There's a fascinating midfield battle in store to open the round when Adelaide United's midfield metronome Isaias Sanchez goes up against Melbourne Heart's towering marquee Orlando Engelaar.
The Dutch veteran has been compared to former Arsenal and France great Patrick Vieira and his playing style - eating up ground with his giant stride and popping up all over the pitch without appearing to exert himself - bears more than a passing resemblance to Manchester City's all-action Ivory Coast international.
Isaias meanwhile is a classic Catalan number four, a graduate of La Masia who keeps the ball moving and rarely gives it away. Which player comes out on top on Friday night could go some way to deciding the outcome of this game.
2. Will the real Tom Rogic please stand up?
Less than four months into his loan stay at Melbourne Victory and questions are being asked about the player who had been heralded as the Socceroos' long-term saviour. Undeniably talented and capable of taking teams apart with his eye for a killer pass, not enough of that ability and vision has been seen in a navy blue and white shirt.
With his lopping gait and slumped shoulders, Rogic cuts a disinterested, hangdog figure even when it's going for him. When it's not, he leaves himself open to accusations of disinterest and laziness. It's easy to see now why he fell from favour at his Scottish Premiership club, in a league where bluster and energy, no matter how aimless, is prized above more subtle qualities.
If he recovers from groin soreness to return to the team against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday, the 21-year-old needs to produce a performance worthy of his billing as the next big thing.
3. Grand final preview in Parramatta?
It's not the Premiers' Plate decider we hoped for early in the campaign when these two sides shaped as likely contenders for the regular season title. But Brisbane Roar will be expected to reach the grand final and there's no reason Tony Popovic's side can't still get there, regardless of whether or not they earn a top-two finish.
The Wanderers, fighting to overtake Central Coast and stay ahead of the Melbourne Victory and Adelaide, have more to play for at Pirtek Stadium, but expect the visitors to try and make a statement ahead of the finals with a strong performance at the home of one of their nearest challengers.
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4. A mini great escape for Perth Glory?
They loved dead certs to pick up the wooden spoon going into last weekend's matches, having failed to produce a convincing performance for weeks under lame duck interim coach Kenny Lowe. A late turnaround to beat Newcastle 2-1 on Sunday has given the Glory hope of avoiding their first wooden spoon, but now they need to derail the reigning champions' charge to a top-two finish.
Unlike the careless Jets, the Mariners - battle hardened by their AFC Champions League exploits and hitting their stride at just the right time - will not be a soft target.
5. Can the Sky Blues take the initiative when it matters?
Sydney have been a reactive team in the last two weeks, shutting up shop and holding out for a point away to Melbourne Victory last Saturday night. A week earlier, they proved unable to deny Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium, losing 3-1.
The last time Frank Farina's men were obliged to go on the front foot was at home to 10-man Brisbane Roar in the second half of their match at ANZ Stadium last month. Missing Alessandro Del Piero in that one, they proved unable to trouble the visitors, although plenty of other sides have encountered the same issue when the premiers go a man down.
On Sunday they must get on the front foot and attack Wellington Phoenix. It remains to be seen if they can remember how.