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Australian Football: Elimination Finals could be classics

The A-League Finals get underway this week with Elimination Finals taking place on Friday and Saturday night.

Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners finished first and second respectively on the A-League ladder and now get a week off while they wait for their next opponents.

The first game on Friday evening sees Adelaide United, who finished third, take on Wellington Phoenix who managed to hold on to sixth spot.

Then on Saturday it is a huge game between two arch-rivals when Western Sydney Wanderers host Sydney FC. There is no love lost between these two sides and the game will be a must-watch for anyone who loves soccer.

The season is on the line for these four teams. The winners will progress to the next stage and the semi-finals, while it is season over for the losers.

Reds hit losing streak at wrong time

WhatAdelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
WhereCoopers Stadium, Adelaide
When19:45 (AEST), Friday 5th May 2023
How to watchParamount+, 10Bold
OddsAdelaide United 1.75, Draw 4.00, Wellington Phoenix 4.00

Up until recently Adelaide United had been the most in-form team in the A-League, sweeping aside everything that was put before them in devastating fashion.

The Reds edged to within two points of ladder-leaders Melbourne City at one point and looked nailed on for second spot.

However a run of poor form that saw them fail to pick up a win in the last four games of the season, meant they had to settle for third place.

Now if they want to win the grand final they will have to do it the hard way and they have hit a bad run of form at just the wrong time.

Coach Carl Veart will also be concerned by the fact that his side have conceded four goals in each of the last two games - a 4-4 draw with Perth Glory and a 4-1 defeat against Central Coast Mariners.

The two sides last met on 15th March with Adelaide running out 5-1 winners at Coopers Stadium.

Craig Goodwin was on the scoresheet that day and will be one of the main dangers again after scoring 12 goals so far this season.

The Socceroos star also leads the way in the A-League with assists, providing 10 throughout the campaign.

Zawada a huge threat for Nix

If Adelaide have a goal threat in Goodwin, then so do Wellington Phoenix in Oskar Zawada, who has been even more prolific with 15 goals this season.

Zawada grabbed the only goal as the Nix beat Macarthur 1-0 at the weekend. That was their first win in six games, but should at least give them some confidence heading into this game.

Wellington also have the added incentive of going all the way for coach Ufuk Talay, who will step down as coach at the end of the campaign.

Related Football News

Australian Football: A-League top-six finally settled

Australian Football: Reds and Mariners battle for second

Sydney FC bang in form

WhatWestern Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
WhereCommBank Stadium, Sydney
When19:45 (AEST), Saturday 6th May 2023
How to watchParamount+, 10Bold
OddsWestern Sydney Wanderers 2.20, Draw 3.50, Sydney FC 3.10

Western Sydney and Sydney FC have played each other on three occasions already this season and it is Wanderers who have the edge, leading 2-1.

The most recent victory was a 4-0 demolition at Allianz Stadium and that was revenge for the game three weeks previous when Sydney FC won 1-0 despite being outplayed against 10 men in a fiery encounter.

It is the Sky Blues that are in the best form heading into Saturday’s encounter however and they are unbeaten in the five games since the 4-0 defeat to Wanderers.

Steve Corica’s men have also won the last three games on the spin, scoring eight goals and conceding just one.

They have also kept two clean sheets in the last two games so there is plenty of reason for Sydney FC fans to be optimistic heading into the Elimination Final.

So too will Wanderers supporters. They may have lost two of the last five games, but they were against Melbourne City and Adelaide United with both games ending 3-2.

Apart from the 4-0 win, the other two games ended 1-0, so we could be in for a cagey one or a goal-fest!

The formbook can go out of the window, however, as local pride is also thrown into the mix. One thing we can expect is fireworks, so strap yourself in.

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