The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 8

Stuart Thomas Columnist

17 Have your say

    The twists and turns of this A-League season have been astonishing and we are only a quarter way through the home-and-away fixtures.

    Every match is throwing up potential scenarios that play out on one decision or a bounce of the ball.

    Round 8 will do the same. Make sure you put your tips into the sheet below to have your say as a member of the Crowd and good luck!

    Mike Tuckerman
    Victory, City, Mariners, draw, draw
    You can thank Adelaide United – and a bizarre postponement – for me failing to tip the round last week, as the A-League finally starts to settle down into something like a normal rhythm.

    There’s another Thursday night clash to excite the punters, and Melbourne Victory could prove too strong for a Newcastle Jets side stinging from their first defeat of the season to Sydney FC last time out.

    Melbourne City will see off a struggling Perth Glory with or without Tim Cahill, while a struggling Wellington Phoenix may find the Central Coast Mariners too hot to handle – I’m tipping the visitors to take all three points.

    Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar will finish all square at Allianz Stadium in the free-to-air fixture on Saturday night, and despite Ben of Phnom Penh’s exhortations, I won’t be tipping Adelaide United to beat Western Sydney Wanderers, with that game instead likely to finish in a draw as well.

    As always, tipping in the A-League remains a tough ask, so I plan to blame any results I get wrong this week on the bounce of the ball and not the fact I’ve forgotten to Windex my crystal ball.

    Stuart Thomas
    draw, City, Wellington, draw, Wanderers
    Another Thursday night fixture sees the Jets looking to rebound after their loss to the sky blues and the Victory looking to string two wins together on the road. There were positive signs for Melbourne last week and with a full and fresh squad after the return of their international players, this is an opportunity for them to remind everyone of their power.

    Newcastle will need to regain the goal-scoring form of the first few weeks of the season without Roy O’Donovan who is still a few weeks away. In what should be a good contest, a hard fought draw seems likely.

    Melbourne City face Perth Glory on Friday night and with the visitors still battling defensive frailties, I can’t see anything other than a Melbourne win.

    The early game on Saturday could be a cracker with Wellington and Central Coast looking to notch their second wins of the season. The loser will sit bottom and the winner will feel as though they finally have some momentum in their season. A draw, and both teams will regret missed opportunities. Wellington to win.

    An undoubtedly fatigued Sydney FC clash with Brisbane on Saturday night and despite the workload, will be seeking a win to stay atop the ladder. The full depth of the squad will be used by Graham Arnold and this will be a pre-cursor to later in the season when the Asian Champions League impacts Sydney’s title defence.

    Brisbane finally found some form against City last week and this is a tough match to line up. A draw seems a distinct possibility considering Sydney’s defence and Brisbane’s issues in attack.

    Adelaide will suffer the same challenge as Sydney, with the added pain of failing to secure the FFA Cup. The Wanderers will be well rested and ready to bounce on a wounded opposition and should prove too strong on the road.

    Alvaro Cejudo

    (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Newcastle, City, Wellington, Sydney, Draw
    The Victory might have finally broken their duck last week, but Newcastle’s loss to the Sky Blues hasn’t lowered their standing too much – at least not in my eyes. So long as Jack Duncan doesn’t spill the ball into Besart Berisha’s path, the Jets should be too good here.

    I’ll also take the home side in the following three matches. Melbourne City will be very disappointed if they’re unable to account for an inconsistent Perth side at home, while home-ground advantage will give the Phoenix the edge over the Mariners, although Wellington could be a bit rusty after having last week’s match postponed.

    They might be coming off a taxing FFA Cup final win, but Sydney FC have been far too good this season to suggest they’re capable of dropping points against the Roar. Weary legs notwithstanding, the Sky Blues should stay atop the table with another win here.

    I’m still struggling to get a read on both Adelaide and Western Sydney. Both have had their moments this year, but neither have consistently impressed. This will be worth watching to see how Josep Gombau’s influence impacts the Wanderers in his second game in charge, and I’ll tip it to finish in an entertaining draw.

    Josep Gombau

    (AAP Image/ Julian Smith)

    Alan Kearney
    Victory, City, draw, Sydney, Western Sydney
    Newcastle suffered a defeat in a top of the table clash last week by Sydney FC while Melbourne Victory claimed their first win of the season away to Perth.

    Victory went from 10th to sixth on the ladder with the win and it is no coincidence when they have their strongest players available they produce performances and get results like last week.

    Newcastle looked a bit toothless up front and will be hoping for the return of star striker Roy O’Donovan from injury. I am going to go with a Victory win here as the confidence will be flowing from last week’s result.

    Will Tim Cahill start? Will Ross McCormack be available? What is going on at City? These are some of the questions that are floating around at the moment regarding Melbourne City. A disastrous week, on and off the park and after such a good start the cracks are starting to appear.

    They will be hoping Eugene Galekovic remembers how to catch a ball and they get back to winning ways at home to Perth to stay in touch at the top of the ladder. The Glory has been inconsistent so far and their away form is pretty poor and I expect that to continue.

    Wellington had a week off with the postponement of their fixture against WSW. How that will affect The Phoenix remains to be seen. Will they be fresh because of the week off or could the momentum of a big win over Perth have been lost with no game?

    The Mariners momentum was shattered with a last minute goal by Adelaide condemning them to a loss. I think both these sides are very similar and can see this game being an entertaining one but ending in a draw.

    Sydney bounced back from defeat the week before to get a valuable win against the Jets while Brisbane got a first win against Melbourne City. Sydney are back on top of the ladder and also have the FFA Cup trophy in the bag after a midweek win over Adelaide.

    Even though Brisbane got the win last week I still feel they have improvement to make as their goals were gifted to them by City, they will be looking to cause another upset but he Sky Blues have too much quality in the ranks and will get the job done at home.

    There’s no better feeling than a last minute winner and that’s what The Reds got last week away to the Mariners. However they will also be feeling the disappointment of an FFA Cup Final defeat to Sydney on Tuesday night.

    It will be interesting to see how they respond. WSW had the week off after the postponement of their game against Wellington. They should be fresh and I expect them to get the win on the road.

    Round 8 Mike Stuart Daniel Alan The Crowd
    Last week 3 2 1 1 1
    Previous Total 15 9 15 13 14
    New Total 18 11 16 14 15

    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.

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 7:06am
      Kangajets said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      Roy o Donovan and Jack Duncan are both out . Not sure abt Georgievski.
      I be happy if the jets got a draw against victory tonight .

      • Roar Pro

        November 23rd 2017 @ 12:49pm
        Josh Barton said | November 23rd 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

        If O’Donovan were there, I’d pick the Jets to win for sure. If the Jets can beat Victory without him, that would be a big statement towards the Jets title chances (with the added benefit of piling more misery onto Muscat).

      • Roar Guru

        November 23rd 2017 @ 1:01pm
        Griffo said | November 23rd 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        We seem fairly depleted but seemingly only a few players are out.

        I’d like to think its Merricks strategy as much as a few players making it works, so agree with Josh Barton if we win it will be good statement.

        A second loss in a row wouldn’t be catastrophic but don’t want to get too used to losing in a critical period of the season.

        If we stand back I think we’ll lose. If we are gung-ho like the first few games, we can take Victory which we have a decent record against until last season.

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 7:38am
      Waz said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      Victory over Jets
      City over Glory by a few
      Nix over CCM just
      Draw SFC/Brisbane
      Draw AU/WSW

      • November 23rd 2017 @ 8:37am
        punter said | November 23rd 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        Waz, heart or head?

        • November 23rd 2017 @ 9:13am
          Waz said | November 23rd 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

          Pragmatic head this week.

          We’ve improved game on game but as you saw with City our patchwork defence leaves the back door open with alarming frequency and the midfield is still absent which means we’re not getting it forward to Maccarone so we’re not scoring as many as we should.

          Tactically Aloisi would have to outsmart Arnie to win this one; it can be done but in two seasons and 7 games I can only think of one game where Aloisi has outsmarted his opposite number so I’m not holding my breath there.

          Bautheac is where the real threat for Brisbane sits, as he’s got better and better with each game so has the team. The No. 22 is turning out to be very appropriate for him.

          Hopefully it’ll be a good game and Brisbane are unbeaten in 5 come Sunday morning – several of the upcoming games are winable and it’s not impossible JA can sit down to Christmas lunch unbeaten in 9 games if he plays his cards right. But Arnie v Aloisi is Man v Boy in my books.

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 8:04am
      chris said | November 23rd 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      SFC will be hurting after FFA cup final. Will be happy with a draw against Roar

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 8:19am
      Bob said | November 23rd 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      NUJ 2, Victory 2
      M City 4, Perth 2
      Welly 2, Mariners 3
      Sydney 2, BRFC 1
      AUFC 2, WSW 3

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 8:26am
      jamesb said | November 23rd 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      Jets v Victory- draw
      City v Glory- City
      Wellington v CCM- Wellington
      Sydney v Brisbane- Sydney
      Adelaide v WSW- draw

    • Roar Rookie

      November 23rd 2017 @ 8:27am
      Stevo said | November 23rd 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      On a side note, David Squires’ latest offering reckons Arnie as Socceroos gaffer is best chance for Matty “the enforcer” Simon to make it to Russia. He might be onto something. Imagine Matty coming on as an impact player 😉

      • November 23rd 2017 @ 8:35am
        punter said | November 23rd 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        Imagine Matty up against Ramos, you could put odds on which player will get the the red card first.
        This would re-enforce to the rest of the world that the Socceroos play thugball, everything Ange tried to change.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 23rd 2017 @ 3:47pm
          Stevo said | November 23rd 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

          Yep, but what does that say about Arnie’s football philosophy? He’s capable of blending Matty’s thugball with the artistry of Ninkovic. A true all-round coach.

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