There are three matches to finish off a split Round 23 of A-League action this weekend, with the three-way battle for third spot taking centre stage as the top two teams have a week off.
Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar are separated by just goal difference with five matches remaining in the regular season, while Perth Glory—who also have a bye weekend—are just a point behind.
Under the A-League finals system, the third and fourth teams host the fifth and sixth teams in a first-week elimination final, with home advantage crucial.
Adding to the pressure for Melbourne City is the knowledge that should they finish third and win that first final, they will get to stay in their home city for the Grand Final qualifier and play local rivals, the Melbourne Victory.
So, City will be fired up to get all three points against Newcastle Jets on Saturday night at AAMI Park.
City have dropped just three home games for the season, and two of them have been against the top two, so it's little wonder they are $1.50 AUD favorites to win this one, according to AustralianGambling.com.au.
The Jets' form has been poor of late. They are winless in their past five games and have lost their last three away matches. They may have beaten Melbourne City when they last met in Coffs Harbour in late January, but there is no market faith in their prospects. They are $5.75, with a draw at $4.50.
Adelaide and Brisbane return from midweek Asian Champions League assignments to meet at Coopers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Adelaide's only aim for this season is to avoid the ignominy of claiming the wooden spoon only 12 months after being champions. They are five points adrift at the bottom of the table but did win their most recent home match.
The Roar, as mentioned above, have a lot to play for and thrashed Adelaide 4-0 when they last met at Suncorp Stadium in December.
Since Round 2 the only teams the Roar have lost to away from home have been the top two sides, and that form should see them prevail here. They are a seemingly generous $2.15 to win here with the Reds at $3 and the draw priced at $3.60.
The final match pits two teams battling for the final spot in the six, Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix.
Wanderers hold sixth but will be overtaken by the Phoenix should they lose this match on Sunday.
The market has the Wanderers at $1.83, the Phoenix at $3.90 and the draw at $3.60.