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After Newcastle's dramatic draw in Perth last weekend they now need to win to guarantee a place in the finals or draw and then depend on a result in the match between Queensland Roar and Sydney FC to be played on Saturday.
If Newcastle were to draw with Melbourne then Queensland and Sydney can just play out for a draw which will guarantee both teams a place in the finals. Why would either team attack and risk a counter attack and end up losing and out of the finals?
I wouldn't have expected all the four matches in this round to have been played at the same time because New Zealand Knights and Perth Glory are both out of contention and they should have played at their own time but the other three matches I think should have been played at the same time to make it fair to all four teams vying for the three finals places.
Whilst the team having the biggest disadvantage is Newcastle, the team having the biggest advantage is Adelaide. Adelaide play on Sunday and by then they will be knowing exactly what they need to do to get what position on the final ladder. In the event of a draw in the earlier matches then they will get second place automatically and therefore in that case they can afford to field a weakened side because a result wouldn't be that important anymore and keep their key stars fresh for the finals.
I hope that in future seasons the A-League organisers will make sure that the final fixtures are played concurrently. Hard as it may be due to the differing time zones, its the only fair way to finish off a season.
Newcastle have won 4 nil tonight and are therefore in the finals and so the draw never happened which could have made things interesting in the Queensland/Sydney match. However, it means that after tomorrow's match one of Sydney or Queensland will be out of the finals.
I still think Victory will still be able to challenge in the finals because the players that took us on a great seven match unbeaten run are still there and apart from last night the away record is second to none and should be an asset for the away matches in the finals.
Winning the minor premiership was good because it took the tension away but unfortunately out also went the focus.