A-League preview: Latest round of men’s fixtures previewed

Ladder supremacy and a grand final berth are on offer when AAMI Park hosts two Melbourne derbies. Check out the full preview for each match in the A-League Men and Women.

Ladder supremacy and a grand final berth are on offer when AAMI Park hosts two of the most highly-charged Melbourne derbies in 24 hours this weekend.

Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will lock horns twice in as many days, after a quirk of fixturing fate has landed two high-octane Melbourne derbies.

Over 25,000 boisterous fans are expected to attend the games, as Victory’s Tony Popovic-led rebirth takes shape, while Melbourne City aim to reclaim their women’s supremacy after Victory broke their streak of four titles in five years.

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The newest piece of silverware, the newly-created A-Leagues Club Championship ladder – akin to Formula One’s version of the Constructors Championship – is also on offer, combining the men’s and women’s results, with City leading, ahead of fourth-place Victory.

Socceroos star Mathew Leckie could return for City’s star-studded and prolific attack (A-League leading 38 goals in 18 games), led by golden boot leader Jamie Maclaren (12 goals).

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Rising star Marco Tilio, 20, made his Socceroos debut against Vietnam at AAMI Park, continuing his rapid rise, and he looms as a huge threat to Victory.

“It’s been a rollercoaster, everything has come so quick, but as a footballer you want these opportunities and you want to play in these big games,” Tilio said.

“For me it’s about taking these opportunities and taking them – whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, it’s just about giving it my all and making an impact on the game and the team.”

Melbourne Victory is chasing cross-town rivals Melbourne City. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty
Melbourne Victory is chasing cross-town rivals Melbourne City. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty

Victory can draw to within eight points of Patrick Kisnorbo’s City with Covid, FFA Cup and Asian Champions League commitments leaving them with four games in hand.

Inspired by Socceroos great John Aloisi, Victoria’s newest A-league club Western United are threatening City and Victory’s local on-field supremacy, sitting just behind City.

Matildas midfielder Kyra Cooney-Cross will return to Jeff Hopkins squad for Sunday’s semi-final, with Victory buoyed by Melina Ayres’ sudden impact, scoring in her first start of the season after returning from injury.

A-LEAGUE FIXTURES

FRIDAY

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix

McDonald Jones Stadium

Kick-off: 7.45pm

TV: Paramount +

Odds: Jets $2.30, Draw $3.50, Wellington $2.90

Newcastle hosts a hungry Wellington outfit eager to atone for a shock defeat at the hands of last-placed Brisbane Roar. That result snapped Wellington’s seven-game unbeaten run, preventing Ufuk Talay’s side from breaking into the top six.

Newcastle, meanwhile are on a three-game losing streak after conceding two 88-minute goals in consecutive one-goal defeats.

SATURDAY

Central Coast v Macarthur FC

Glen Willow Stadium

Kick-off: 5.05pm

TV: Paramount+

Odds: Mariners $2.15, Draw $3.45, Bulls $3.30

If the last meeting between these two sides is anything to go by, look out for goals selected from the top drawer on Saturday afternoon.

A 3-3 draw earlier this season saw incredible goals scored by both teams; this time around the Mariners and Bulls renew their rivalry in Mudgee at Glen Willow Stadium.

Captain Ulises Davila scored twice in his side’s recent 3-1 win over Western Sydney to end a two-game losing run.

Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory

AAMI Park

Kick-off: 7.45pm

TV: Paramount+, Network 10

Radio: SEN Fanatic

Odds: City $1.75, Draw $3.80, Victory $4.25

Postponed by one week, the rescheduled Melbourne Derby presents the chance for Melbourne City to break clear at the top of the table by securing a point or more against Melbourne Victory.

Currently locked on 33 points with Western United, City must continue to accumulate positive results considering Western hold two games in hand. Victory start the weekend 11 points behind the top two but hold four games in hand over their Saturday-night opponents.

A game of the season contender unfolded at AAMI Park when these two sides met for the first time this season in December, 2021: a 2-2 draw in which City came from behind to lead before a late Nicholas D’Agostino leveller earned Victory a point.

Sydney FC v Western United

Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Kick-off: 7.45pm

TV: Paramount+

Odds: Sydney $2.02, Draw $3.40, Western $3.60

Former Dutch international Luciano Narsingh is in contention to make his home debut as Sydney FC welcomes Western United to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. The former PSV Eindhoven winger has featured twice for the Sky Blues to date.

Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar

HBF Park

Kick-off: 7.45pm

TV: Paramount+

Odds: Perth $2.50, Draw $3.30, Brisbane $2.75

The task is simple for both Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar on Saturday night: Defeat your opponent and leave them stranded at the foot of the table.

SUNDAY

Western Sydney v Adelaide United

CommBank Stadium

Kick-off: 7.05pm

TV: Paramount+

Odds: Wanderers $2.10, Draw $3.50, Adelaide $3.30

Western Sydney and Adelaide meet for the second time in five days. The Reds begin the weekend securely positioned in the top four, while the Wanderers look to close the gap on the sides in finals contention.

Originally published as A-League preview: Latest round of men’s fixtures previewed