The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 3

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By , Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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    Round three of the A-League throws up some interesting match-ups as teams lament their poor start or seek to consolidate their enterprising play in the opening rounds.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Draw, City, Draw, Newcastle, Perth

    I thought I was in dire straits after going none from two to start the round last weekend, but City’s win in the Melbourne derby helped get me back on an even keel.

    Round 3 action isn’t any easier to tip, and the fact that the big Friday night showdown between Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory is at the unloved Adelaide Oval means it’s likely to finish in a draw. Melbourne City should see off Wellington Phoenix on Saturday afternoon, though it could be a close-run thing, while the Sydney derby takes centre stage on Saturday night.

    The Sky Blues have had the wood over the Wanderers in recent times, but a new season brings renewed hope, and the latest instalment of the derby could finish all square at a packed Allianz Stadium.

    Brisbane Roar are the A-League’s latest problem club and they’d probably prefer to face anyone but the Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon. Expect the Jets to take all three points at Suncorp Stadium.

    Meanwhile, Perth Glory will be looking for their first win of the season at home to the Central Coast Mariners. I’m tipping the Glory to win it, although the Mariners have showed plenty of positive signs so far this season.

    Alan Kearney
    Victory, City, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth

    What a big game this is for Victory coming off the back of two defeats in the opening two rounds. Kevin Muscat will be feeling the pressure coming into this game and especially playing away to Adelaide which has always been a blockbuster of a game.

    Adelaide will be happy with the point picked up against Wellington last week but I feel Victory will rise to the occasion on Friday night and pick up the three points. They have too much quality in the squad and will be hurting at the moment. Beware of the wounded animal.

    Melbourne City have come flying out of the blocks in the opening two rounds. Bruce Kamau has made a great start to the season and has been a pivotal player so far. I expect City to continue their great start and pick up the points at home to Wellington.

    Bruce Kamau Melbourne City

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    The Sydney Derby is the standout fixture of the round for me. This game is always a passionate affair full of colour and noise. On the pitch the champions have made an impressive start to the season but won’t have it all their own way in this one. WSW had a good win last week at home to Perth however I feel that Sydney will just have enough to take the spoils.

    Brisbane has had some off the field drama this week when they sacked their Managing Director Mark Kingsman, this coupled with the last minute defeat to Adelaide last week makes it a very poor start to the season for the Roar. Newcastle on the other hand has made an impressive start and will also be disappointed to concede late in their game last week Perth. They have performed well so far but I expect Brisbane to battle hard to get their season on track.

    Central Coast had a big improvement in their performance last week but the journey to Perth is never easy for any side. Perth grabbed a late equaliser last week and will be itching to get a win in front of their home fans after two weeks on the road. It’s the Glory for me in this one.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Victory, City, Sydney, Draw, Perth.

    A tough one to tip to start the round; Adelaide picked up a nice win in Brisbane last week, but despite Melbourne’s winless start to the season, they have more class (on paper at least) than their current ladder position suggests. With Mark Milligan and James Troisi both fresher this week than they were during the last, I’ll take the Victory to grab their first win of the year.

    Melbourne’s other side poses a far more straightforward tip (I hope), with City looking in fine form early in the season. They should have little trouble at home against the Phoenix.

    The Sydney Derby should go the way of the Sky Blues. Sydney FC once again find themselves at the right end of the table, behind only City on goal difference. While Adrian Mierzejewski’s injury could throw a spanner in the works, expect them to be too good for the Wanderers, who have admittedly coped with Tony Popovic’s untimely departure far better than expected.

    The Roar will no doubt be desperate to break their duck for the season against the Jets, but Newcastle are a much-improved side compared to last year’s outfit. I’ll take the Novocastrians to nab a point in Brisbane, while Perth should account for the Mariners in the late game out west.

    Bobo Sydney FC

    (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

    Stuart Thomas
    Victory, City, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth

    When the champion teams are down and out, expect them to fire. That will be the case with the Victory on Friday night. Despite the impressive play by Adelaide last week, the importance of this game will see the Victory rise to the occasion.

    Melbourne City are on a roll and they will not be stopped by the Wellington Phoenix. At home they will prove far too strong for the visitors and affirm their spot at the top of the ladder moving into week four.

    The Sydney derby will be all that it is cracked up to be and the sky blues will find a way past the Wanderers in a tight contest. A draw is a possibility however, the class of the midfield might just get Sydney home.

    The Brisbane Roar’s clash with the Jets could be the most open and entertaining match of the weekend and the northerners will suffer their third straight loss and sit bottom at the end of the weekend. The Jets energy and creativity will prove far too adventurous for an underdone and clunky Roar.

    The wonderful 7.00pm timeslot on a Sunday night will provide a first win for the Perth Glory who have met stiff opposition over the first two weeks of the season. The Mariners attack threatens to score a bagful, yet it won’t happen this week with too much at stake for the Glory.

    Round 3 Mike Stuart Daniel Alan Vasant The Crowd
    Last week 3 2 1 2 1 2
    Previous Total 2 1 5 4 4 2
    New Total 5 3 6 6 5 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.