With so much news around Australian football at the moment, let’s not forget the intriguing round that will unravel over the weekend.
The experts were outdone by the Crowd last week, as the voice of the people scored three winners, and pulled one closer to the lead.
Some ripper matches are on the cards this week with a certain derby likely to steal much of the attention.
Good luck and don’t forget to insert your tips into the sheet below and have your say as the A-League enters week 10.
Draw, Brisbane, Sydney, draw, City
The A-League seems to get no easier to tip as the weeks roll by, although there’s now a familiar name at the top of the league table starting to pull away.
Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United renew their rivalry at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, and that’s another tough game to tip with both sides in patchy form. Expect that one to finish all square. Brisbane Roar will beat Wellington Phoenix on the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon, although they won’t exactly call upon a vociferous ‘home’ support to get them over the line.
The clash of the round is obviously the Sydney derby, and neither side go into it in particularly good form. The Sky Blues have been methodical in dispatching their opponents this season, while Western Sydney were insipid in their 2-0 defeat to Brisbane Roar last weekend. Expect Sydney FC to take all three points – and questions to be asked of new Wanderers coach Josep Gombau if he can’t get an appropriate reaction out of his side.
Perth Glory remain one of the most inconsistent sides in the league, but they’ll be glad to get back home after a couple of tough away clashes. That one could finish all square at NIB Stadium.
Meanwhile, having parted ways with Tim Cahill during the week, Melbourne City will fancy their chances of taking all three points off the Mariners in the final fixture of the round on Sunday evening.
Victory, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast
The Melbourne Victory finally showed their claws last week and moved up the table accordingly. Despite early goals from Wellington, the visitors looked slick in the second period and even though Adelaide are playing well, should be good enough to account for the Reds.
The Phoenix will be shattered by the result at home last week and feel three points were thrown away. They will be looking for to restore some faith in their fans against Brisbane on Saturday afternoon. Sadly, they won’t and an increasingly confident Roar will grab the three points.
Saturday night, prime time, is the match of the round, despite the Wanderers languishing near the bottom of the ladder. The Western Sydney boys will lift for this game and Sydney may be without some of their big stars. In saying that, there is little to like about the Wanderers at this stage and Sydney will find a way to dispose of their cross-town rivals.
Perth return home for a late kick-off against Newcastle Jets after a brave showing last week against the Mariners. With Newcastle coming off the back of a loss to Melbourne City, in a game they could have won, they will be determined to avoid stringing together two weeks without points. I am expecting a big performance from the Jets and a strong win.
I love the Sunday 7pm kick-off. Time to relax with a cool bevy and enjoy some football. Additionally, this week sees the added bonus of the attractive Mariners visiting AAMI Park in Melbourne to face City.
A little lucky to grab all three points last week, I see the Mariners continuing their roll and knocking off the home side in something of a surprise result.
Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, City
Melbourne’s stunning comeback aside, there’s been nothing to suggest they’re a finals side this year, let alone the championship contenders many thought they would be before the season started. Adelaide have improved nicely as the season has progressed, and they should get a win to start the week.
Both Brisbane and Wellington have been similarly disappointing this season, but, coming off the back of a 2-0 win, the Roar should account for the Phoenix at home.
Sydney derbies have been excellent affairs in recent times, but the signs point to a comfortable Sky Blues win this round. Sydney FC have, once again, cemented themselves at the top of the ladder, while the Wanderers are really struggling at the moment. Josep Gombau needs to turn this side around, and quickly, otherwise his position is going to come under threat.
Tough as making the trip to Perth can be, Newcastle have been as impressive as any side not named Sydney FC this year. They’ll be able to come away with at least a draw, and likely a win. Although, given how unpredictable this season has been, I’m loathe to predict anything with such certainty.
Fair to say it’s a surprise to see the Mariners in the top four nearly ten games into the season. Paul Okon has his side performing really well at the moment, but Melbourne City have also had an excellent start to the season, even with their recent road-bumps. The home-ground advantage could make all the difference here.
Victory, Brisbane, Sydney, draw, City
Victory is coming off the back of a big win last week in Wellington and should be full of confidence. They showed an awful lot of character to come back from two goals down but, in truth, they should have won the game by a lot more but for poor finishing.
If the attacking front four of Berisha, Troisi, George and Barbarouses put in the same level of performance and find their shooting boots, it could be a difficult evening for Adelaide.
Adelaide played well in patches against Sydney and will look to bounce back in a fixture that has always had some spice to it. I feel Victory with the momentum from last week will prove too strong.
Brisbane produced a brilliant win on the road against the Wanderers and Ivan Franjic proved it was shrewd business by Aloisi to bring him back to the Roar by scoring a cracking goal.
Wellington are a bit of a shambles at the moment and are leaking goals at the back. While they have the in-form Kaludjerovic scoring goals, it doesn’t seem to matter as they showed last week against Victory, giving up a two-goal lead. Confidence is sapped from The Nix and I can only see a Brisbane win.
The form of both Sydney teams could not be any different. While the champions go from strength to strength notching another win on the road last week, WSW are in poor form and lost for the second week in a row. Luckily for the Wanderers, it all that goes out the window when two cross-town rivals meet and I can’t wait for this game.
One of the marquee fixtures of the A-League; it should be a cracker. Gombau will endear himself to Wanderers fans if he can guide his team to victory and their first win of the season, but he has been around long enough to know the size of the task facing them.
Perth are back at home this week after last week’s loss away to the Mariners. The Glory are possibly the most inconsistent team in the league at the moment. Being struck down by key injuries in recent weeks hasn’t helped their cause. The positives for them have been the performances of the young players in the squad which bodes well for the future.
Newcastle will be disappointed not to have got something from last week’s game against City and, if it wasn’t for the performance of Bouzanis in the City goal, they would have picked up points. Arguably, the Jets are playing the most exciting brand of football in the league and welcome back Roy O’Donovan into the squad.
Perth is always a difficult place to go and I have a feeling this will be a draw as both teams will cancel each other out.
Paul Okon’s Mariners are flying at the moment and are up to fourth on the ladder. They are producing a level of consistency in their performances that makes them a very enjoyable side to watch. The areas they have improved are in both boxes as they have been more clinical in front of goal and defended a lot better.
Daniel De Silva is a player bang in form and they will hope he has another big impact this week. Melbourne City had another departure from the club this week with Tim Cahill following assistant coach Michael Valkanis out the door.
Cahill has his sights set firmly on Russia and felt his lack of game time would hinder his chances of making it to a fourth World Cup. City didn’t need the Marquee man last week as they won against the Jets and will want to get back to back wins to keep up with Sydney who are five clear at the top.
Luke Brattan is showing signs of his Brisbane form and City will want him dictating play to give his side control of the game. City are grinding out wins at the moment and I think it will continue this week.
|Round 10||Mike||Stuart||Daniel||Alan||The Crowd|
|MVC vs ADE||DRAW||MVC||ADE||MVC||MVC|
|BRI v WEL||BRI||BRI||BRI||BRI||BRI|
|WSW vs SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD|
|PER vs NEW||DRAW||NEW||NEW||DRAW||NEW|
|MCY vs CCM||MCY||CCM||MCY||MCY||MCY|