It is a bumper week of A-League soccer with eight games across six days with both Round 12 and Round 13 taking place this week.
Three more games of the split Round 12 schedule will be played in midweek with the pick being the clash between Perth Glory and Sydney FC.
Then the Round 13 action get underway on Friday night with five games across the weekend as we reach the halfway point of the A-League season.
We preview each of the games below:
Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix
Tuesday, January 8
Wellington Phoenix are on a six-game unbeaten streak following their 0-0 stalemate with Adelaide United in Round 11, and they continue to be the most improved team of the 2018/19 season. The Wanderers have still just won just two games all season and heading into this fixture on the back of a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory. Their last win came on December 7 against the bottom-placed Central Coast Mariners, and they desperately need all three points to keep pace with the finals places. The Wanderers have a great recent record against Wellington, winning their last three encounters but this Phoenix side is playing much better football at the moment. Back them to continue the unbeaten run.
Prediction: Phoenix win ($3.45 TopBetta)
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Wednesday, January 9
Melbourne Victory bid for a fourth straight win over Adelaide when the two traditional rivals clash. After consecutive 1-1 draws with Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City, Victory returned to the winners circle with a 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. The win means they keep pace with leaders Perth Glory and firmly in the hunt for the premiers plate. Adelaide have won just one of their last five games coming into this showdown, but they did dig out a 0-0 draw with the in-form Phoenix in Round 11, so they do bring decent form into this encounter. Victory should make it four wins on the bounce over the Reds.
Prediction: Victory win ($2.60 MadBookie)
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
Wednesday, January 9
Perth have only lost one game all season but that came against Sydney FC. Both teams come into this showdown on the back of big come-from-behind victories in Round 11, with Sydney taking out the bottom-placed Mariners 5-2 and Perth recovering from a 2-0 deficit to score three goals in the last 10 minutes to defeat Brisbane Roar 4-2. Ladder leaders Glory aren’t showing any signs of slowing down after their brilliant start to the season, but this is arguably their biggest challenge of the campaign as they come up against the only side to have taken three points off them so far. Sydney have a dominant record against Perth having won their last 10 encounters dating back to 2016, including a 2-1 win earlier this season. They can repeat that success.
Prediction: Sydney FC win ($2.62 TopBetta)
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Friday, January 11
Two straight wins and a four-match unbeaten run has moved Melbourne City firmly into the top four. They come into this on the back of wins over the Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets, along with a 1-1 draw with Victory in the Melbourne derby. Just three points off second spot, City can maintain the pressure on the leaders when they face a Brisbane which has just one win from 12 matches. Roar’s only win this season did come over City with a 2-0 victory at home, but City did win the three games before that.
Prediction: City win ($1.57 MadBookie)
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Saturday, January 12
Wellington Phoenix are now seven games without a loss and will be confident of extending that run against the struggling Central Coast Mariners. Phoenix claimed a nailbiting win in their last outing midweek against the Western Sydney Wanderers, scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes to secure a 3-2 victory, but things should be easier against the Mariners. Officially making the worst start to a season of any A-League side, the Mariners have hit an all-time low in going winless over the first 12 rounds, earning just two points and being 17 points adrift of a finals spot. The Mariners scored a big 4-1 win in their last trip across the ditch in 2017, but that almost certainly won’t happen again.
Prediction: Phoenix win ($1.53 TopBetta)
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, January 12
After falling to a surprise 2-0 defeat to Adelaide midweek, Melbourne Victory have now won just one of their last four games to drop six points behind leaders Perth Glory. There’s no coincidence that Victory’s dip in form has coincided with Keisuke Honda’s injury, with the Japanese star set to be sidelined for a few more weeks. Newcastle Jets have been made to rue missed chances in recent games, but will they produce the goods in a rematch of last season’s Grand Final, which Victory won 1-0? Victory will be determined to bounce back and expect three points from the home team in this one.
Prediction: Victory win ($1.93 MadBookie)
Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Sunday, January 13
After going down 2-1 to Adelaide in the FFA Cup final at the beginning of the season, Sydney will be out to turn the tables. But the Sky Blues will need to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to competition leaders Perth Glory in midweek which saw their four-match winning streak come to an end. Adelaide produced one of their best performances in months to dismantle Melbourne Victory 2-0 midweek and are now unbeaten in their last four matches. Sydney have history on their side against the Reds, who they haven’t lost to in the A-League since 2016.
Prediction: Sydney win ($1.91 TopBetta)
Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday, January 13
With just two wins from 12 matches this season and 10 points adrift of a finals spot, the Wanderers could be in for a long night against competition leaders Perth. The Wanderers are now winless in their last five matches, while Perth have opened up a six point gap at the top of the ladder following their 3-1 win over rivals Sydney FC midweek. Glory have still lost just the one game all season, winning nine of their 12 games and it’s hard to see the home side losing this one.
Prediction: Glory win ($1.64 MadBookie)