Who will make up top six in the A-League?

Adelaide United is unbeaten in 14 weeks and has stormed to the top of the A-League table. Photo: AAP Image.
Adelaide United is unbeaten in 14 weeks and has stormed to the top of the A-League table. Photo: AAP Image.

WITH just five games to go in the regular season of the A-League, the battle for places in the top six looks set to be one of the most intense in the competition's short history.

Only nine points separate Adelaide United in top spot and Sydney FC in seventh.

You could even argue a case for the eighth-placed Newcastle Jets, who are five points behind sixth-placed Perth Glory.

That might be a long shot, but as for the other seven teams fighting for a spot in the top six, here's my prediction on who will see finals action.

Sydney FC appears to be the outsider for the top six after a string of poor results in the A-League.

Graham Arnold's men have not won in seven league games since beating Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 in the Sydney derby.

They did defeat reigning Asian Champions League title-holder Guangzhou Evergrande recently. But, that result just papered over the cracks of a Sky Blues team that is struggling for any sort of form.

ACL games against Pohang Steelers over the next two weeks will not lighten the load, and they look destined to miss the A-League's top six.

Perth Glory, on the other hand, is the form team of the competition, alongside Adelaide United.

Andy Keogh has been firing in the goals since his return for the Glory, and with Chris Harold and Diego Castro in good scoring form, Kenny Lowe's team will be a threat to allcomers - it might even threaten the top four.

Despite a 2-0 win over the Mariners last week, Melbourne Victory has been inconsistent recently, and the reigning champion is just holding on to a top-six spot.

The Victory also has two ACL games against South Korean outfit Suwong Bluewings to fit in, and with two clashes against the Roar to come in its final five fixtures, a top-four place might be out of reach.

Victory will make the top six, however, as will cross-town rivals Melbourne City.

With two games to come against leader Adelaide, Victory will have a big say in who finishes in the top four.

Brisbane Roar is also a chance for the minor premiership, but will need others to take the burden off Jamie Maclaren by scoring some goals.

The Roar has to play Victory twice, City and Sydney in the last five games, so will need to be firing on all cylinders.

Western Sydney, meanwhile, has probably the easiest run in, with games against the Jets, Mariners and Phoenix. Next week's clash against Adelaide could be the decider when it comes to the top two.

Adelaide United has to be the favourite for the minor premiership and the A-League title.

The Reds are unbeaten in 14 games after not winning in the first eight. They will be hard to beat, but an injury to Tarek Elrich, which will keep him out for a month, could be key.

Whichever way it goes it should be an exciting final five rounds.



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