It’s the penultimate round of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season, with a couple of vital clashes in the race for positions in the top six.
The standout clash takes place on Saturday afternoon at ANZ Stadium, with a virtual shootout for sixth spot between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar.
And both sides have some key inclusions for the match which can make or break their season.
Here’s five returning stars that might just make the difference for their sides this weekend.
Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets)
He might be a decade into his Hyundai A-League career but it’s hard to remember Hoffman performing any better than he has in the 2017/18 campaign.
Has been superb under Ernie Merrick – whether it’s playing right-back or on the wing, scoring five goals and providing one assist in 21 appearances.
He returns from suspension with the Jets looking to arrest a two-game losing streak when they host Perth Glory on Friday night.
Roly Bonevacia (Western Sydney Wanderers)
The classy Dutchman has taken on a crucial role for the Wanderers under Josep Gombau, often playing in a holding midfield role where his range of passing has caught the eye.
Willing to do the gritty defensive work as well, Bonevacia sets the tempo for Western Sydney and he’ll need to be at the top of his game if they are to get the win against Brisbane to propel them back into the top six.
Brett Holman (Brisbane Roar)
When you’re playing in big matches, big-game experience counts and Holman certainly will provide that for the Roar.
It’s no surprise Roar’s mid-season resurgence coincided with Holman overcoming his injury woes and since he’s been back we’ve also seen the likes of Maccarone, Bautheac and Ben Khalfallah lift their game as well.
Holman’s drive from midfield, ability to play an incisive pass and eye for goal make him a real dangerman for the Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
Josh Brillante (Sydney FC)
The 25-year-old has missed the last two games for the Sky Blues on international duty with the Caltex Socceroos.
While they wrapped up the Premiers’ Plate last time out, his presence, workrate and distribution in midfield has been sorely missed.
Brillante has a great partnership with Brandon O’Neill in the middle of the park and with a desire to push for a spot in Bert van Marwijk’s FIFA World Cup squad, he’ll be desperate to play his best against the Reds on Sunday.
Nikola Mileusnic (Adelaide United)
Is there a quicker player in the Hyundai A-League than the Reds winger?
Mileusnic’s pace is a huge weapon for Adelaide and his ability to get in behind can stretch defences and open up space for other players.
Has two goals and four assists for the campaign and also likes playing at Allianz, scoring a cracker there in the Westfield FFA Cup final late last year.
This article was originally published at: www.a-league.com.au/news/5-key-ins-hyundai-a-league-round-26