Lowe's Week 14 Preview

David Lowe preview's Week 14 of the Hyundai A-League; a weekend he says will be a battle of the teams least disrupted.

Round 14 of the A-League signifies the passing of the halfway stage in the season, and is the third game in seven or eight days for most players.

As such there will be a big demand placed on squad depth, due to injuries, general soreness and accumulated yellow cards.

Rather than a survival of the fittest scenario, this weekend's fixtures might be a bonus round for the teams least disrupted.

The teams that are most able to comfortably field their regular first choice 11, or close to it, must surely be favoured to take maximum points.

The Jets face an always difficult trip to AAMI Park to take on a Melbourne Victory side which will be desperate for 3 points on Saturday.

They make that trek without the suspended Ruben Zadkovich, captain Jobe Wheelhouse and Francis Jeffers, both still affected by injury, and with a question mark hanging over the fitness of Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

The Victory side will be under enormous pressure to get 3 points and arrest their festive season slump, and the Jets will have done a good job if they can contain the likes of Thompson, Kewell and Hernandez, and return home with any points.

Elsewhere in the league Gold Coast host Melbourne Heart, Adelaide put their improved form to the test when they take on defending champions Brisbane at Hindmarsh Stadium and Sydney play host to a rampant Mariners' side.

And if you are a little weary after Christmas travel, spare a thought for the Perth players. Trips to Newcastle on NYE, then back home to play midweek against Brisbane, will be followed by a short jaunt to Wellington this weekend. There will be Qantas long haul pilots who will do less kilometres this week!

One thing you can be certain of is there will be some tired footballers across the nation on Monday.