FRIDAY, Oct 18
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium 7.30pm
Head to Head: AdUtd 12 Victory 15 drawn 7
Last clash: Round 20 2012-2013 - AdUtd 1 bt Victory 0 at Coopers Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: AdUtd $2.45 Victory $2.65 Draw $3.40
Adelaide have just come off a commanding 3-1 win over Perth while Victory couldn't live up to their name in the Melbourne derby, settling for a scoreless draw. But the Victory will have fit and firing skipper Mark Milligan back with coach Ange Postecoglou declaring he'll be a certain starter in the Coopers Stadium grudge match. Kiwi attacker Kosta Barbarouses however will only arrive fron national duty Friday morning so will start on the bench. The Reds on the other hand will be missing defender Nigel Boogard and Spanish midfielder Isaias after both were red-carded in the firey Glory clash, with versatile Osama Malik and former Western Sydney Wanderer Tarek Elrich likely replacements.
Key: Jeronimo Neumann. The Argentine made a blistering start to the season with a brace in his side's win over Perth.
SATURDAY, Oct 19
Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park 5.30pm
Head to Head: Heart 1 Mariners 7 drawn 1
Last clash: Round 27 2012-2013 - Mariners 2 bt Heart 1 at Bluetongue Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Heart $3.00 Mariners $2.20 Draw $3.40
Both sides opened their season with hard-fought draws. The Heart posted a 0-0 result against the Victory in the Melbourne derby and the Mariners got their championship defence underway with a 1-1 draw against the Wanderers in the grand final rematch. Last season the Mariners enjoyed a dominant record over the Heart, winning all three encounters. However, with a host of new players in either side, past results will count for little at AAMI Park on Saturday. Heart captain Harry Kewell looks to have recovered from a neck injury he suffered against the Victory last week and has been included in the squad.
Key: Mitchell Duke. It's one from one for the Socceroos tyro who scored in the 1-1 draw with the Wanderers. If he's firing, it will be hard to go past the reigning champions.
Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium 7.30pm
Head to Head: Roar 11 SydFC 9 drawn 10
Last clash: Round 27 2012-2013 - Roar 3 bt SydFC 1 at Suncorp Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Roar $1.70 SydFC $4.25 Draw $3.85
A new-look Sydney appeared a rejuvenated side in their season-opening 2-0 win against Newcastle while Brisbane will also be boosted having opened their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Wellington. Sydney's new backline looked strong against the Jets but the Roar present a much bigger challenge with the likes of Albanian superboot Besart Berisha and German playmaker Thomas Broich in attack. And consistency has long been the Sky Blues' problem. Add to that their woeful record in Brisbane, where they have not won a match since September 2007, and the challenge appears even bigger. Sky Blues coach Frank Farina will have veteran midfielder Brett Emerton and Brazilian defender Tiago back from injury.
Key: Berisha. He's one of the league's most prolific goal-scorers and has scored in the last four matches the sides have played.
SUNDAY, Oct 20
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium 3.00pm
Head to Head: Jets 6 Glory 16 drawn 6
Last clash: Round 24 2012-2013 - Glory 2 bt Jets 1 at Hunter Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Jets $2.35 Glory $2.75 Draw $3.45
Both sides will be looking to rebound from opening-round losses with Perth suffering a 3-1 defeat to Adelaide and the Jets a 2-0 loss to Sydney. The Jets however, have more to make up for after their less-than-impressive display against the Sky Blues. Skipper Zenon Caravella perhaps has the most to answer for after a terrible time in midfield, which led to his second-half withdrawal in favour of Josh Brillante. Veteran Englishman Michael Bridges will be back after missing the opening clash with a groin strain. But while Bridges will be a welcome inclusion to the young forward pack, marquee man Emile Heskey (knee) is still out of action.
Key: Ryo Nagai. The on-loan Japanese forward scored the Glory's lone goal against Adelaide and always looked threatening.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix at Parramatta Stadium 5.00pm
Head to Head: Western Sydney 2 Phoenix 1 drawn 0
Last clash: Round 24 2012-2013 - Western Sydney 2 bt Phoenix 1 at Parramatta Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Western Sydney $1.45 Phoenix $6.75 Draw $4.15
An away draw against first year foes the Mariners was a sound start for the Wanderers. But back at on their home turf and in front of their boisterous fans, they'll be hopeful of victory against the Phoenix. Wellington, who went down 2-1 to Brisbane, will have a host of key players back with Andrew Durante, Jeremy Brockie, Leo Bertos and Glen Moss all returning from international duties. While the fact that Shinji Ono, Tomi Juric and Brendan Santalab all started on the bench last week shows the depth of Tony Popovic's squad.
Key: Youssouf Hersi. The livewire winger was integral to the Wanderers' success last season and showed why last weekend, setting up the equalising goal with a dangerous cross.
Tip: Western Sydney