One of the last clubs to resume playing in the A-League, Western Sydney will be in chase mode as they try to earn a finals spot.
Western Sydney Wanderers will be in chase mode when they resume their A-League campaign on Monday evening against last-placed Central Coast in Gosford.
The Wanderers are one of just two clubs not to have played since the competition restarted on July 17, with Melbourne City the other.
Western Sydney have dropped to ninth and the four teams immediately above them have all had a win since the competition resumed.
They are five points behind sixth-placed Adelaide with two games in hand, and two behind Newcastle in eighth, having played three less games than the Jets.
Seventh-placed Western United are potentially their biggest hurdle, as Wanderers trail them by four points and goal difference, having played the same amount of matches.
"Every game in our last five matches is big and it's important to get to those finals," Wanderers' captain Mitchell Duke said.
Wanderers haven't made the finals since 2016-17.
Both forward Duke and JP de Marigny, who has been promoted from interim to fulltime coach, believe the long wait to play a game could be beneficial to their club.
"Hopefully a good thing for us, more time to prepare and to get our condition up and be ready for our first game," Duke said.
The Mariners have already played two matches in Gosford since the competition resumed, losing 1-0 to Perth and drawing 0-0 with Newcastle .
While that draw ended an equal league all-time record of 11 straight losses, they remain bottom of the table and will collect a third straight wooden spoon and fourth in the last five seasons.
Nonetheless, Wanderers won't be taking the Mariners lightly.
"The Mariners can be a dangerous team because they are so desperate for a win," Duke said.
"We've got to be prepared for a big fight, we know they can still perform and do something and can hurt you if you switch off."