A-League round-two preview panel


FRIDAY, October 18:

Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney at Marvel Stadium, 7:30pm

Head to head: Victory 13 Wanderers 4 drawn 4

Last clash: Round 27, 2018-19 - Wanderers 0 Victory 1 at ANZ Stadium

A positive start for Western Sydney with captain Mitch Duke's late penalty securing a 2-1 opening-round win over Central Coast. They'll be without Tarek Elrich (hamstring) and Patrick Ziegler (knee) for the trip to Melbourne to face a Victory side hunting their first win under Marco Kurz. Injuries to Robbie Kruse and Tim Hoogland should help the Wanderers' chances of springing an upset.

Key: Western Sydney's tall timber. With Alex Meier (195cm), Matt Jurman (190cm) and Dylan McGowan (187cm) at their disposal, the Wanderers are a threat from set pieces.

Tip: Draw

SATURDAY, October 19:

Western United v Perth at GMHBA Stadium, 5:00pm

Head to head: None

Last clash: No previous matches

Another landmark for Western United with their first home game. The expansion club started life in the A-League on a winning note with a 1-0 triumph over Wellington, courtesy of Besart Berisha's first-half volley. But they'll face a much tougher task against last year's premiers, who shared the points last week with Brisbane at home.

Key: The Glory's double threat up forward of Bruno Fornaroli and Chris Ikonomidis are gelling well and already look like they'll take some stopping.

Tip: Perth

Central Coast v Newcastle at Central Coast Stadium, 7:30pm

Head to head: Mariners 15 Jets 16 drawn 16

Last clash: Round 22, 2018-19 - Jets 2 Mariners 3 at McDonald Jones Stadium

A big boost for Central Coast with captain and striker Matt Simon returning from suspension to take on their fierce rivals. The Mariners looked competitive during last week's defeat to Western Sydney and will hope to put together a better campaign this season. The Jets have had the wood over the Mariners in recent years and will be refreshed after an opening-round bye.

Key: The Jets are excited about off-season signing Abdiel Arroyo. The Panamanian international anchored his nation's attack at last year's World Cup.

Tip: Draw

SUNDAY, October 20:

Melbourne City v Adelaide United at AAMI Park, 4:00pm

Head to head: City 10 Adelaide 11 drawn 8

Last clash: Elimination final, 2018-19 - Adelaide 1 City 0 at Coopers Stadium

An intriguing clash given the two sides will also face off in Adelaide just three days later for the FFA Cup final. Both teams are searching for their first win of the season - City drew 0-0 with cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory last week while Adelaide lost to Sydney FC at home. Jamie Maclaren is back from international duties for City while James Troisi might make his Reds debut.

Key: With City creating plenty of chances in their first game under Erick Mombaerts, Maclaren is a huge inclusion after netting a hat-trick for the Socceroos against Nepal.

Tip: City

Sydney FC v Wellington at Leichardt Oval, 6:00pm

Head to head: Sydney 21 Wellington 13 drawn 4

Last clash: Round 20, 2018-19 - Wellington 0 Sydney 1 at Campbelltown Stadium

It might be a long season for Wellington after a listless 1-0 loss to newcomers Western United. Without a proven goalscorer to replace Roy Krishna and David Williams, the Nix struggled to create chances and their schedule over the next month won't get any easier. Reigning champions Sydney scored a feisty 3-2 win over Adelaide thanks to a late header from Ryan McGowan.

Key: Socceroos duo Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne return from international duty, adding firepower to an already potent Sydney line-up.

Tip: Sydney