PREVIEW OF A-LEAGUE ROUND 15 MATCHES (all times AEDT):
FRIDAY, Jan 17
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium, 7.30pm
Head to head: Adelaide 15, Victory 24, drawn 9
Last clash: Round 7, 2019-20, Adelaide 3-1 at Coopers Stadium
Melbourne Victory head to South Australia for the latest instalment of their rivalry as Adelaide endures a tumultuous week. Former Reds boss Marco Kurz won't be back at Coopers Stadium after being sacked midweek just 13 games into his reign. Spaniard Carlos Salvachua will take the helm for the remainder of the season and can instantly endear himself to Victory fans with a win over the Reds. Adelaide have slumped to seventh after four straight defeats and will be desperate to get back to winning ways. Swedish captain Ola Toivonen is back for Victory, while Mirko Boland has recovered from injury to be named by the Reds.
Key: Riley McGree. The banned Olyroo scored twice the last time these teams met and with James Troisi's future at the Reds under a cloud, McGree is the man who can make a difference for Gertjan Verbeek's side.
SATURDAY, Jan 18
Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium, 5pm
Head to head: Roar 19, Phoenix 8, drawn 10
Last clash: Round 7, 2019-20, Phoenix 2-1 at Westpac Stadium
Wellington head to Queensland on a club record-equalling nine-match unbeaten run that has lifted Ufuk Talay's team to fourth place. A battling 2-2 draw against Melbourne City last weekend meant the Roar are unbeaten in their past three matches but Robbie Fowler is eager for his side to claim wins not draws as they try to stay in touch with the top six. Skipper Tom Aldred will miss the match through suspension while the Roar are also sweating on the fitness of experienced fullback Scott Neville, who limped off early with a lower-leg injury in the draw with City. English forward David Ball returns from injury for the Phoenix.
Key: Ulises Davila. The Mexican is fast making a case to be the signing of the season having scored nine goals in 13 matches for the Phoenix.
Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park, 7.30pm
Head to head: City 14, Jets 11, drawn 4
Last clash: Round 10, 2019-20, City 4-0 at McDonald Jones Stadium
Second-placed City were unlucky not to get all three points last weekend against Brisbane and defender Scott Galloway came back from Queensland with what coach Erick Mombaerts called a "big injury" to his ankle. Galloway has been ruled for the visit of bottom-placed Newcastle, although Harrison Delbridge returns from suspension and new signing Markel Susaeta has been named in the squad for a possible A-League debut. The Jets, beaten 2-1 by league leaders Sydney FC in the first match since Ernie Merrick's sacking, head south without injured goalkeeper Glen Moss (calf), while interim coach Craig Deans has named three Petratos clan members in his squad, with Maki joining brothers Dimi and Kosta.
Key: Jamie Maclaren. The Socceroo was kept oddly quiet against former club Brisbane last week but loves a goal against the Jets, having scored nine in 13 against Newcastle.
SUNDAY, Jan 19
Western United v Central Coast Mariners at GMHBA Stadium, 4pm
Head to head: Mariners 1, United 0, drawn 0
Last clash: Round 7, 2019-20, Mariners 1-0 at Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast claimed a dramatic 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory last Sunday with two stoppage time penalties to club captain Matt Simon securing the comeback victory. Mariners coach Alen Stajcic has emphasised the need for his team to build on that win and string regular performances together. Western United is hoping last weekend's bye snaps them out of a mid-season funk. Mark Rudan's team last won in mid-December and are in danger of slipping out of the top six if they suffer a third straight defeat on Sunday. Mariners youngster Sam Silvera is unavailable after being granted leave to go on trial with MLS club Los Angeles FC. Socceroo Josh Risdon and Panagiotis Kone are pushing to return from injury for United.
Key: Alessandro Diamanti. The Italian is crucial to Western United's build-up play, creating 31 chances for his teammates so far this season.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory at Bankwest Stadium, 6.30pm
Head to head: Wanderers 8, Glory 7, drawn 7
Last clash: Round 10, 2019-20, Glory 2-0 at HBF Park
Perth coach Tony Popovic returns to Western Sydney with the pressure squarely on his successor at the Wanderers Markus Babbel. The German will be desperate for a win after his team slipped to a loss against Wellington across the Tasman last weekend, which leaves them with just one victory from their past 10 matches. Perth, meanwhile, are finding their form after a slow start to the year, with five straight wins lifting them to third on the ladder. Popovic has named Spanish midfielder Juande, while Babbel has added Jordan O'Doherty and Bruce Kamau to his squad.
Key: Diego Castro. The Spanish maestro may be 37 years old but he's still a crucial part of the Glory's success. His six assists are more than any other player in the league.
(BYE: Sydney FC)