Can Sydney FC change championship pattern? – A look at the A-League's Christmas leaders

Omnisport
For the third time in four A-League seasons, Sydney FC are top on Christmas Day.
For the third time in four A-League seasons, Sydney FC are top on Christmas Day.

It is yet another Merry Christmas for Sydney FC in the A-League.

The Sky Blues are top of the table on Christmas Day for the third time in four seasons, continuing their dominance.

Being top on December 25 means a record-breaking trophy is likely for Sydney FC.

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Alongside Melbourne Victory, they have won seven trophies in the A-League era – four championships and three premierships.

Another premiership is likely but a championship less so as we assess where previous league leaders on Christmas Day have ended up, thanks to Opta data.

- Only once have a team leading the league at Christmas finished outside the top two (Perth in 2014-15).

- Of the previous 14 seasons, the team top on December 25 have ended up first on nine occasions.

- However, only five times have the league leaders gone on to win the Grand Final.

- Four current teams – Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City, Wellington Phoenix and Western United – have not led the league at Christmas.

2019-20: Sydney FC
2018-19: Perth Glory (Premiers and grand final loss)
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)

* Perth finished third in 2014-15 before salary cap breaches saw them banned from the finals and placed in seventh.

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