PREVIEW OF A-LEAGUE ROUND 16 MATCHES (all times AEDT):
FRIDAY, Jan 24
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets at Sky Stadium, 5.15pm
Head to head: Phoenix 20, Jets 11, drawn 6
Last clash: Round 23, 2018-19, Phoenix 4-1, Sky Stadium
The Phoenix will be out to make amends after losing to Brisbane Roar, while Craig Deans' Jets showed plenty of character without end product against Melbourne City.
Wellington need to maintain pressure on the top of the table - but if Newcastle are to have any hope of reviving their slim finals hopes, they need to start picking up points.
Key: If the Jets are to have any chance away from home, they'll need to at least break even against Wellington's tenacious midfield - but more importantly, they need to create and capitalise on goal scoring chances. Dimi Petratos, come on down.
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC at AAMI Park, 7.30pm
Head to head: Victory 16, Sydney 16, drawn 19
Last clash: Round 6, 2019-20, Sydney 2-1 at Jubilee Stadium
Victory's season certainly hasn't gone to plan, but Carlos Salvachua's side will be raring to go for a Friday night showdown with one of their fiercest rivals. Sydney will welcome back Rhyan Grant from suspension while Victory will be without centre-back James Donachie (suspension).
Key: Ola Toivonen's mid-week return from injury was a welcome sight. If Victory are to cause an upset, they'll need their skipper and the rest of their much-vaunted forward trio - Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout - to fire.
Tip: Sydney FC
SATURDAY, Jan 25
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar at Central Coast Stadium, 5pm
Head to head: Mariners 7, Roar 26, drawn 13
Last clash: Round 8, 2019-20, Roar 2-0 at Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane are up and about through a strong sequence of form, while the Mariners were left reeling by a 21-minute burst from Western United last Sunday. With the top six well and truly an open race, this game is crucial to both teams' chances of keeping in finals contention.
Key: Brad Inman has enjoyed a terrific purple patch, scoring at the right time for Brisbane of late. The Mariners will need to find a way to shut down the exciting Australian if they're to take all three points.
Melbourne City v Perth Glory at AAMI Park, 7.30pm
Head to head: City 7, Glory 14, drawn 9
Last clash: Round 9, 2019-20, Glory 3-0 at AAMI Park
Melbourne City grit their teeth and ground out a 2-0 win over a resilient Newcastle, while Glory made it six wins on the bounce against Western Sydney, bringing Markus Babbel's tenure to an end. Perth's winning streak started with a 3-0 win over City at AAMI Park and they'll be eager to repeat the effort.
Key: Bruno Fornaroli. The former City captain struck a crucial blow last time these sides played and, with Glory in fine form, will look to mirror that effort.
SUNDAY, Jan 26
Western United v Adelaide United at Whitten Oval
Head to head: United 0, Reds 0, drawn 0
Last clash: This is the first A-League clash between Western United and Adelaide.
In their first game at Whitten Oval, United will be keen to kick on from last week's comprehensive victory over the Mariners. They could to be without Alessandro Diamanti though, after he limped off less than half an hour into that game. Adelaide enter the game in good spirits after a win over Melbourne Victory. This game could be crucial to determining the top-six pecking order.
Key: Riley McGree. The young gun has been at the heart of much of Adelaide's best work this season, consistently popping up at the right time to create or score goals.
(Bye: Western Sydney Wanderers)