Which team will get the dreaded wooden spoon?

At least you're not relegated if you finish bottom of the A-League, but it is always a terrible tag. The World Game takes a stab at where the wooden spoon will end up.

Wooden spoon

Roy O'Donovan (L), Andrew Nabbout (C), Marcelo Carrusca Source: Getty Images

With three rounds to go Wellington Phoenix are on 26 points, Newcastle Jets 22, Adelaide United 21 and Central Coast Mariners 20.

Mathematically, Wellington could still finish last, but the chances of that happening are remote - especially given their goal difference (-7) is so much better than those of the clubs below them (Jets -18, Reds -20, Mariners -18).

The battle to avoid the wooden spoon has come down to a race between three.

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Overview

For much of the season, Adelaide have looked like running last, but a recent revival saw them finally get off the bottom of the table when they came from 1-0 down to beat the Mariners 3-2 at Gosford last Saturday.

Adelaide have collected 10 points from their last five games. Central Coast and Newcastle have picked up one apiece.

So the Reds are clearly the team with momentum. Plus, they have two home games left while the Mariners and Jets both have just one and are on three-game losing streaks



Newcastle Jets

Western Sydney Wanderers (H), Mariners (A) and Sydney FC (A).

The big worry for Newcastle is that they have stopped scoring goals - two in their last six games.

They are still creating chances but they don't have a clinical finisher.

Adelaide United

Perth Glory (H), Melbourne City (A), Wanderers (H).

The Reds are the lowest-scoring team in the competition this season, with 22 goals in 24 games, but they have come up with five goals in their last two.

Baba Diawara has been a great late-season signing for them and produced three of those goals.



Central Coast Mariners

Brisbane Roar (A), Newcastle (H), Melbourne Victory (A).

Even though their form obviously isn't great, Central Coast are hanging in there and not giving up in games and that could make the difference between them coming up empty in the last few rounds or grabbing a critically important win.

Prediction

Adelaide have a must-win AFC Champions League game against Jeju United in Korea between the rounds 26 and 27 of the A-League, which obviously makes things difficult for them.

But it's the Mariners v Jets clash in round 26 that is shaping up to be the wooden spoon decider.

The other two Jets-Mariners clashes this season were both in Newcastle and both finished as 1-1 draws.

Currently, the Mariners are in better form and they will be at home this time - they will surely throw all their eggs in that basket.

Don't be surprised to see them produce their most committed effort of the season and come away with a gritty win.

Newcastle to finish with the wooden spoon.


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3 min read
Published 29 March 2017 at 9:13pm
By Greg Prichard