boot

The race is on for this season’s Golden Boot – and Perth Glory star Adam Taggart is in the box seat to collect the accolade after a brace against Western United in Round 25.

Taggart leads a three-way race for the Golden Boot on 19 goals, one ahead of Melbourne Victory’s Bruno Fornaroli (18) and three clear of Newcastle Jets star Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.

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Player  Team  Goals  Games Played  Expected GoalsMins/Goal  
Adam TaggartPerth Glory192417.08110.63
Bruno FornaroliMelbourne Victory182015.4598.11
Apostolos StamatelopoulosNewcastle Jets162415.58126.94

Taggart and Glory take on Sydney FC on the road in Round 26; the Sunday fixture takes place after Newcastle’s F3 Derby clash with the Mariners and Victory’s Saturday-night bout with the Wanderers, meaning Taggart will know whether he needs to score to reclaim the lead on the Golden Boot leaderboard, or whether he’s won it outright before kicking a ball against the Sky Blues.

This season’s Golden Boot winner will be decided this weekend in the final round of the regular season. Get your tickets here!