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The Roar’s A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 21

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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18 Have your say

    Well, well, well. It took twenty weeks but it’s my time to gloat. Two from three last week with the crystal ball predictions of the Wanderers versus Jets draw and the Wellington win pulled me closer to the pointy end of the tipping pyramid.

    The esteemed Tuckerman, Jeffrey and Kearney were all left in my wake, failing to notch a score and the crowd fared no better. Considering my start to the season, it has been an amazing comeback.

    Now that I have put a curse on the remainder of the season, we shift to Round 21 and a full round of fixtures. If things live up to the excitement levels of the last few weeks we should be in for something special once again.

    Don’t forget to insert your tips into the sheet below to have your say as the voice of the crowd; a voice that has struggled over the last two weeks and needs your input.

    Good luck and enjoy the weekend’s football.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Wellington, Brisbane, Adelaide, City, draw

    No two ways about it – my tips have been pretty awful of late. And I can’t imagine that’s going to change any time soon!

    The Central Coast Mariners remain one of the more enigmatic sides in the A-League, and they continue to flatter to deceive as far as I’m concerned. Wellington Phoenix, meanwhile, finally unleashed teenage midfielder Sarpreet Singh last week. Can he make the difference in Gosford? I’m tipping a rare Phoenix away win.

    Brisbane Roar will be too good for the Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon – you heard it here first – while the grudge match between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Saturday evening should be a tasty affair.

    The Reds will miss the combative Ersan Gulum, but Victory are down on form and confidence, so I’m tipping the visitors to take all three points on their travels.

    Perth Glory? Unbackable at the moment. Melbourne City will be kicking themselves if they don’t come away from NIB Stadium with maximum points on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Sydney FC had plenty taken out of them in Shanghai midweek. Expect the Western Sydney Wanderers to use it to their advantage in the last ever Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium before it’s rebuilt, although it is likely to finish all square.

    Stuart Thomas
    Wellington, Newcastle, Victory, City, Sydney

    The round opens on Friday night with the Central Coast Mariners hosting Wellington Phoenix in Gosford. The good form that the Phoenix have shown, aside from two recent four- nil losses shouldn’t go unnoticed. The Mariners let two crucial points slip last week against Adelaide and manager Paul Akon would have been furious.

    In the battle between the two clubs struggling to avoid bottom spot, Wellington might just be showing enough to steal the points away from home, in what could be a very passionate clash with pride on the line.

    Brisbane Roar will look to continue their recent good form against a Newcastle Jets side that only escaped with a point last week thanks to the miracle goal of Andrew Nabbout. Despite not producing the sparkling form of earlier in the season the Jets have been doing enough to keep second place on the ladder. This will be a challenging game for the visitors yet they will get the job done.

    Ivan Franjic

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Melbourne Victory will be a little fatigued after their midweek match when they face up to Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Saturday night. Adelaide produced a miracle last week, snaring two late goals to snatch a point against the Mariners while Victory were lucky to have the week off prior to their trip to China.

    This is another difficult game to predict with Adelaide seemingly having better form yet Victory at home always prove a tougher proposition. In one of the most traditional rivalries on the calendar, Melbourne Victory will grab the points.

    Perth host Melbourne City in the late Saturday game with the home team having little or no form to instil confidence in tipsters. City has continued its solid campaign yet will need to take things to another level to threaten both Sydney and Newcastle. Perth do look a little forlorn at the moment and will not be able to match Melbourne City in this one.

    The Sydney derby completes Round 21 on Sunday night and hopefully, with the Wanderers more consistent form, a big crowd is on hand to witness one of the showpiece games of the season. It will be the last ever derby played at Allianz Stadium in its current configuration. Sydney, no doubt, will be tired after their trip to China and the extra workload they are now experiencing.

    The big question will be whether they are able to lift themselves emotionally for what is always an intense clash. In short, they will, despite recent improvement from the Wanderers.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Central Coast, Newcastle, Victory, City, Sydney

    How strange to be tipping a full quota of games this week after the recent split round. Even stranger, perhaps, is the fact I’m tipping the Mariners, who haven’t won a single match since December 3. But Central Coast are at home, Wellington are at the foot of the ladder (albeit by goal difference alone) and Paul Okon’s men are surely due for a win.

    They stumbled last week against the Wanderers, but I’m going to opt for the Jets as they travel to face Brisbane. They’ll want to pick up all three points before facing Sydney FC next week, and they have the quality to do so against a Roar side which, despite improving in recent rounds, still haven’t done enough to earn the confidence of any tipsters.

    Things are starting to get a bit hairy for the Victory. They haven’t won for a month and are fresh off a 4-1 Asian Champions League thumping. In short, they’re due for a win, and I’m banking on them turning things around against Adelaide to ease at least some of the pressure on Kevin Muscat.

    Kevin Muscat Melbourne Victory A-League Grand Final 2017 tall

    (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    Neither Perth nor Melbourne City come into this match with inspiring recent form. City were demolished by Sydney FC in their last outing, while the Glory were outclassed by Wellington. Given City’s form leading up to that hammering was better than Perth’s, I’ll give the nod to the away team for this encounter.

    They’ve been brought back to earth by a sobering loss and fighting draw in the ACL, but Sydney are still by far the A-League’s premier team. They shouldn’t have too much trouble closing out the round with a win over the Wanderers, as long as they cope well with their travel commitments.

    Alan Kearney
    Alan’s tips are still pending and will be published on reception by the editors.

    Round 21 Mike Stuart Daniel Alan The Crowd
    Last week 0 2 0 0 0
    Previous Total 43 39 42 40 41
    New Total 43 41 42 40 41

    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 (18)

    • Roar Rookie

      February 23rd 2018 @ 7:51am
      Grobbelaar said | February 23rd 2018 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      CCM 1 Nix 1
      Roar 0 Jets 2
      MV 1 AU 1
      PG 1 MC 2
      SFC 2 WSW 1

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am
      Waz said | February 23rd 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      CCM 3 Nix 2 – CCM are bad but Nix are worse, but I recon this will be the game of the round as the loser will be in the box seat for relegation, err, I mean the spoon.

      Roar 7, Jets 2 … Ricky’s Roar will be unstoppable. Unless it’s tanking down in which case a tight 1-1 draw in front of a 5k crowd.

      MV 1 AU 1 – hard to call this one but I don’t think favourites Adelaide have the firepower to put Victory away especially as the new striker looked a bit of a donkey last week.

      PG 1 MC 3 – Lowe’s lost the changing room I recon so if city turn up it’s a walk over.

      SFC 2 WSW 1 – Wanders have a habit of choking in derbies but with Zhullo out SFC won’t find it that easy but a win all the same in front of a sub-30k crowd just to make a point on poor scheduling.

      • February 23rd 2018 @ 9:13pm
        Waz said | February 23rd 2018 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

        Okay, so not the game of the round then Zzzzz

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 9:02am
      Buddy said | February 23rd 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      How about something different? Five games, five away wins. When was the last time?

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 9:27am
      Franko said | February 23rd 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      A 0-4 away win followed by the sacking of Kevin Musc–t!


    • Columnist

      February 23rd 2018 @ 10:59am
      Mike Tuckerman said | February 23rd 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

      Some quality tipping last week.

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2018 @ 12:32pm
      Griffo said | February 23rd 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      1 – 3 Wellington
      2-3 Jets
      1-1 Draw
      1-2 City
      3-1 Sydney

      Jets like a good away trip to Brisbane. Sydney should prove too strong again for some reason, while Wellington should turn it on finally when I tip them.

      Victory vs Adelaide will be hard so could go either way, while I think Glory will go down in a blaze of glory for the rest of the season.

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