The halfway point of the A-League season is fast approaching with clubs inside the top six continuing to add to their advantage over the bottom four clubs.
Victory or bust for the Newcastle Jets?
Things certainly haven’t gone to plan for Ernie Merrick’s Jets this season after they made a remarkable run to the grand final last campaign.
Unlike last season, the Jets have failed to tuck away their chances when it has mattered most and that has come back to bite them as they have looked to make in roads into the top six in recent weeks.
Right now it appears as if the Jets’ season will end in disappointment as they currently sit seven points behind the sixth placed Wellington Phoenix.
That’s what makes this week’s trip to Melbourne to take on the Victory even more important.
If they were to lose this game, the Jets could find themselves 10 points outside the finals race at the end of the weekend, depending on results.
A win is needed more than ever.
Can Adelaide take it to another title contender?
In their midweek fixture against last season’s champions, Adelaide produced what Marko Kurz labelled as his side’s best 45 minutes of the season so far.
Throughout that first 45 minutes against the Victory, Kurz’s side dominated possession and virtually created chances at will as they brought the visitor’s unbeaten run to an end.
Now their trip to Sydney presents them with another challenge of showing they can match it with the best side’s in the competition.
With the halfway point of the competition quickly approaching, the current top three of Perth Glory, Victory and Sydney FC appear most likely to challenge for the title.
But if the Reds can continue to spring surprises, maybe we should start questioning whether they have what it takes to taste the ultimate success.
— Daily Football Show (@DFS_AUS) January 11, 2019
Life doesn’t get any easier for Western Sydney
In their past two matches, the Wanderers could have easily picked up at least a point but familiar storylines have emerged.
During Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Phoenix, defensive lapses proved costly as Markus Babbel’s men fell to their fifth straight game without a victory – and things aren’t about to get any easier.
This weekend will see the Wanderers travel across the country to take on a rampaging Glory side who came from behind to secure a victory over Sydney on Wednesday evening.
That result saw Tony Popovic’s side move six points clear at the top of the table as they firm into championship favouritism.
While they have been improving in recent weeks, the loss to the Phoenix was another confidence blow which could prove telling in this fixture.