Top-two finish likely, championship less so – A look at the A-League's Christmas leaders
Being top of the table at Christmas is much-talked about in Europe, but what does it mean in the A-League?
After an impressive start to the season, Perth Glory hold top spot despite a loss to Sydney FC last time out.
Perth (20 points) are ahead of Melbourne Victory (19) and the Sky Blues (17), who are the only two teams within a win of the league leaders.
It is just the second time Glory have been in this position, adding to 2014-15, when the club were demoted to seventh following a salary-cap scandal.
This A-League season started later than ever before but, with the help of Opta, we take a look at where teams top at Christmas have ended up at season's end.
How does the ladder make you feel?
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) December 24, 2018
- Only once have a team leading the league at Christmas finished outside the top two (Perth in 2014-15).
- Of the previous 13 seasons, the team top on December 25 have ended up first on eight occasions.
- However, only five times have the league leaders gone on to win the Grand Final.
- Only three current teams – Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix – have not led the league at Christmas.
Christmas Day ladder leaders
2018-19: Perth Glory
2017-18: Sydney FC (Premiers and semi-final loss)
2016-17: Sydney FC (Premiers and champions)
2015-16: Western Sydney Wanderers (2nd and grand final loss)
2014-15: Perth Glory (7th*)
2013-14: Brisbane Roar (Premiers and champions)
2012-13: Central Coast Mariners (2nd and champions)
2011-12: Central Coast Mariners (Premiers and preliminary final loss)
2010-11: Brisbane Roar (Premiers and champions)
2009-10: Melbourne Victory (2nd and grand final loss)
2008-09: Adelaide United (2nd and grand final loss)
2007-08: Central Coast Mariners (Premiers and grand final loss)
2006-07: Melbourne Victory (Premiers and champions)
2005-06: Adelaide United (Premiers and preliminary final loss)