The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 14

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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29 Have your say

    After a tough week of tipping, I might just gloss over the results so everyone can maintain some dignity. Round 14 is upon us and things won’t get any easier.

    There is a strange structure to the week with a Wednesday start, a Saturday finish and some tricky games to navigate in between.

    Good luck and don’t forget to insert your tips on the form below to have your say as a member of the crowd, as the masses bid for tipping glory.

    Here is the way the experts see things panning out this week.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Tips: Sydney, draw, Adelaide, Victory, draw
    Late goals and personnel changes make the A-League unpredictable as ever going into Round 14, even if Sydney FC look impregnable at the top of the table.

    The Sky Blues should have too much firepower for the Newcastle Jets in tonight’s first-versus-second encounter at Allianz Stadium, while Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers could finish all square on Friday night.

    Adelaide United might nick all three points off Perth Glory at NIB Stadium in Friday night’s other encounter, with the Glory remaining one of the most frustratingly inconsistent teams in the league.

    Melbourne Victory should see off the Central Coast Mariners in Geelong – provided the game goes ahead given the predicted heat – while Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix will finish in a draw in the free-to-air clash at AAMI Park, with both teams still struggling to find some form midway through the campaign.

    As usual, about the only constant is the sight of Sydney FC at the top of the standings, with the Sky Blues already threatening to run away with the League.

    Stuart Thomas
    Tips: Sydney, Western Sydney, Adelaide, Victory, City
    The Jets have the chance to cement themselves as real contenders against the high-flying Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the fortress will prove to be exactly that and a full strength Sydney should edge Newcastle for class.

    The Wanderers have had a turbulent start to the New Year despite the win against City and some personnel changes could have numerous effects.

    I’m tipping a galvanising one, as Josep Gombau might now have a balance in the team with which he is more pleased. Brisbane will be buoyant after their unlikely win against Adelaide, however, the Wanderers will steal the points up north.

    Friday’s late game sees Perth looking to rebound from the drubbing against Sydney and Adelaide desperate for three points after slipping up against Brisbane, despite dominating possession. In a tough one to line up I feel Adelaide will get the points in the west.

    In Saturday’s matches, the Victory will beat the Mariners after finally starting to show their teeth and the Mariners suffering from a lack of depth due to representative duty.

    City will towel up the hapless Phoenix at home in the later game.

    Ross McCormack Melbourne City

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Tips: Sydney, Brisbane, Draw, Victory, City
    It’s all getting a bit monotonous, continually tipping Sydney to win week in, week out. But the Sky Blues are that much better than the rest of the competition that it pretty much goes without saying they’ll take home the three points each round. Watching Milos Ninkovic and Adrian Mierzejewski on the same pitch is a joy.

    It was a much-needed win for Brisbane last round, and that could kick-start their season. John Aloisi will certainly be hoping it will. Western Sydney are starting to play a little better under Josep Gombau, but the Wanderers were still far from convincing last week. The Roar could well make it two in a row here.

    For Adelaide, that defeat to Brisbane came as a real shock. United had been in decent form and should never have lost to an undermanned Roar. They travel to Perth this week, where the Glory will be desperate to bounce back after being completely dismantled by Sydney. With both teams looking to improve this round, I can’t split them.

    The Victory have finally found a run of positive results after a dreadful start to the year, while the Mariners are going in the opposite direction – they hardly looked like scoring last time out against the Phoenix, which isn’t what you want to see against the worst side in the league. Melbourne should make it four straight wins on their home paddock against Paul Okon’s men.

    Melbourne City are in a funk. They shouldn’t have lost to Western Sydney after taking the lead last week and have now copped three straight defeats on the trot. A win against bottom-of-the-ladder Wellington is still the likely result this weekend, but Warren Joyce has some serious work to do to ensure this season doesn’t fall by the wayside after a promising start.

    Alan Kearney
    Tips: Sydney, Western Sydney, draw, Victory, City

    A top-of-the-table clash to start off this round. Can Newcastle bounce back from last week’s defeat and stop the Sydney FC machine from rolling on? The neutrals around the country surely want a Newcastle win to close the gap on the league leaders as they are currently eight points ahead.

    A win for the home side would surely wrap up the premiers plate. I know it’s still very early but the way Sydney are going, it would have to be a catastrophic collapse for them to throw it away should they win this game. As impressive as Newcastle have been this season, Sydney will continue their brilliant form.

    Brandon O'Neill Sydney FC

    (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

    Both sides had much-needed wins last round with Brisbane holding on for in Adelaide despite being down to ten men for the whole second half. The Wanderers also had a much needed win against Melbourne City.

    A point separates the two sides and they will be both desperate for the win to catapult themselves towards finals positions after recent poor form. Brisbane will be without Matt McKay after he was needlessly sent off last week while WSW will be without Jumpei and Melling after both had their contracts mutually terminated this week. As the ladder suggests not a lot separates these two but my gut feeling is that WSW will get the win on the road.

    Perth were absolutely dismantled last week against Sydney and confidence will be very fragile among the squad. Adelaide, on the other hand, are probably still scratching their heads as to how they lost against Brisbane. They were dominant in possession but unfortunately, two key lapses in concentration while playing out from the back cost them dearly. Again, only one point separates both teams and it will be a tight affair.

    The Victory have hit some form of late and were impressive in the win over Newcastle last week while the Mariners managed to stop the rot at home to Wellington.

    I can only see a win here for Victory, as they have finally clicked into gear after a difficult start. The players they have in the attacking third are playing really well while at the back and Rhys Williams has been a standout for them so far. The Mariners will do what they normally do – play well in possession but ultimately come away without the points.

    City will see this game as an ideal opportunity to get back on track after losing three games in a row as they face off against bottom-of-the-ladder Wellington. The Nix got a point last round against the Mariners and that may give them some much-needed confidence, but they have shown very little all season to suggest they can cause an upset here.

    Round 14 Mike Stuart Daniel Alan The Crowd
    Last week 2 1 1 2 1
    Previous Total 27 20 28 24 28
    New Total 29 21 29 26 29

    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 (29)

    • January 3rd 2018 @ 12:33pm
      Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      I can’t be optimistic abt the jets tonight . I think we need a 3 goal headstart A’s Ernie Merrick has included the himsrlf the kit man and the Physio to fill the bench .

      Sydney by a few

      Roar 3-1

      Perth 1-1

      City 1-1

      Victory 2-1

    • January 3rd 2018 @ 2:21pm
      Waz said | January 3rd 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      SYD/Jets – Sydney just too good so by 3 or 4, Jets just don’t believe in themselves and I think they might choke themselves out of a top 2 spot now.

      BNE/WSW – Brisbane by a crazy score like 7-2. I think they’ll feel lucky like the proverbial teenager on a first date.

      Glory/Adelaide – Jekyll n Hyde Glory 3-0

      MV/CCM – Victory by 5 or 6 to nil. Mariners being found out as the season progresses.

      City/Nix – a bore-draw with both sides playing like they have 3 DMs

      • January 3rd 2018 @ 3:36pm
        Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report


        I can’t see Newcastle winning tonight because of an injury list that Brisbane Roar would whinge about .

        But come semi finals at full strength. Jets will be mighty hard to beat . Choke is what Brisbane did when 3-0 up in a semi final against wsw.

        • January 3rd 2018 @ 4:01pm
          Waz said | January 3rd 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

          Why don’t you post your injury list here for everyone to see. I’m betting it’s not very long. And my guess is, those on the injury list: cause of injury = choking ?

          • January 3rd 2018 @ 5:25pm
            Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

            Magree unavailability because of afc

            • January 3rd 2018 @ 5:57pm
              Waz said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

              ya big sook, Glory/Roar have been carrying an injury list longer than that from R1 to now. Did you just wake up and realise injuries happen??

              • January 3rd 2018 @ 10:15pm
                Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

                Hey waz

                Where’s your expert comments on the Newcastle Jets now

                Your silence is deafening

              • January 4th 2018 @ 9:22am
                Waz said | January 4th 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                You are seriously messed up lol “my silence is defening”, err, silent apart from the comments taking place on the story dedicated to the match on this site ?

                When did you become so bitter n twisted over people’s opinions?

                I will point out the obvious – you also wrote them off before the game. As did all the experts on here, as did the rest of us
                ameteurs, so too all the Fox Sports commentators including Bozza who also accused them of freezing in big games (funny that).

                So i’ll see you over on the match thread but leave you with this: if you hadn’t choked v SFC and Victory and taken points instead of losing, the gap at the top wouldn’t be as big as it is now.

              • January 4th 2018 @ 11:55am
                Kangajets said | January 4th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report


                If you call that choking . I’m proud to follow a choking football team .

                Can you stop with your name calling stuff .

                Good luck to your team .

      • Columnist

        January 3rd 2018 @ 5:05pm
        Stuart Thomas said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

        Waz, this will be a hell of a weekend if this all plays out. Better crowds last week, some good games. What was your take? Personally if Brisbane and WSW start rolling, the metrics will look a whole lot better. To me, if most teams keep winning at home, crowds figures soar.

        • January 3rd 2018 @ 6:12pm
          Waz said | January 3rd 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report


          Way too early to call positives on Roar/WSW I recon. Both though will take confidence from wins they shouldn’t have had – the irony they meet next up probably means a draw which is no good to either but let’s hope they both go for it.

          Be interesting to see the crowd on Friday night, I think that will give a better indication of how far they’ve fallen off – 8,664 members and a double header with the table topping Roar ladies, so there’s hope of a decent crowd.

          Roars cavalry arrive later this month with all but Theo and Caletti due back, that’ll be the difference for Roar … and Wanderers, I guess it depends who they sign? But hopefully both these teams come strong for the second half of the season

          • January 4th 2018 @ 6:00pm
            Lionheart said | January 4th 2018 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

            Hoping for a good crowd too, but the BBL has been all over the media this week, working really hard to get a crowd along, on at the same time (just checked, they’re sold out bar two tickets at $119 each).

    • January 3rd 2018 @ 3:41pm
      Footoverhand said | January 3rd 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

      My dark horses didn’t come in last week, so different approach.

      Syd – As good as the injury stricken Jets are they aren’t there yet to beat Sydney away, Merrick has said as much.

      WSW – I think City just played them into form and they will have found a bit of confidence, it could be too much for Brizzy as long as WSW don’t implode.

      Draw – Adelaide are starting to hit their straps, they just need to put the bag of wind into the net, though Perth are hard to beat at home they have similar problems with Taggart missing. It should be a close game and probably low scoring, to close to call.

      MV – They’re starting to find some form, whilst the Mariners has been wanting of late, though having beaten Sydney FC earlier they have it in them, sadly I don’t think they’ll win this one.

      MC – it will probably be a bore draw City just need to score, Welly are bottom for a reason and Burns won’t be able to play this game who could have made a big difference.

      • January 3rd 2018 @ 4:07pm
        Footoverhand said | January 3rd 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

        Actually forgot the transfer market is open so new signings will play, Nix to beat MC.

    • January 3rd 2018 @ 3:57pm
      Richo said | January 3rd 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

      Sydney 3-1
      Roar 2-0
      Adelaide 4-1
      MV 3-0
      MC 1-0

    • Roar Guru

      January 3rd 2018 @ 4:08pm
      Griffo said | January 3rd 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

      3-1 Sydney
      1-0 Brisbane
      2-1 Perth
      3-1 Victory
      2-0 City

      Unfortunately Jets are scraping the team list and including players from the youth team. Sydney should account for us this week 🙁

      Going for narrow wins for Perth and Brisbane at home. I just don’t know about Perth given how well Adelaide are playing at times.

      Victory are on a roll while City should account for the ‘nix.

      • January 3rd 2018 @ 4:46pm
        Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 4:46pm | ! Report


        Apparently to experts on here , jets don’t have injuries, they will choke and get beat by Sydney tonigjt .

        • January 3rd 2018 @ 5:13pm
          Waz said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

          “experts” ouch, lol

          How soon you’ve become all serious and suddenly feeling sorry for yourself. And you think you’d injury list is bad now Glory, Reds and Roar have had that injury list all season.

          You choked the first time you met SFC in R7 and you choked when you played Victory kast; and choking’s not the result, it’s the performance – Jets are basically freezing in the big games against tough teams. The fix for that is not your injury list, it’s to toughen players up and sign one or two mentally tough players – Roars success was not built in talent and Ange’s system, it was built on mental toughness which is why we came back from the dead so often. It’s something Sydney are taking to the next level tbh – they’re almost robotic.

          Hopefully circumstances force Ernie into a cunning plan tonight, because with your full squad you’d come away losers

          • January 3rd 2018 @ 5:54pm
            Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report


            So your excuses for injuries this season equals Brisbane are choking if that’s your logic . Brisbane are not mentally tough this season .

            In my books . Having a 3-0 lead in a semi final and losing is choking .

            I can’t follow your logic
            But I wish u well .


            • January 3rd 2018 @ 7:08pm
              Waz said | January 3rd 2018 @ 7:08pm | ! Report


              I’m not sure why you’ve become so sensitive?

              And much as I’m happy to discuss Roar there’s no correlation between the two.

              Roar started out unfit, injured, and nothing’s changed. Whether that changes later this month when a flood of players returns we will see

              The 3-0/4-5 wasn’t choking it was simply not being good enough and playing the wrong tactics. If you want to call that choking fine, under Ange or Mulvey that wouldn’t have happened that’s for sure.

              But my comment was in relation to jets which you’ve taken offence over, Jets have played great football (the best to watch for me) but they didn’t play that way against SFC earlier in the season they basically froze, so to wuth Victory, hence the comment.

              The pressures on Jets now, lose tonight and they’re in a race for second, they’re good enough for second but …?

              • January 3rd 2018 @ 7:28pm
                Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 7:28pm | ! Report


                The jets were 10 th favourite at the start of the season , by every betting site . I didn’t believe that and obviously neither did Merrick .

                By rights Without O’Donovan or Vargas playing , they should be roughly 6 th or 7 on the ladder . Currently they are like schoolboys taking on men and winning a few along the way .

                The experience of playing Sydney and victory under strength now will only solidify there morale and provide experience through adversity come semi finals .

                At full strength……If they fail with O’Donovan and Vargas to make it to the decider, I will see that as an underachieving, only then .


              • January 3rd 2018 @ 11:19pm
                Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

                So waz

                Eat that humble pie

                8 players to come back and a draw with Sydney . Not bad for the chokers.

              • January 4th 2018 @ 9:25am
                Waz said | January 4th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

                Mate, you write them off too.

                Don’t turn into a cyber-bully, we don’t need more on this site.

                If you don’t like my opinions if those if others I suggest you stick to a site dedicated to Jets fans.

              • January 4th 2018 @ 10:11am
                danwain said | January 4th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

                But they didn’t win, they had the game well within their grasp and instead of ramming that advantage home they started wasting time and bring the crowd back into the game.
                Newcastle were clearly the better side last night, but to only come away with a point after that will be very disappointing. Sydney were their for the taking after a short turnaround.

      • Columnist

        January 3rd 2018 @ 5:10pm
        Stuart Thomas said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        Alright Griffo, it’s you and me at ten paces with wet lettuce leaves tonight.

        Logic says Sydney but Merrick has instilled something special up your way. I am hoping for a cracker and I will give it a fair call in the blog.

        Nabbout is one of our favourite players in our house. Great to see a young Lebanese lad taking great strides (my kids share his heritage). I called him as a future Socceroo early in the year, a couple laughed. I am standing by that claim.

        Probably not World Cup 2018, but he has time.

        • January 3rd 2018 @ 5:21pm
          Footoverhand said | January 3rd 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          He is quite speedy, can shoot and if he has space can make a goal, if he could better get past the defender I would be in that camp. Leckie has developed his game late, so there is no reason Nabbout can’t either.

        • January 3rd 2018 @ 7:30pm
          Kangajets said | January 3rd 2018 @ 7:30pm | ! Report


          If Nabbout is ever going to be a future Socceroo, a “ brace “ tonight with the future Socceroos coach watching will be helpful .

        • Roar Guru

          January 5th 2018 @ 11:59pm
          Griffo said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:59pm | ! Report

          Well it is none from three for me at this point…I will be reluctant to pick Perth after tonight’s performance. Brisbane not much better…

          I’d offer a flame red lettuce but I haven’t planted them yet 😉

          For me, as well as he is playing, Nabbout needs to take the game by the scruff of the neck (another good cliché) a bit more but more goals wouldn’t hurt his chances, nor would those decent crosses he puts in if back in his preferred wide position later in the season.

    • January 3rd 2018 @ 7:02pm
      TK said | January 3rd 2018 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

      Sydney, Wanderers with Riera back, draw, victory and city with vidosic lining up against his old tea mates to throw a bit more attack into the side..

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