David Lowe takes a look at Round 13.
The Hyundai A-League will reach the halfway point in the upcoming week, at half-time in the full round of midweek matches next Wednesday to be precise, and it goes without saying that the points on offer over the festive period are critical to a number of teams.
Certainly the two combatants at Ausgrid Stadium at 4pm on New Years Eve, the Jets and Perth Glory fit that category, with both clubs having lost their last three matches, and in danger of slipping out of finals contention after promising starts.
The Jets will view the familiar surrounds of their home patch with the affection a seasick sailor might find for the first glimpse of a Hobart skyline, after their nightmarish run in Wellington continued last Friday, and will have the memory of victory over the Glory in round 5 to provide confidence and reassurance.
The Jets rested midfield general Kasey Wehrman from the trans-Tasman excursion and his return should provide some extra steel and quality in the engine room.
Just who will partner the veteran remains a little unclear, with captain Jobe Wheelhouse in hospital with a foot infection, and other options under a cloud for a variety of reasons.
This is a vital game for both camps .
Elsewhere in the league Sydney hosted the in form Melbourne Heart yesterday, the Heart winning their sixth straight game.
Brisbane will be looking for their first point in 6 matches when they host Melbourne Victory in the late game on Saturday. Adelaide will be searching for a vital home win against Wellington on Friday night, and the Mariners host a rejuvenated Gold Coast in the middle match of Saturday's triple header.