The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 2

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By , Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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    The crowd played well with a strong four points in Round 1 and the experts performed solidly, accept for one poor soul, who just managed to hit the scoreboard. Daniel Jeffrey takes the early lead with a perfect score in the opening week (no mean feat!).

    Round two throws up some interesting propositions with the Melbourne Derby, potentially, the pick of the games.

    Good luck this week and don’t forget to use the form below to join in the voice of the crowd.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Brisbane, Western Sydney, City, Draw, Sydney
    How is everyone coping with their tips after Round 1? Hopefully there aren’t too many crushed spirits!

    Round 2 looks just as difficult to predict, and it starts with a bang at Suncorp Stadium between Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United. The two sides were in patchy form on the opening weekend, with Brisbane Roar in particular coming under fire for their disjointed display against Melbourne City. Expect a response here, and for John Aloisi’s team to collect all three points at home.

    The Wanderers started life without Tony Popovic in a positive frame of mind, and they should prove too strong at home for the Mariners, while Melbourne City may well ambush Melbourne Victory in the derby at Etihad Stadium, particularly if Ross McCormack brings his shooting boots. Could Victory be about to start life with two straight defeats? I’m tipping it.

    Sunday’s fixtures sees the Jets host Perth Glory in Newcastle, where a bumper crowd is expected to turn out in the Hunter. The Jets were in red-hot form last weekend, but the Glory will be looking bounce back from a last-start defeat, and this one could finish all square.

    Sydney FC should make light work of Wellington Phoenix in Sunday night’s other fixture, with the Sky Blues looking to pick up where they left off last season.

    Vasant Venkatramani
    Brisbane, Western Sydney, Draw, Newcastle, Sydney
    First things off the bat – apologies for my absence during the opening round. Suffice it to say I missed what transpired to be an engaging start to the new season.

    For the Friday night game, I’m tipping Brisbane to return to the winner’s circle after being humbled by Melbourne City in last week’s season opener. Brett Holman will return for the Roar, but Thomas Kristensen is missing, while Eric Bautheac is still awaiting approval of his visa, leaving Brisbane slightly shorn of attacking options.

    Adelaide are on the road again, after a credible 1-1 against the Phoenix last week. Taylor Regan is missing from defence, but coach Marco Kurz can rely on the likes of Ersam Gulum, Johan Absalonsen and Daniel Adlung who all got valuable minutes in Wellington that will serve them well. Yet two on the road straight for the Reds may be too hard an ask, so Brisbane to win.

    Saturday kicks off with the Wanderers hosting the Mariners, after contrasting fortunes for both sides. The Wanderers put aside the shock departure of Tony Popovic to convincingly travel to Perth and knock over the Glory.

    Home games at Homebush often proved a thorn for the Wanderers last season, but if the Mariners produce a repeat of last week’s thrashing at the hands of Newcastle, expect little difference in the result. Paul Okon will be hoping for better from the new arrivals at the Mariners, who looked woefully short of match fitness against the Jets.

    The evening then kicks off the latest instalment in the Melbourne derby. The availability of the likes of Mark Milligan and James Troisi for Victory, and Tim Cahill for City is in doubt, following the trio’s exertions in the World Cup qualifiers against Syria.

    While City were confident and enterprising against the Roar last week, Victory will be determined to avoid slipping up twice on the trot after their loss to Sydney FC. A draw is my tip.

    Sunday morning begins with a buoyant Newcastle returning home to face Perth. The Jets were thrilling in dismantling rivals Central Coast last week, while Perth allowed the Wanderers to boss them in the west. While a repeat of last week’s 5-1 scoreline is unlikely, Perth have always been traditional strugglers on the road, and that notion can be backed again. Newcastle have the points for mine.

    And finally, Sydney FC round off the weekend at home against Wellington Phoenix. Call it a stroke of fortune, or an opportune moment taken, but Sydney FC may just have picked up from where they left off from last season, after beating Victory on their patch.

    Coach Graham Arnold appears likely to base his title defence on the strong defensive foundations he has built, which makes any side travelling to Moore Park in for a tough task. The Phoenix let Adelaide dominate in the second half last week. While that may not impact proceedings here, it’s essential they make use of the final third consistently if they are to cause an upset. I just don’t see it though, and Sydney should win.

    Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold

    Alan Kearney
    Brisbane, Western Sydney, City, Newcastle, Sydney
    Brisbane to get their season up and running with a win at home to Adelaide.

    I fancy WSW to inflict more misery on Paul Okon and his men. CCM were very shaky at the back last week and I expect WSW Spanish striker Riera to get on the scoresheet again after an impressive start last week.

    The mouth-watering Melbourne derby in Round 2! Always tight and tense affairs, I feel this game will be no different, but City will come out on top, with the confidence of an opening day win last week still running through the squad and with the addition of Star Socceroo Tim Cahill, City will be full of optimism heading into this clash

    Newcastle Jets flew out of the traps last week dismantling CCM in the F3 derby. Roy O’Donovan was on fire bagging a hat trick and the Irishman will help the Jets to get the win over Perth who will struggle on the road again this week

    The champions started where they left off claiming an opening day win in the Big Blue over Melbourne Victory. With some outstanding additions made over the off season Sydney are looking very strong and I expect them to get off the mark at home to Wellington who drew with Adelaide last week in NZ.

    Stuart Thomas
    Adelaide, Western Sydney, Victory, Perth, Sydney
    I am sticking with the reds this week, despite them letting me down in the dour clash with Wellington. There is far too much talent in their squad to lay dormant for long and I am feeling a comfortable win for Adelaide against a still undermanned Brisbane.

    The Mariners were far from embarrassed against the Jets last week despite the score suggesting otherwise. I tipped them and things looked good early. Unfortunately, a few players looked a little short of a run and the Wanderers were particularly impressive despite their combinations being new and untested. Wanderers to win well.

    A cracking derby awaits Saturday night with both teams coming off losses in week one. That fact makes this an even more attractive proposition with one Melbourne club, potentially, sitting rock bottom after two rounds. Neither will want that position. Victory will win, for reasons that could only be described as gut instincts.

    [caption id="attachment_543385" align="alignleft" width="1000"]Kevin Muscat Melbourne Victory A-League (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

    Perth will respond after a loss where they showed some promise. Defensive failings will have been the focus through the week yet Diego Castro and his Spanish allies will click into gear. The Jets will find things more difficult against Perth than they did against the Mariners last week, who really looked spent after thirty minutes. Perth to win in a very tight contest.

    Sydney will find a way past Wellington despite this game being far more competitive than some are suggesting. Three games in eight days will always be a challenge and if the Sky Blues are 10-15 per cent off, the Phoenix have enough weapons and showed enough last week, to suggest they can hold firm at the back and worry the Sydney defence.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Brisbane, Western Sydney, Victory, Newcastle, Sydney

    Good luck everyone. Round 2 is about to get underway.

    Round 2 Mike Stuart Daniel Alan Vasant The Crowd
    Last week 2 1 5 4 4 4
    Previous Total 0 0 0 0 0 0
    New Total 2 1 5 4 4 4

    Stuart Thomas
    Stuart Thomas

    Stuart Thomas is a sports writer and educator who made the jump from Roar Guru to Expert in 2017. An ex-trainee professional golfer, his sporting passions are broad with particular interests in football, AFL and rugby league. His love of sport is only matched by his passion for gardening and self-sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @stuartthomas72.