A look at the action in round 21 of the A-League season.
PREVIEW OF A-LEAGUE ROUND 21 MATCHES (all times AEDT):
FRIDAY, Feb 28
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 8pm
Head to head: Sydney 11, Wanderers 5, drawn 6
Last clash: Round 3, 2019-20, Wanderers 1-0 at Bankwest Stadium
For all their dominance this season, leaders Sydney FC have a serious itch to scratch when they host the re-scheduled derby. Their only loss this season came in round three against the Wanderers. Since then it's been 12 wins and a draw for the Sky Blues while their cross-town rivals have slumped to eighth. Western Sydney's confidence levels should have been restored by last week's 5-2 shellacking of Adelaide United and coach John-Paul de Marigny is demanding the same intensity that they mustered fourth months ago.
Key: Mitchell Duke - The Wanderers skipper bagged the lone goal in October and is peaking nicely, having registered twice in last weekend's blitz of the Reds.
Tip: Sydney FC.
SATURDAY, Feb 22
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium, 5pm
Head to head: Glory 27, Jets 8, drawn 9
Last clash: Round 11, 2019-20, Glory 6-2 at HBF Park
Interest in Newcastle has heightened following the midweek signing of former Socceroos striker Bernie Ibini and long-serving Welsh international midfielder Joe Ledley on short-term contracts. The Jets had been performing well under Carl Robinson anyway and could pack enough firepower to challenge the second-placed Glory. Perth haven't lost in their last 12 visits to the Hunter and last week's 1-1 draw with Brisbane was the first time they'd conceded a goal on the road since November.
Key: Diego Castro - El Maestro didn't looked like he'd missed the previous two weeks with injury when returning in sharp form for Perth last week. Bagged a double in the 6-2 rout of the Jets in December.
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United at Marvel Stadium, 7.30pm
Head to head: Victory 25, Adelaide 16, drawn 10
Last clash: Round 15, 2019-20, Adelaide 1-0 at Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United will be keen to inflict further pain on old rivals Melbourne Victory, who have now gone six A-League games without a win after their 1-1 draw at Newcastle last weekend. Victory are nine points adrift of the top six and any slim hope of a finals berth may well be extinguished with a third defeat to Adelaide this season. The Reds suffered a shock 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Western Sydney with coach Gertjan Verbeek slamming his team's defending post-match.
Key: Can Adelaide tighten up at the back? Only Central Coast and Newcastle have conceded more than the Reds' 32 goals this season.
SUNDAY, March 1
Western United v Central Coast Mariners at GMHBA Stadium, 4pm
Head to head: Western United 1, Mariners 1, drawn 0
Last clash: Round 15, 2019-20, Western United 3-0 at GMBHA Stadium
Two teams boasting rotten form square of in Geelong, with the home side desperate to rediscover their scoring touch and the Mariners eager to stem the flow of goals against them. Western United's only win since December 13 was against the same opponents at the same venue. They've managed just four shots on goal in their last three games, failing to trouble the scorers on each occasion to lose touch with the top six. The Mariners' acquisition of another wooden spoon seems inevitable unless they shore up a defence that has leaked 12 goals in their last four.
Key: Daniel de Silva - Looks in creative form after unleashing some deft touches for the Mariners in a losing cause against his former club Sydney FC last week.
Tip: Western United.
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park, 6.30pm
Head to head: City 13, Roar 11, drawn 6
Last clash: Round 14, 2019-20, drawn 2-2 at Suncorp Stadium
If this season's earlier matches are anything to go by expect goals at AAMI Park on Sunday. The Roar came from behind to beat City 4-3 in November and both teams shared the spoils in a four-goal thriller in January. Brisbane's 1-1 draw with Perth Glory means Robbie Fowler's men have the chance to close within a point of third-placed City with a win. City lost second-place as they sat out last weekend with a bye but will be hoping that break snaps a run of just one win from their past four games.
Key: Jay O'Shea. The Irish midfielder is the creative fulcrum of Robbie Fowler's team and his set-piece delivery has been crucial.
(Bye: Wellington Phoenix)