At halftime of Saturday’s game we will be at the exact midway point of the 2017/2018 A-League season.
So far it has been Sydney FC’s story and the other nine teams forced into supporting roles as they romp through the competition.
Their opponents this week, Newcastle are the leading candidates for breakout performer however as they find themselves comfortably in second spot despite losing two key attackers.
Here is our insider A-League Round 14 Preview and the recommended plays for each game.
Sydney FC Vs Newcastle Jets
Wednesday 3 January, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
Coming off a 6-0 win you would think that Sydney would risk overconfidence however having the nearest team on the ladder coming to town on short rest is music to Graham Arnold’s ears.
With a chance to extend their lead on the table to 11 points and start preparing for the Asian Champions League, Sydney will be ready to go in this game.
Newcastle have not lost back to back games this season and are coming off a tight loss in Melbourne.
They should be able to run Sydney close and make them work for their victory but it is nearly impossible to see anything other than a Sydney win.
Back Sydney FC to Win & Over 3.5 Goals @ $3.50
Brisbane Roar Vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday 5 January, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
It might not have looked like the old Roarcelona teams last Saturday, but Brisbane showed plenty of resilience to steal three points in Adelaide last weekend.
In a season where they have faded badly, they were able to keep United at bay despite condeding almost 75% possession.
When they return home Friday night for the first of two games in three days, they will face a Wanderers side in crisis as Josep Gombau builds his new side.
The Roar will have to do it without their skipper who has been suspended but they should be able to rely on Massimo Maccarone who has been finding the net regularly of late.
Back Brisbane Roar to Win @ $2.40
Perth Glory Vs Adelaide United
Friday 5 January, 10:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth will want to forget their New Years nightmare when they host Adelaide, who will probably feel hard done by to not get a point at home against Brisbane.
The Glory are reliably unreliable this year and are capable of winning or losing any game 4-0 it seems.
Adelaide were punished for two errors last week and will want to avoid making those mistakes again however for the time being play it safe here and look for a stalemate in the west.
Back the Draw @ $3.00
Melbourne Victory Vs Central Coast Mariners
Saturday 6 January, 5:35pm, Simonds Stadium
A little late to the party but Melbourne Victory finally look like the side that went to last season’s Grand Final.
Three straight wins including last week’s statement over Newcastle and they are now up to third as local rivals City are in free fall.
Central Coast are struggling to find goals at the moment, without a goal since Blake Powell’s 78th minute strike against Perth on December 3.
Since then it has been 372 minutes (plus stoppage time) of goalless football and with the Victory gaining steam, take the home side.
Back Victory to Win to Nil @ $3.00
Melbourne City Vs Wellington Phoenix
Saturday 6 January, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City are in desperate need of a change in fortune (figuratively of course) after three straight losses.
Wellington are coming off the A-League’s first draw since December 9, which funnily enough the also played in.
This game has the makings of another draw as both sides desperately search for that confidence boost they need to attack the back end of the A-League calendar.
Back the Draw @ $4.00
The extremely busy period in the A-League comes to an end this weekend and most teams have played three matches in just over a week.
The match of the round is on Friday night when Melbourne City host the Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium before Adelaide United face Melbourne Victory in a twilight fixture on Sunday.
We have analysed every game in the A-League this weekend and you can find out thoughts on each fixture below.
Perth Glory Vs Wellington Phoenix
Thursday 5 January, 8:00pm, NIB Stadium
The Perth Glory have not won a game for well over a month, but they will still start this clash with the Wellington Phoenix as clear favourites.
Perth have won four of their past seven games as home favourites for a narrow loss, while the Wellington Phoenix have actually won three of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a clear profit.
Back Wellington To Win @ $3.10
Melbourne City Vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday 6 January, 6:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City are another team that have struggled in recent weeks and they have drawn four of their past five games.
They will still start this clash as clear favourites and they have won nine of their past 13 games as home favourites.
The Western Sydney Wanderers have won just one of their past eight games as away underdogs and will struggle at AAMI Park.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $1.83
Brisbane Roar Vs Newcastle Jets
Saturday 7 January, 4:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Roar are dominant favourites, but they were beaten by the Newcastle Jets earlier this season and their record against the Jets is surprisingly strong.
Newcastle have only won one of their past 12 games as away underdogs and this is a clash that the market looks to have got just about right.
Adelaide United Vs Melbourne Victory
Sunday 7 January, 6:50pm, Coopers Stadium
Melbourne Victory have won six of their past seven games and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Victory have won three of their past six games as away favourites for a very small loss, while Adelaide United don’t have a great record as home underdogs.
Melbourne should be able to win again and the fact that better than even money is available is a real gift.
Back Melbourne To Win @ $2.10
Central Coast Mariners Vs Sydney FC
Sunday 8 January, 4:00pm, Central Coast Stadium Stadium
Sydney FC have been nothing short of outstanding during the A-League season to date and they are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend.
Sydney have won six of their past eight games as away favourites, while the Central Coast Mariners have won just one of their past 11 games as home underdogs.
Back Sydney FC To Win To Nil @ $2.63