Round 13 of the A-League plays out more traditionally over the regular Friday, Saturday and Sunday time slots. This time of year is always chaotic, with midweek rounds placing extra travel demands on teams and making tipping even more of a lottery at times.
Round 12 saw the panel and the people struggle with Adelaide and Perth producing stunning wins against the Victory and Sydney FC respectably.
Evan Morgan Grahame continues to lead the way yet, with just half the season done, there is plenty of time for the gap to be narrowed with some shrewd tipping.
Good luck with your tips this week and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have your say as the voice of the crowd.
So, how does the panel see things playing out this weekend?
City, Wellington, draw, Sydney, Perth
On paper, this looks like a comfortable victory for the home team, but you’d have to think Brisbane Roar’s luck will change at some point. However, it’s unlikely to be at AAMI Park on Friday.
The Phoenix are just about the most in-form team in the A-League, but whether they can maintain their consistency is another matter.
This is a potential banana skin for Mark Rudan’s side, but they should have the quality to take all three points.
Melbourne Victory looked tired in their midweek defeat to Adelaide United, and their injury concerns are starting to mount. The Jets rarely show much form away from home, but expect the Novocastrians to dig in and try and steal at least a point.
Can Sydney FC bounce back from their midweek hammering at the hands of Perth Glory? In truth, it had been a long time coming. This could be a season-defining clash for both teams, and the Sky Blues should just about sneak a victory in front of their home fans.
There only looks like being one winner in the west, and it’s certainly not the visitors. Tony Popovic has his Glory side flying high, and they’ll prove too strong for his former club Western Sydney – who go into this clash severely lacking in confidence.
City, Wellington, Victory, Sydney, Perth
After riding the Brisbane train early in the season, with a tinge of success, I alighted at the next stop and promised myself I would not get back on.
I see no reason to do so here, with City playing well after consecutive wins and pushing for a top-four spot come season’s end.
Wellington are still yet to convince many that they are indeed the real deal in 2018-19, with the Wanderers mysteriously installed as favourites on Tuesday. To me, it looked a sure-footed Wellington win. It was anything but in the end, yet they did eventually get the job done with Roy Krishna starring.
The Mariners have shown little improvement in recent times and are still without a win. That pretty much sums things up when it comes to this match.
Melbourne Victory rarely lose consecutive matches and they should be able to account for the Jets at AAMI Park. Being on the road and playing their third match in ten days might just make this too high a mountain to climb for the visitors.
Sydney FC were belted by the Glory just a few days back and now face a buoyant Adelaide team after their win against the Victory on Wednesday night. This could be the match of the round with Sydney in some trouble with another loss and the Reds eyeing off a top-four position.
There could be something of a bounce-back factor for Sydney in this one. The Sky Blues… just.
Perth will enjoy another home fixture at their newly named base and will be too strong for a ponderous Wanderers side that are still to find any consistency this season.
City, Wellington, Victory, Sydney, Perth
Isn’t this time of year great? Holidays, sunshine, beaches, some over-indulgence, and a bunch of A-League games tossed into the mix at odd times and days of the week. Anyone who really knows what day of the week it is needs to get out more.
Melbourne City should have too much for Brisbane Roar. Actually, most teams have too much for the Roar lately. Look out for City’s Riley McGree who has consistently been putting in great performances.
Wellington’s was a right roller-coaster performance last week but Central Coast’s was more like a giant slippery-slide. Phoenix coach Mark Rudan will be pleased with his four-point trip to Australia and back at home, his team should win easily.
Fate was somewhat unkind to the Newcastle Jets last week and may do so again this week against a Melbourne Victory team full of confidence despite having a few injury concerns.
Sydney FC take on the enigma that is Adelaide at Kogarah. Unfortunately, enigmas don’t usually win away from home against top class opposition. Sydney 3, Enigmas 0.
With injuries to Alexander Baumjohann and Oriol Riera and a goalkeeper filled with wanderlust, was there anything Markus Babbel can take away from Western Sydney Wanderers’ last outing against Wellington?
Well, they were competitive until right near the end, and Kwame Yeboah showed glimpses of his undoubted potential.
Perth Glory started sluggishly against Brisbane but should get the win at home.
Evan Morgan Grahame
City, Wellington, Victory, draw, Perth
Only Central Coast’s efforts this season are keeping Brisbane’s 2018-19 campaign from being conspicuously terrible, like in a historic way, and there seems no reason both teams won’t lose again this week.
City are actually on a nice four-game unbeaten run, and although their goal scoring is a real slog, their defence is again the league’s best. City to win.
The Phoenix’s full-blooded, fight to the finish win over Western Sydney was exactly the kind of spirited performance the club has been almost allergic to over the last few years.
Mark Rudan, standing in the rain, black t-shirt sopping, barking out inspiring messages that motivate players and win over the fans, was a great image for the league. Central Coast lost again last round, and will lose again this week.
Melbourne’s trouncing by Adelaide was unexpected, but the fact they held just 40 per cent of possession likely played to their strengths – fluidity on the counter – and away from their weaknesses – an inability to settle into a coherent attacking structure against a set defence.
Still, the Victory should have enough to get around Newcastle, who are falling away from the top six and will be cast adrift soon unless they can start picking up maximum points. Melbourne to win.
It took three shots on target for Perth to score their first three goals last round, and against efficiency like that Sydney hardly had a chance.
It is unlikely Adelaide will be as potent, but they will be bolstered by their win over Melbourne, and so a draw seems right for this one.
Perth are still the league leaders; still the benchmarks against which all other teams must be measured and are now clear of their nearest rivals.
They’ve won their past two games without Chris Ikonomidis, and look imperious. Western Sydney, on the other hand, are ten points away from sixth place, and let slip what looked very much like a nice fight-back draw last round. Perth to win.
|Round 13||Mike||Stuart||Paul||Evan||The Crowd|
|MCY vs BRI||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY|
|WEL vs CCM||WEL||WEL||WEL||WEL||WEL|
|MVC vs NEW||Draw||MVC||MVC||MVC||MVC|
|SYD vs ADL||SYD||SYD||SYD||Draw||DRAW|
|PER vs WSW||PER||PER||PER||PER||PER|