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A-League round 22 fixtures: A-League talking points, start times, Josh Brillante exit, Alen Stajcic Central Coast Mariners coach, Roly Bonevacia

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As the race for the top six continues to hot up, there’s a new coach on the Central Coast, a serious selection dilemma for Markus Babbel and plenty of questions surrounding Sydney’s wantaway star.

Just six games to go, Australia — here’s what you need to know ahead of Round 22.

REDS’ FINALS SPOT UNDER SERIOUS THREAT

Round 22

Adelaide United vs Perth Glory — Friday 7:50PM, Coopers Stadium



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A-League news: Simon Hill column, what competition needs

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Kudos to the good people of Perth for putting on such a good show on Sunday night. 56,000 fans created a superb backdrop to the season finale and while the result didn’t go the Glory’s way, the crowd figure is a further indication that fans of the A-League (and the game) are still plentiful — if we make it attractive enough for them to turn up.

Bouquets too, for Sydney FC in earning their fourth championship. A club that suffered massive upheaval last off-season weren’t tipped by many to go all the way.

The Sky Blues lost Graham Arnold, Andrew Clark, Adrian Mierzejewski, Bobo, Jordy Buijs (and others), suffered regular injury problems to key players (Buhagiar, Warland, Zuvela, De Jong, De Silva), and had to play the entire season as wandering nomads around their own city while Allianz Stadium is being redeveloped — so it’s some effort to come home with the biggest prize of all.

But none of the feel-good factor surrounding the grand final should take the focus away from those charged with reversing the A-League’s arrested development.

Grand Final

Put simply, this off-season is crucial in getting things right off the pitch ahead of the 15th season of the Hyundai A-League.

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Football news: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Europa League final, UEFA, reaction, response, analysis, Twitter

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Furious Arsenal fans are calling on their club to boycott the Europa League final after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s unavailability was confirmed.

The Gunners released a statement today to announce that the Armenian will not be travelling to Baku for next week’s final as his safety could not be guaranteed.

Host nation Azerbaijan have been at loggerhead’s with the midfielder’s country for three decades which resulted in the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel with the squad over fears for his safety
Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel with the squad over fears for his safetySource: Getty Images



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Real Madrid news: Ex-president gives Bale transfer update as Ronaldo comparison made

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GARETH BALE’s transfer saga could rage on throughout the summer because Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and club president Florentino Perez have differing opinions on the Welshman.

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