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A-League Rev-Up: A glorious grand final preview and top-six decider

00:39 GMT 28/03/2019
Keisuke Honda Melbourne Victory Perth Glory
A decisive weekend of A-League actions awaits...

After the lull of an international break without any Socceroos action, the A-League is back and out to deliver an almighty bang.

From the top six on the verge of being cemented to a potential grand final preview in Perth, Round 23 promises to be a cracker.

Get revved-up, a huge round of A-League awaits...


Newcastle Jets' top-six hopes on the line


After falling to Central Coast Mariners in dramatic fashion last time out, Newcastle Jets' desperate finals football chase hit a considerable hurdle.

They'll now travel to Wellington this weekend five points shy of sixth-placed Adelaide United with five games to play.

Phoenix meanwhile welcome the Jets thoroughly entrenched in the top six, sitting fourth and eight points clear of the Jets.

A top-six spot is vital for both sides with Newcastle desperate to keep their revival going having reached the A-League decider last campaign. 

"We have progressed to a good point as a club over the past few years," Nigel Boogaard said on Thursday.

"We need to make finals to make sure that we keep going in the right direction."


A grand final preview in Perth?


Having already played out two classics this season, Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory will face off for a third time on Saturday night - with a fourth encounter in the finals a distinct possibility.

Glory have won the side's past two matches this season and another three points will all but hand them the Premiers' Plate.

Should Victory win on Saturday, however, they could find themselves in second place and in pole position to face off against Perth in the grand final come May.

While Perth have been the most consistent side this season, Kevin Muscat's men have shown flashes of brilliance with their finals experience likely to give them an important edge come finals.

With Sydney FC failing to impress in recent weeks, it's hard to go past these two sides as likely grand final opponents with Saturday's showdown a tantalising tease of possibly an even bigger clash to come.


Stajcic set to take advantage of Kurz drama


New Central Coast Mariners coach Alen Stajcic is no stranger to drama.

After his controversial sacking as Matildas coach, Stajcic's first game in charge of the Mariners was an incredible spectacle as his side somehow hung on for a 3-2 win. 

But Stajcic will be hoping for a much more straight-forward result on Sunday and could benefit from behind the scenes drama at Adelaide United.

The Reds have confirmed coach Marco Kurz will be leaving at season's end and the side have struggled in recent weeks. 

On the back of consecutive defeats, Adelaide haven't scored in three straight games and have failed to win across their past five matches. 

That leaves the Reds clinging to sixth spot, five points clear of a fast-finishing Jets with the Mariners keen to throw another spanner in the works in regards to the top-six. 

While Central Coast conceded twice in the last half hour against Newcastle, the side looked a lot tighter defensively under Stajcic and they'll back themselves to keep out a goal-shy Adelaide outfit.