Three storylines to look out for in Round 16 of the A-League

Three storylines to look out for in Round 16 of the A-League


The A-League season continues to bustle along as teams continue to battle against fatigue in a busy January period.

A chance to establish a buffer

It is well and truly known just how important the top two positions on the A-League table are and Sydney could hold a five-point advantage over Melbourne Victory by the end of the weekend.

Saturday’s Big Blue gives Steve Corica’s men the chance to establish themselves in second position, with 11 games remaining in the season.

While there is plenty of football still to be played following the weekend’s fixtures, a five-point gap does allow the Sky Blues with some room for error for the remainder of the season.

On the other hand, they will be forced to rely on the Victory dropping points if they were to fall at AAMI Park.

The two sides have produced exciting clashes in recent years, claiming the past two championships between them, and Saturday evening should be no different.

Corica will be forced to make changes to the side that took on Wellington midweek, with Anthony Caceres and Siem De Jon ruled out through injury.

Victory meanwhile have no fresh injury concerns themselves.

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Can either side end their drought at Suncorp?

Season 2018-19 has been nothing short of a disaster for both the Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers, but both have the opportunity to restore some pride when they meet on Friday.

Both sides are in the midst of a long stretch of games without a win, with the Roar having drawn just two of their past 10 matches while the Wanderers have lost their past six outings.

While it appears any hope of finals football is out of the question, both sides will be hoping to use the rest of the campaign for a glimpse into the future in remaining matches.

The Wanderers gave up the lead to fall 4-3 in their previous outing against Melbourne City, so they will be keen to write the wrongs of their midweek fixture.

Meanwhile the Roar will be hoping to taste victory for the first time since Round 5.

Can Wellington defy recent history against City?

Recent history suggests that Melbourne City don’t mind a trip across the Tasman to take on the Phoenix, having won three of their past four fixtures in Wellington.

In the most recent match between the two sides at Westpac Stadium, City secured a dominant 5-1 victory, but a similar result looks highly unlikely.

Mark Rudan’s side will be keen to get back on the winners’ list after their nine-game undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of Sydney FC during the week. While City will be looking to continue their winning ways after they defeated the Wanderers.

With positions in the top six becoming so tight, all three points here could be critical for either side.