W-LEAGUE: Finals equation and who to cheer for

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Last year’s champions still in with a chance. Image: Nick Guoth

It’s the ultimate round of W-League action coming up and every match has an impact on finals positions. It’s shaping up to be one of the greatest regular-season rounds in the five year history of the competition.

But with so many possible end scenarios it can be hard to know who you really want to win each match. Fear no more, jump to your team’s summary below and find out exactly who you are cheering for.

Ladder:

Club Wins GD Points
1
Brisbane Roar
7
9
23
2
Melbourne Victory
7
12
22
3
Perth Glory
6
12
21
4
Canberra United
5
9
18
5
Sydney FC
5
5
17
6
Western Sydney
4
-3
13
6
Adelaide United
2
-26
6
6
Newcastle Jets
1
-18
5

Matches:

Brisbane Roar v Canberra United, QSAC – 11:30am (10:30 local time) Saturday
Watch live streamed on ABC, The Football Sack’s Twitter or TV highlights on ABC1 at 5pm

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Adelaide United v Perth Glory, Burton Park – 2:30pm (2pm local time) Saturday 
Follow live on The Football Sack’s Twitter or Adelaide’s W-League Facebook

Western Sydney v Sydney FC, Campbelltown Stadium – 10am Saturday
Follow live on The Football Sack’s Twitter

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory, Wanderers Oval – 4:30pm Sunday
Follow live on Melbourne’s W-League Facebook or Twitter

Brisbane Roar

What could happen: Currently sitting in first place, Brisbane have the advantage of being able to control their own fate. Defeat Canberra and they guarantee themselves their first Premiership since Season One. Draw against Canberra and they will have to rely on Melbourne Victory losing and Perth Glory being held to a draw to avoid dropping to second or third. With Victory playing last placed Newcastle and Perth playing second-last Adelaide, it should be safe to assume that they need to win
What the fans want: Best case scenario for Brisbane is simply to win their match. They won’t care much about the opposition next week; their playing style this season will have them full of confidence no matter who they face. Though a Sydney win would probably be preferential rather than having to face Canberra for the second week straight.
What the fans don’t want: Brisbane losing with both Melbourne and Perth winning. Not only will this relegate the Roar to third spot, it will also mean a long trip to Western Australia for the semi-final; a prospect Brisbane could probably do without.

Melbourne Victory

What could happen: A slow start to the season has yet to hurt Melbourne as a win against Newcastle would seal a first ever home semi-final for the club. If Canberra can manage a draw or better against a strong Brisbane outfit then Victory will go home with the Premiership as well! A loss or a draw against Newcastle, who did draw with Perth last week, would put them in danger of missing the home play-off as the Glory would only need to defeat the lowly Adelaide to jump above the Victorians.
What the fans want: A win against Newcastle combined with two goal wins to Canberra United and Adelaide United would see Melbourne finish the season as Premiers and hosting a semi-final against Perth Glory, who would have to travel across the country and in poor form.
What the fans don’t want: A loss to Newcastle, a win to Perth and a draw or loss for Brisbane would see Melbourne have to travel to Queensland in the semi-finals to play against a team they have never beaten in ten attempts. While their two losses against the Roar this season were arguably undeserved, Brisbane are playing the best football in their history and even an away trip to face the inexperienced (in finals) Perth Glory would be more desirable.

Perth Glory

What could happen: A great start to the season has seen the Purple Swag make the finals for the first time but the wheels look to be slowly falling off as we enter the business end of the season. A win against Adelaide should be guaranteed, and if Melbourne and Brisbane draw their matches then the Glory will be crowned Premiers. Lose their match against Adelaide and they could finish as low as fourth with a Canberra win and a four goal swing.
What the fans want: A win against Adelaide, a win to Sydney FC and draws for Brisbane and Melbourne would see Perth take the Premiership and face the Sky Blues in the semi-final. Sydney have been out of sorts this season so would be the best outcome for Perth.
What the fans don’t want: A loss against Adelaide, a big enough win for Canberra and losses for Brisbane and Melbourne will see Perth have to travel to Brisbane for a semi-final; not what you want against a team who has never lost a semi-final. A loss against Adelaide, a loss for Brisbane and a draw or win for Melbourne Victory will result in the same situation.

Canberra United

What could happen: A taxing schedule with the World Club Championship in Japan has taken its toll on Canberra this year with the Champions not looking their best for most of the season. Victory robbed them of their 18 match undefeated streak in Round Five as well as their three year undefeated run in Round Nine, but the Green Machine have turned their form around, taking revenge on Western Sydney last week in a 5-0 romp in what was essentially a knock-out match. A win against Brisbane will seal their fifth-straight finals appearance while a loss or draw will relegate them to fifth position if Sydney FC defeats the Wanderers.
What the fans want: Just to make it to the finals! A poor record against Melbourne this season and with Brisbane on fire, an away trip to Perth would be the best option for Canberra. For this, they need to beat Brisbane, have Melbourne draw or lose and Perth to win. Interestingly enough, it would mean that Canberra would rather finish fourth than third!
What the fans don’t want: A loss or draw against Brisbane coupled with a win to Sydney FC will see Canberra miss out on finals football for the first time in their history.

Sydney FC

What could happen: It has been a poor season by Sydney standards despite having a great squad – yet they can still make finals. No matter what the result is against Western Sydney, if Canberra United beat Brisbane Roar than Sydney cannot make it. Conversely, if Canberra lose or draw, then a win in the Sydney Derby will be enough to see Bling FC snare fourth spot.
What the fans want: It is difficult to work out which opponent Sydney would prefer. Brisbane are playing too well at the moment, Melbourne have played Sydney off the park for the majority of game time this season and Perth is just too bloody far. Honestly, a Canberra draw/loss and a Sydney win will be enough to please the Sky Blue fans this week.
What the fans don’t want: To miss finals for the first time. A Canberra win will seal their fate.

Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets
Both will de desperate to avoid the wooded spoon. An Adelaide loss and a Newcastle draw will be enough for the Novocastrians to finish in seventh place, while a Jets loss or an Adelaide win will see the Lady Reds avoid last place for only the second time in their history.

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Christian Layland
The Media Manager at Western Sydney Wanderers for four seasons and the Melbourne Victory W-League team for two, Christian is co-founder and Chief of Staff of The Football Sack and currently coaches at Wanderers Academy.