National Youth League Week 15 preview

While the Central Coast Mariners remain hot favourites to claim their maiden National Youth League title, reigning champions Gold Coast United have hit form.

Newcastle Jets v Gold Coast United Adamstown Oval, Friday 5pm

While the Central Coast Mariners remain hot favourites to claim their maiden National Youth League title, reigning champions Gold Coast United have hit form.

Gold Coast claimed a 3-1 win over the second-placed Perth Glory on Saturday, taking their unbeaten run to four matches and moving within eight points of the Mariners ahead of a trip to meet the Newcastle Jets.

Their record on the road has not been quite as impressive as their home performances, but they will be full of confidence with Mitch Cooper (six goals) in fine form.

The Jets have been in solid form and almost took an unlikely win over Sydney FC last time out, only to concede a late equaliser.

They will have to cope without top-scorer Chris Payne, who was released by the Jets last week.

Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners Kingston Heath, Saturday 4pm

The table-topping Mariners can take another step towards the title with a win over the Melbourne Victory.

Just a month ago this would have been considered a straightforward win for the Mariners, but the Victory have started to find their feet.

Several overage players - including veteran Tom Pondeljak - played in their win last week, taking their tally to 10 points from the last five games.

But with Mitchell Duke and Justin Hayward in form, the Mariners should move closer to the title.

AIS v Brisbane Roar AIS Athletics Track, Saturday 4pm

Brisbane Roar's title chances took a big blow with the loss to the Mariners, but a trip to meet the AIS shapes as an opportunity to get back on the winner's list.

Nick Fitzgerald impressed for the senior team, and George Lambadaridis was introduced off the bench late on.

The AIS have been solid at home but are winless in five outings and will need to improve on their recent outings to get anything out of this encounter.

The Roar signed former AIS teenage striker Anthony Proia just last week.

Sydney FC v Perth Glory Sydney Football Stadium, Saturday 5pm

This is a must-win clash for Perth Glory, who will be out to keep the pressure on the Mariners.

Sydney's mid-season form has been erratic, and they could be a much-changed side if seniors coach Vitezslav Lavicka makes changes having seeing his team thrashed 5-2 by the Jets on Sunday.

The Glory had looked in prime position to claim the title, but are now winless in their last three outings.

If they are to remain in the title race, they must collect three points against Sydney.

Melbourne Heart v Adelaide United John Cain Memorial Park, Sunday 3pm

Melbourne Heart's mathematical chances of winning the championship came to an end last week, and the wheels have fallen off after a tremendous start to their first Youth League campaign.

Now winless in seven, the Heart look likely to finish in the bottom half of the table after appearing certainties for a top-three spot.

Adelaide United thrashed the AIS and a win over the Heart could see them into seventh, although John Aloisi will be hopeful his men can start winning again and finish the season strongly.