David Lowe previews Week 21 of the Hyundai A-League; crunch time for many teams including the Newcastle Jets.
It is crunch time in the race for A-league semi-final spots and Round 21 is vitally important for a number of teams.
One of those is the Newcastle Jets, whose Friday night clash with Adelaide kicks off an intriguing weekend of football.
While 3-points are critical to the Jets finals hopes, their opponent's Adelaide are undeniably in the "Last Chance Saloon", and that desperation makes them a very awkward assignment for the home side.
Adelaide coach John Kosmina has a history of throwing the proverbial wet blanket on some important fixtures for Newcastle's representatives in national football competitions, so hopefully the Jets can reverse that trend.
The sides have met twice this season, for two draws, one at Hindmarsh Stadium in Round 8, the second a month ago in Bathurst.
With the advantage of home surrounds and a vocal crowd the Jets should produce a performance of enough quality and intensity to take the 3-points, but will have to nullify the influence of Adelaide's dangerous front three; Van Dyk, Djite and Vidosic to get over the line.
Elsewhere in the league, Sydney host Wellington and the Melbourne Heart welcome the Mariners, in two very important clashes, which may have an important bearing on the shape of the finals.
Probably the pick of the round to the neutrals is the match between Perth and Brisbane.
Third placed Perth could move to within one point of the Roar if they can take the three points , conversely a win for Ange Postecoglou's side would virtually guarantee them a top two finish.
The other fixture sees the Melbourne Victory travel to the Gold Coast , and anything less than three points will make the task of semi-final qualification almost impossible for one of the league' s heavyweights.
Big weekend, huge stakes, and no room for error.