This weekend sees a first Isuzu UTE A-League fixture in 42 days for Newcastle Jets, with Arthur Papas’ side eager to leave a disruptive period behind them and continue on from what was a promising start to the season.
The Jets meet Adelaide United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday night. On Saturday, meanwhile, Western United defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley prepares for his 350th Isuzu UTE A-League appearance as the green and black welcome Melbourne City to AAMI Park.
Liberty A-League leaders Sydney FC are out of action this weekend, leaving second-placed Melbourne City the opportunity to try and close the seven-point gap between the two teams to just four as they face Brisbane Roar on the road.
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS v ADELAIDE UNITED
The Wanderers can’t seem to buy a goal in the A-League Women’s, with just two goals on the board in 2021/22. But five goals conceded from seven games have kept Catherine Cannuli’s side relevant in the top four race.
Star Wanderers defender Clare Hunt was touted as a future Matilda this week but an Adelaide strike force led by Chelsie Dawber and Fiona Worts will look to break open the dam wall on Friday night.
KEY STAT: Adelaide United are undefeated in their last three Liberty A-League matches against Western Sydney Wanderers (W2, D1); their two victories in that span is as many as they logged in all their 12 meetings prior in the competition (W2, D4, L6).
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: BRISBANE ROAR v MELBOURNE CITY
A brutal defeat at the hands of league-leaders Sydney FC last time out showed Melbourne City just how far they need to lift in order to challenge for the title this season.
Golden boot leader Hannah Wilkinson went scoreless in the 3-0 defeat; she’ll travel to Queensland eager to feast on a Roar defence conceding an average of two goals per game.
KEY STAT: Brisbane Roar will be aiming for back-to-back wins in the Liberty A-League against Melbourne City for the first time in the history of the competition, after their 3-2 win in their most recent meeting (31 January 2021).
ISUZU UTE A-LEAGUE: BRISBANE ROAR v WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
This is a contest between two sides craving three points.
Wanderers boss Carl Robinson is under fire, his star-studded Wanderers squad underperforming through six games to sit four points outside the top six. Off-season recruits Jack Rodwell and Tomer Hemed have English Premier League experience, but it hasn’t clicked for Western Sydney thus far.
Warren Moon has issues to sort at the Roar. Not only have they had logistical issues to deal with but their trust in predominantly local talent is not yet paying off, as they sit at the foot of the table.
The Wanderers are 10th, one point off Brisbane in 12th. A win to the Roar will send Robinson’s side one slot off the foot of the table.
KEY STAT: Western Sydney Wanderers will be aiming for back-to-back wins over Brisbane Roar in the Isuzu UTE A-League for the first time since April 2018, following their 2-0 victory in their most recent meeting (30 May 2021).
ISUZU UTE A-LEAGUE: WESTERN UNITED v MELBOURNE CITY
It’s game 350 in the A-League Men’s for veteran Nikolai Topor-Stanley on Saturday afternoon, as the Western United defender looks to help his side go level with Melbourne Victory on top of the table.
The visiting Melbourne City are without a key quartet with Jamie Maclaren, Marco Tilio, Mathew Leckie and Connor Metcalfe all on Socceroos duty. But after scoring on his City debut, ex-Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson could be one to watch as captain Scott Jamieson and Nuno Reis return from suspension.
KEY STAT: Western United have won their last two Isuzu UTE A-League matches against Melbourne City FC, after losing all their five meetings prior.
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: NEWCASTLE JETS v CANBERRA UNITED
On paper, Canberra United’s attacking trio of Michelle Heyman, Ashleigh Sykes and Allira Toby should strike fear into the hearts of all defenders who oppose them.
But the green machine’s attack is yet to click into gear this season, with two draws and six losses from six games sending Canberra just one spot off the bottom of the A-League Women’s ladder.
The Jets last featured in a finals campaign in 2017/18, and Ash Wilson’s side approach Round 9 just four points outside the top four. A packed home crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium could roar the Jets into the hunt for a spot in the finals.
KEY STAT: Canberra United have dropped five competition points from winning positions in the 2021/22 Liberty A-League season, the joint most by any team in the competition (also Brisbane Roar).
ISUZU UTE A-LEAGUE: SYDNEY FC v CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
This week saw the arrival of striker Jason Cummings on the Central Coast – a maverick footballer guaranteed to entertain, who could make his Mariners debut against Sydney FC this weekend.
The Scottish-born forward with an Australian mother has long been touted as a potential Socceroos bolter, and on Sunday afternoon the 26-year-old gets the chance to show his wares on his A-Leagues bow.
The Sky Blues host this clash after venturing to AAMI Park and taking a point off Melbourne Victory in a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.
KEY STAT: The Central Coast Mariners are undefeated in their last three A-League Men games against Sydney FC (W2, D1). They’ll now hunt for back-to-back wins against the Sky Blues for the first time in the competition since a run of three wins from December 2013 to March 2014.
ISUZU UTE A-LEAGUE: NEWCASTLE JETS v ADELAIDE UNITED
At long last, the Jets are back in action. Sunday evening will mark 42 days since Arthur Papas’ side last featured in the A-League Men’s, and the league has missed Newcastle’s entertaining, attacking football ever since.
Could this be Adelaide captain Stefan Mauk’s farewell fixture? The attacking midfielder has hinted his club exit is nigh, with a move to a Japanese club rumoured. Craig Goodwin’s Socceroos call-up puts more pressure on the undermanned Reds to perform.
KEY STAT: Adelaide United have won four of their last five Isuzu UTE A-League games against the Newcastle Jets (L1), including their last two on the bounce; neither team has ever won more than two successive iterations of this fixture.
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: PERTH GLORY v WELLINGTON PHOENIX
They were the feel good story of Round 8: a Perth Glory side defying the odds and rising above adversity to defeat the Wanderers and remain in the finals hunt.
If Perth are to finish inside the top four, they’ll need to do so by sealing points on a run of games outside of WA. Matildas legend Lisa De Vanna says she’s close to seeing out a full 90 minutes for the first time this season – could she be the key to Glory’s chances against a winless Wellington?
KEY STAT: Glory have won only one of their nine matches in the competition when facing a team for the first time (D1, L7), a 3-2 win against Adelaide United (15 November 2008).