Melbourne City can press their case for a top two A-League finish when they host Brisbane Roar on Sunday at AAMI Park.
City had sat outright second for a number of weeks but, coming off the bye, have been caught by the chasing pack of Perth and Wellington, with Adelaide not far behind.
"It is getting tight, we've got teams around us for the next few weeks which will be a great test and Brisbane are a team that's in great form - and I don't use the word great lightly - I think they're in great form," said City skipper Scott Jamieson ahead of his 250th A-League game.
"I think they're a team that's found their structure, found their way of playing and they're very comfortable in it and they seem to have found a good groove - so for us to beat them this week is a big challenge."
City have played the Roar twice this season - losing 4-3 in their first encounter and playing out a 2-2 draw in their second.
Placed sixth heading into the round, Brisbane can tighten their grip on a finals spot with victory in Melbourne.
"We've played against them twice; we've had two really good games; we've scored six goals in the two games," Roar coach Robbie Fowler said.
"So it proves that we can play and compete against one of the top teams - Melbourne are a good team, they've got real individual quality players and I think they've proven this year, when they can put in performances, then they're more than a match for anyone.
"Look, we've matched them twice but we've got to go out there (on Sunday) and work that little bit harder."
STATS THAT MATTER:
* There have been 16 goals scored in the past three A-League meetings between City and Brisbane, each team picking up one win and a draw in that time
* Brisbane won their first meeting with City (then Heart) at AAMI Park in November 2010 (2-1) but have been winless in 13 fixtures since (D3, L10)
* City are undefeated in their past four A-League games at AAMI Park (W3, D1), keeping a first-half clean sheet in each.
Stats provided by Opta