The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 11

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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13 Have your say

    Roar editors are Roar editors for a reason and Daniel Jeffrey nailed four correct tips last week. The other experts were all level on two, as was the crowd, who are performing very well indeed.

    Another great week of football and the final game of the round might just be the clash of the season, even at this early stage.

    Good luck, enjoy the matches and don’t forget to insert your tips into the sheet below and have your say.

    Here is how the experts see things unfolding this week. Don’t forget, you can have your say by entering your tips into the form below.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Sydney, Adelaide, Central Coast, draw, draw

    If there’s one thing you could never accuse the A-League of, it’s predictability! Sydney FC might look like they’re about to start pulling away from the rest of the league, but they face a serious litmus test against a Melbourne City side looking to return to form after a patchy few weeks.

    The Sky Blues should be good enough to take all three points off City in a Friday night blockbuster at Allianz Stadium, while Adelaide United are likely to make the most of Newcastle’s long injury list by claiming an away win against the Jets in the Hunter.

    The Mariners enjoy a rare primetime fixture against the Wanderers on Saturday night in Gosford. I’m tipping Paul Okon to get the better of Josep Gombau in a fascinating clash of coaching cultures.

    The Glory and Phoenix could finish all square in the so-called Distance Derby – although the Phoenix have been decidedly poor of late – while Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory could also finish locked in a stalemate in the Sunday evening fixture at Suncorp Stadium, with both teams in danger of seeing their seasons peter out unless they get a hustle on soon.

    As always, the A-League remains as unpredictable as ever. And that’s not a bad thing at all.

    Stuart Thomas
    Sydney, Adelaide, Central Coast, Perth, draw

    After jumping off the champions for a few matches early in the season, I won’t be doing it again. After the thumping of their cross-town rivals last Saturday night, it appears Sydney FC are well and truly back and the Wanderers are well and truly lost. City will pose a threat, yet Sydney’s form is irrepressible.

    The clash between the Jets and the Reds could be a belter. Adelaide are still yet to convince many despite their solid form and Newcastle have injury issues.

    After stealing the points against Perth last week the Jets will be looking to keep the heat on Sydney atop the ladder and Adelaide will seek to cement a spot in the six. I have wavered on this one and have settled on Adelaide.

    After the abysmal performance of the Wanderers last week, I can’t pick them against the pesky Mariners who will not want to taste defeat in consecutive weeks. While a little inconsistent at times, Central Coast can lift for this one and further the misery for the Wanderers.

    How Perth managed to lose all three points against Newcastle is anybody’s guess and they will have been punished through the week by Kenny Lowe to ensure it never happens again. Wellington are rarely awful yet much better at home and Perth are tough to beat on their turf.

    Well, well, well. Who would have thought this clash would be taking place at this stage of the season? Apart from the impressive second half against the Phoenix a fortnight ago, Melbourne have shown nothing and Brisbane still continue to struggle, despite some definite improvement.

    I have no idea which way this will go. Honourable draw.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Perth, draw

    The Sky Blues are in commanding form at the moment and while City have picked up after a little slump, I don’t see much hope for them on Friday night.

    Fresh off their outstanding burglary of three points against Perth, Newcastle are still sitting pretty in second spot on the ladder. Adelaide are fast becoming one of the form sides of the competition, but I’ll take the Jets at home.

    Western Sydney have been pretty dreadful since Josep Gombau’s arrival at the club. Fans may have pencilled in Central Coast as an easy three points at the beginning of the year, but that’s obviously no longer the case. The Mariners should add to the Wanderers’ woes here.

    Perth will still be wondering how they left their encounter with the Jets without a single point, but they’ve got the perfect opportunity to grab three at home against the Phoenix.

    Not much has gone right for either Brisbane or Melbourne this year; the Victory were unable to put away a nine-man Adelaide last week, and Brisbane could only manage a scoreless draw against the out-of-form Phoenix. In the complete absence of belief in either side here, I’ll take the easy way out and tip a draw.

    Alan Kearney
    Sydney, Adelaide, Central Coast, Wellington, Victory

    Can anybody stop Sydney FC? The Champions enjoyed a resounding win in the Sydney derby last week and will be full of confidence approaching this game. Sydney are on an impressive run, winning four in a row, and in the last four games between these teams, Sydney have also come out on top.

    Polish playmaker Mierzejevski was in scintillating form for the Sky Blues last week and is a player to watch out for in this fixture.

    Melbourne City proved there is life after Tim Cahill with a win against Central Coast, with Ross McCormack scoring his first from open play. City will be desperate to get a result to stop Sydney running away at the top and a win would bring them within 3 points of the leaders.

    I can’t help but think the rest of the league will also be hoping for a City win to halt the utter domination at the moment. My gut instinct is that Sydney will prove too strong and continue their run.

    Newcastle snatched a win on the road away to Perth last week, with Coach Ernie Merrick describing it as theft.

    That in itself paints the picture of their performance, but it doesn’t matter as long as you pick up the points.

    They will have to do without star striker Roy O’Donovan for three months as it was revealed midweek that he sustained a grade three tear in his groin during the win.

    Roy O'Donovan of the Jets celebrates scoring

    Adelaide will still be buzzing from the win against long-time rivals Victory and a win here will cement them firmly in the top four, which would be an amazing turn around after a poor start. I fancy The Reds to get the win as they have been showing a lot of improvement in recent games.

    The Mariners continued the inconsistent run of results with a narrow loss to City while the Wanderers were an absolute shambles against Sydney in the derby last week. The positive news for Wanderers fans is the only way is up and Gombau will be looking for mass improvement from his players.

    Whatever the result, they will need to show the passion and fighting spirit they have been renowned for since their inception. If Central Coast continues to play the football they have produced for the majority of the season they will get the win at home.

    The Glory are in awful form, having lost the last four out of five games, while Wellington battled to get a point in a tough game against Brisbane which they arguably could have won.

    The Glory’s poor run coincides with key players missing with injury. It was good to see Castro back on the park for them last week and they will hope he can influence this one to get them back to winning ways.

    Wellington can be pleased with their resolute defensive display last week and it was a big improvement, as they have been leaking goals at the back. It’s a tough one to call but I am leaning towards Wellington to get a shock win on the road.

    The Roar battled to a point against Wellington, while Victory continued to show inconsistent form last week. Both teams are level on ten points and are in need of wins to stay in touch with the top six.

    On paper, I feel Victory have a stronger side, but they are just not gelling enough at the moment.

    Both coaches are under a bit of pressure, especially Muscat who has come under criticism from supporters in recent weeks. I will go with Victory in this game as they try to kick-start their season ….. again!

    Round 11 Mike Stuart Daniel Alan The Crowd
    Last week 2 2 4 2 2
    Previous Total 21 13 20 16 20
    New Total 23 15 24 18 22

    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 (13)

    • December 14th 2017 @ 10:34am
      Waz said | December 14th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      Sydney/City – draw although there’s a bit of wishful thinking in that

      Jets/Adelaide – Jets 3-1 although AU to have 4x the number of shots at goal.

      Mariners/WSW – CCM by quite a few. Nothing to fear for Wanderers just the change of style.

      Glory/Nix – hard one to call. Glory just.

      Brisbane/Victory – hardest one to call. Could be 0-0, score draw, a slight win for either side or both could win it 4-0. All depends who turns up. I’ll go 6-0 Roar cos I never bet against my side ?

      • Columnist

        December 14th 2017 @ 11:07am
        Stuart Thomas said | December 14th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        Strewth, 6-0, I’ll be watching that one. Would be the end of Muscat I’d say.

        • December 14th 2017 @ 2:06pm
          Waz said | December 14th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

          He can always take the vacant Sydney job ?

          • December 14th 2017 @ 3:19pm
            Waz said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            And as Kristensen has been named in the squad today I’m a bit more confident on the “0” bit lol

    • December 14th 2017 @ 5:07pm
      Kangajets said | December 14th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

      I gotta day I’m shattered that O’Donovan is out for 3 more months .

      Here’s hoping the jets continue their good results , but I’m not so optimistic without O’Donovan. 2-1 either way I see it

      Sydney will win against whoever they play

      Ccm should best wsw

    • December 14th 2017 @ 5:11pm
      Kangajets said | December 14th 2017 @ 5:11pm | ! Report


      Jets fans . This is your time to show up , even if it’s going to be 38 degrees at 5.30

      And remember the jets women are coming first and they are up agdinst Sam Kerr and the glory in a double header
      Go jets

      • Roar Guru

        December 14th 2017 @ 5:51pm
        Griffo said | December 14th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

        Jets women should have a decent crowd: 8:10pm kick off and after the men’s team which is a nice change for them doing the early 3pm kickoff in the heat. Hoping Jets fans hang around until after 9:30pm to be counted 😉

        Well, it won’t be raining Saturday night, that’s for sure.

    • Roar Guru

      December 14th 2017 @ 5:57pm
      Griffo said | December 14th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

      Sydney, Jets, draw, Perth, draw.

      Going to be tough for the Jets I think, especially if they play like the did last week, and Adelaide press them hard in midfield.

      Not sure about Mariner’s this week. Didn’t think they played all that well overall last week, either.

      I just can’t see either Brisbane or Victory winning, although at least one of them needs to.

      Like last season, tip against Sydney at your peril.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 14th 2017 @ 6:30pm
      Grobbelaar said | December 14th 2017 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

      SFC 2 v City 1

      Jets 1 v AU 1

      CCM 1 v WSW 0

      PG 1 v Nix 0

      BR 1 v MV 1

      • Roar Rookie

        December 15th 2017 @ 10:16pm
        Grobbelaar said | December 15th 2017 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

        opening prediction spoiled by a last gasp goal

    • December 14th 2017 @ 7:35pm
      Midfielder said | December 14th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

      Flying Circus otherwise know as Gosford FC …

      Piss Ants.

      Mighty Mariners

      Morning Glory

      Old Red Neck Boys Home just

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