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A-League and Australian football news LIVE: Celtic, Manchester United circling young Aussie

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A-League Rev-Up: Can boring Glory grind their way to the title?

2019-01-25T03:33:00Z

Two goalless draws in less than a week have cast some doubts about Perth Glory's title credentials with a visit from Newcastle Jets set to test their tactics, if not their mettle.

Elsewhere, Western Sydney Wanderers coach Markus Babbel has admitted contracts are on the line as his side look to avoid a seventh-straight defeat.

An Australian Day Big Blue will see a Swede likely take centre stage and he's a player Sydney FC must shoot down if they hope to avoid a third consecutive loss to Melbourne Victory.

Check out our full Rev-Up here. 

Sydney FC set for A-League first as FFA make fixture changes to support ACL campaigns

2019-01-25T02:14:07Z

Football Federation Australia have made three fixture changes as they look to accomodate A-League club's Asian Champions League campaigns.

Three games in Round 22 have had their dates changed with one of those involving Sydney FC and Melbourne City also having its venue changed to Brookvale Oval.

The stadium relocation means the Sky Blues are set to host the first ever A-League game at Brookvale with the Mariners having a planned game at the venue in 2015 moved due to a poor surface. 

More fixture changes are possible should Newcastle Jets seal their place in the ACL group stages and join Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC in the competition.

"It is in all of our interests to see Australian clubs perform at their best in Asia’s premier club competition, the AFC Champions League,” FFA Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke said.

"As we have done in previous years, we have built flexibility into the Hyundai A-League season draw to give the players the best opportunity to achieve success in both competitions by considering the rest period between their respective matches.

"We have therefore focused on providing at least one additional days rest between certain matches where the Australian clubs are either travelling to or from Asia, while ensuring the general integrity and commercial interests of the Hyundai A-League competition are not compromised."

Wanderers confirm Duke signing

2019-01-25T01:12:33Z

The Western Sydney Wanderers have signed Australian attacker Mitchell Duke to an 18-month contract.

Having played for Blacktown City before a move to Central Coast Mariners early in his career, Duke arrives back in Australia after four years in Japan

Though the Wanderers are struggling right now after falling to a sixth straight defeat, Duke explained why the decision to sign was a very easy one. 

“I grew up in Liverpool so coming back to the Western Sydney Wanderers was an easy decision. It is a very good feeling to represent where you come from,” said Duke.

“There’s always been a small part of me that wanted to play at the club at some point in my career so coming back from spending the last four years in Japan was a very easy decision for me. 

“A big part of the reason to come back to Australia was my family and the football level, and there’s no better place for me to play than at my home. This club is my hometown club.

“It’s a proud moment for me and my parents are so happy for me.”

Celtic, Manchester United circling young Aussie

2019-01-25T00:21:51Z

Western Sydney young gun Stefan Nikolic is close to signing for Celtic amidst interest from Manchester United.

The Australian reporter Ray Gatt claims a deal is close for Nikolic, still just 15, to join the Hoops.

Nikolic, who currently plays for Blacktown City, scored a staggering 36 goals from 25 matches in the U15's NPL NSW Youth competition in 2018.

The young striker went even better the year before scoring 45 goals across 30 games in the U14's.

Nikolic was spotted having a medical with Celtic last year and now looks set to seal a deal with a club no stranger to Aussies. 

Honda could be kept on ice for Victory

2019-01-24T23:01:39Z

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has admitted a return date for Japanese star Keisuke Honda remains unclear, despite some promising signs.

Honda has been sidelined for over a month with a rare hamstring injury and Victory fans are counting down the days until his return.

Originally slated for a four-week absence, Honda could be wrapped up in cotton wool longer than first expected, according to Muscat. 

Read the full story here. 

Socceroos hoping for VAR help

2019-01-24T22:21:39Z

Green and gold captain Mark Milligan is hopeful the VAR can give the Socceroos an edge on foreign soil.

VAR is now active at the Asian Cup from the quarter-finals on and after seeing it used quite well in Russia, Milligan is hopeful the system can level the playing field against the UAE

"When they spoke to us before the tournament they said the operators of the VAR were going to be the same ones that operated the World Cup," Milligan said.

"I think it will hopefully help us a lot. It's always hard playing away from home, so it'll be good to have someone overwatching everything."

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is however hoping to take all the power away from any potential refereeing decisions.

"Our main thing is we don't discuss that," Arnold said.

"We want to take everything out of the referee's hands with a great performance and some goals to boot."

Le Fondre praise leads Karacan to sign with Mariners

2019-01-24T01:11:23Z

Central Coast Mariners have captured former Championship midfielder Jem Karacan after an endorsement from Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre.

Read about the Mariners' new signing.

Barbarouses gets FIFA 19 TOTW honour

2019-01-23T23:04:36Z

Melbourne Victory attacker Kosta Barbarouses has been named in FIFA 19's Team of the Week.

Barbarouses was awarded a 78-rated in-form card - which is only behind Roy Krishna's 79 IF and level with Victory teammate Keisuke Honda's base gold version.

The Kiwi scored four goals and snared an assist in his last two A-League matches - including a hat-trick against Brisbane Roar.

He joins fellow A-League stars Krishna, Craig Goodwin, Alex Brosque and Eugene Galekovic as FIFA 19 TOTW receipients.

Kosta Barbarouses FIFA TOTW