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A-League semi-finals form guide

SEMI-FINAL ONE: Sydney FC (1st) v Perth Glory (5th)

Saturday April 29 at Allianz Stadium - 7:50pm (AEST)

SYDNEY FC

* Coach: Graham Arnold

* Captain: Alex Brosque

* Championships: 2 (2005/06, 2009/10)

* Premierships: 2 (2009/10, 2016/17)

* Finals campaigns: 8

* Why they'll win: They're the best side in the A-League and have proven as much all season. The only team that has beaten them across 27 league games - Western Sydney - has already been knocked out. A week off has Sydney FC cherry ripe to reach the grand final.

* X-factor: Danny Vukovic. Sydney FC has plenty of stars going forward but their strength in defence can't be overstated. Unflappable gloveman Vukovic has been at the centre of the Sky Blues rearguard and there's no one Graham Arnold would rather have in goal.

PERTH GLORY:

* Coach: Kenny Lowe

* Captain: Rostyn Griffiths

* Championships: None

* Premierships: None

* Finals campaigns: 5

* Why they'll win: Because they know how to score goals and have plenty of momentum. Glory scored three or more goals nine times this season - including defeats of Brisbane and City on the way to the finals. Sunday night's defeat of Melbourne City was Perth's third win on the trot. They also travel better than you'd think: Glory have lost just two of their last 10 on the road.

* X-factor: It's impossible to look past Diego Castro, Perth's puppet-master pulling the strings in midfield. The 34-year-old Spaniard can affect matches like no other and his link-up play with Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart will be crucial.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD:

Played 36 - Sydney 19 wins, Perth 9 wins, drawn 8

REGULAR-SEASON RECORD 2016-17:

* Sydney 20 wins 6 draws 1 losses (goals for: 55, goals against 12)

* Perth 10 wins 9 draws 8 losses (goals for: 53, goals against: 53)

PAST FIVE MEETINGS:

* 26/03/17: Perth 0 Sydney 3

* 17/12/16: Perth 1 Sydney 4

* 13/11/16: Sydney 4 Perth 1

* 10/04/16: Sydney 4 Perth 0

* 13/02/16: Sydney 1 Perth 2

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SEMI-FINAL TWO: Melbourne Victory (2nd) v Brisbane Roar (3rd)

Sunday, April 30 at AAMI Park - 5:00pm (AEST)

MELBOURNE VICTORY

* Coach: Kevin Muscat

* Captain: Carl Valeri

* Championships: 3 (2006/07, 2008/09, 2014/15)

* Premierships: 3 (2006/17, 2008/09, 2014/15)

* Finals campaigns: 9

* Why they'll win: They're well-rested and ready to fire. Coach Kevin Muscat has prepared his side specifically with finals in mind, and in James Troisi, Besart Berisha, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Marco Rojas, they have a front four up there with the best in the league.

* X-factor: Berisha. The man lives for A-League finals - no man has more goals in the playoffs than the Kosovo international, who shared the golden boot this season with opposing frontman Jamie Maclaren.

BRISBANE ROAR

* Coach: John Aloisi

* Captain: Matt McKay

* Championships: 3 (2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14)

* Premierships: 2 (2010/11, 2013/14)

* Finals campaigns: 9

* Why they'll win: They never give up. Brisbane's penalty shootout win over Western Sydney was another classic in the 'last gasp triumphs' genre in which the Roar excel. In Jamie Maclaren, coach John Aloisi also has the league's form striker. And Brisbane know how to knock out Victory - they did so last year and in 2014 with finals wins, albeit at Suncorp Stadium.

* X-factor: There was no one celebrating harder on the final whistle last Friday night than Thomas Broich, who finishes up a decorated seven-year stretch at the Roar at season's end. He's desperate for that ending to come with a fourth championship medal around his neck.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD:

Played 38 - Victory 16 wins, Brisbane 14 wins, drawn 8

REGULAR-SEASON RECORD 2016-17:

* Victory 15 wins 4 draws 8 losses (goals for: 49, goals against: 31)

* Brisbane 11 wins 9 draws 7 losses (goals for: 43, goals against: 37)

PAST FIVE MEETINGS:

* 25/03/17: Brisbane 1 Victory 0

* 13/01/17: Victory 3 Brisbane 2

* 07/10/16: Brisbane 1 Victory 1

* 15/04/16: Brisbane 2 Victory 1 (Elimination Final)

* 09/04/16: Victory 0 Brisbane 0