Wellington Phoenix will take on A-League leaders Melbourne City without captain Ulises Davila after the Mexican playmaker was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The Phoenix sit ninth ahead of Sunday's game at AAMI Park and desperately need a win to throw themselves into the top-six mix.
But they will have to do so without Davila, whose injury suffered in last week's 0-0 draw with Adelaide has ruled him out.
The 30-year-old is also likely to miss the Phoenix's Wellington return against Western United scheduled for next Saturday.
"He's got a slight strain in his hamstring. He won't be playing this weekend, that's for sure," Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.
Talay revealed Davila has had a platelet-rich plasma injection to aid his rehabilitation and the Phoenix are optimistic he will return by season's end.
"We're hoping that he does come back and he does get to play a game by the end of the season," he said.
"We're hoping that he might be available for the game in Wellington. That might be a little too close, but that's what we're pushing for at the moment.
"It's a massive blow for us. He's a very influential player for us."
Wellington regain midfielder Cameron Devlin and defender Louis Fenton from suspension, while City are without Socceroo Andrew Nabbout, who suffered a potentially season-ending adductor tear in Thursday's win over Adelaide United.
Later on Sunday, Adelaide host Brisbane in a game crucial to the race for the top six.
Adelaide are without injured striker Tomi Juric (calf) and goalkeeper Joe Gauci (quad) but welcome back several players, including Ryan Strain (suspension) and Javi Lopez (knee).
The Roar have Jesse Daley back from suspension, while Masato Kudo also returns.
In the final game of the weekend, Perth will attempt to keep their slim finals hopes bubbling when they host Western Sydney.
The Glory are coming off back-to-back wins over Melbourne Victory and Western United but will be wary of the in-form Wanderers, who are coming off a 5-0 thumping of United.
"They've got a lot of pace up front," Perth coach Richard Garcia said.
"They're very direct and like to get in behind.
"We know they've got those weapons in behind the defence so we've got to be wary of that."
Australian Associated Press