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Australian Football: All to play for as A-League resumes

The A-League is back this week and with five rounds of the regular season remaining we are entering the business end of the 2022/23 campaign.

Melbourne City have been leading the way throughout the season and look sure to take out the minor premiership. They are four points clear at the top of the ladder with a game in hand and are priced at 1.04 to claim the title, with Adelaide United available at 17.00.

Speaking of Adelaide, they look to be peaking at just the right time and will be a real threat in finals. Carl Veart’s men are priced at 5.50 to win the Grand Final.

There is a lot to sort out between now and the end of the season. Who will claim second spot? Who will make the six and play finals? And who will finish bottom and pick up the wooden spoon?

So with the action set to get back underway on Friday night, let’s take a closer look at what needs to be decided over the remaining five games.

Race to finish second

With Melbourne City having the minor premiership in the bag, the race is now on to claim second spot on the ladder. It is huge, second place means two bites of the cherry if needed and puts you in a much stronger position when it comes to going all the way and winning the Grand Final.

Adelaide currently hold that position and are three points ahead of Western Sydney Wanderers. If they continue with their current form there will be no stopping them.

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A look at the week ahead

Takeaways from Matchday 21

Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix

They play the Wanderers this weekend and also have games against Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners, but they will hold no fear. You feel the Wanderers have to beat Adelaide on Friday night to have a chance of catching them. Wanderers also have to play Melbourne City on the last day of the regular season.

The Mariners and Wellington Phoenix are fourth and fifth respectively but sit six points behind Adelaide and look to be just out of the mix.

Who will make the top six?

Speaking of the Mariners and Phoenix, they are looking good to be in the top six and play finals. They are both six points ahead of Newcastle in seventh and with the games fast running out it should be enough to keep them there. However Sydney FC, who sit sixth are looking way more vulnerable.

They have lost three out of the last four games and if anyone below them had strung a decent run together they would be out of the six already.

They are priced at 1.72 to play finals but there is still work to do. It is that tight Melbourne Victory who are bottom of the ladder could still make it. They are priced at 8.00.

Western United look to be the best of the rest right now after winning three out of the last four and can be backed at 5.50 to play finals.

Wooden spoon contenders

Realistically it is between four teams for who finishes bottom of the ladder and picks up the wooden spoon. They are Macarthur, Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar and Victory.

All four cannot string a run of solid results together and are in danger of the spoon. Roar are priced at 3.50 to finish bottom with Perth Glory 4.50, while Victory are 5.00. Macarthur are 6.50 and like everything else it looks set to go right to the wire.

Matchday 22 action

The A-League resumes on Friday night with a cracker of a game between Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United. Adelaide sit second on the ladder and are the stand-out team in the A-League right now.

But Western Sydney are just one place and three points below them. Western Sydney are priced at 2.00 to win with Adelaide 3.30.

There are five games on Saturday and Wellington Phoenix need to bounce back after losing 5-1 against Adelaide before the break. They play Melbourne Victory who are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon.

Fourth-place Central Coast Mariners entertain struggling Brisbane Roar and are priced at 1.83 to get the win. Roar are available at 3.80.

Sydney FC sit in sixth and there is work to do if they are to stay there. One of the teams chasing them are Western United who sit in eighth spot and are just two points behind. To wrap up the action on Saturday Perth Glory play Macarthur FC while there is just one game on Sunday. It sees ladder-leaders Melbourne City entertain the Newcastle Jets.

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