Wellington v Central Coast (Fri 5:30pm AEST)
The first game of Round 26 sees the Wellington Phoenix host the Central Coast Mariners at Westpac Stadium. I'm in a bit of hurry to get the previews out this week but this isn't a game that needs to be raved on about too much. It's much more important for Wellington to get a win here than it is the visitors.
Wellington's premiership hopes have all but faded but they can still finish second and skip week one of the finals with a bit of luck. A loss in this game could be difference between a home final and a final on the road so it's a crucial game for the Phoenix. As for my tip, I can't see the Mariners posing too much of a threat.
My Tip: Wellington 3-0 Central Coast
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC (Fri 7:30pm AEST)
The last home game for Newcastle this year sees the Jets host premiership-chasing Sydney FC. The Sky Blues need a win here to keep their slim hopes of lifting the Premiers' Plate alive.
The Jets caused a major upset in Melbourne last week but Sydney FC I think will be too strong. The Jets have improved in the last few weeks but a lack of firepower in front of goal has cost them chances and with Marc Janko in the Sydney side tonight, I think it'll be the visitors leaving Hunter Stadium with the three points.
My Tip: Newcastle 0-2 Sydney FC
Western Sydney v Adelaide United (Sat 5pm AEST)
The Wanderers are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon but are coming up against an Adelaide side that are still a slim chance of lifting the premiership but a more likely chance of securing a home final and maybe even a trip straight to a Grand Final Qualifier.
Josep Gombau's men were beaten at home by Brisbane last week and will not want to fall to two straight losses. The Wanderers will need to improve if they want to win this and it's certainly not impossible but Adelaide should be too classy for the Wanderers.
My Tip: Western Sydney 1-2 Adelaide United
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory (Sat 7:30 AEST)
These two sides clashed mid-week at the same venue and with the premiership on the line, I wouldn't be surprised to see the same result. Victory have so much more to fight for. Silverware is on the line and the fact is, Victory haven't won a trophy in five years. That's a long wait for what is one of the biggest teams in Australia, if not the biggest.
Victory would still have a big chance of lifting the premiership even with a loss here due to superior goal difference and the fact that they play the lowly Mariners next week but Kevin Muscat will want his side to keep their foot down leading into the finals.
I think the Victory will win on Saturday night and all but secure the Premiers Plate. Of course they won't lift the trophy on Saturday unless Sydney lose on Friday night but unless Sydney beat the Jets 5-0 or so, a win on Saturday will allow Victory to put a hand on the trophy. Victory for my money.
My Tip: Brisbane 1-2 Melb Victory
*MORE GAMES TO FOLLOW*