Sport in the UK has been given the go-ahead to resume behind closed doors from June 1 by the UK government.
Anyone who was expecting A-League tipping to be easier in 2019/20 is probably feeling like a bit of a goose right now.
Last week, Mike Tuckerman managed to out-do the hapless crowd and three forlorn experts with two correct tips. Most Round 1 matches swung on a knife’s edge well into the second half.
Had Ryan McGowan not produced an unlikely winner for Sydney, Brisbane failed to score at the death and City found a way to convert just one of their chances in the Melbourne Derby, I would have locked away four from five!
No such luck.
Good luck this week with your selections and be sure to insert then into the sheet below to participate in the interactive voice of the crowd.
Tips: Draw, Western United, Central Coast, City, Sydney
It’s a bit of a mystery why Melbourne Victory keep playing at Marvel Stadium and I’m not sure it does much for their home advantage. They’ve had the wood over the Wanderers in recent seasons but with neither side at their best last week, this one could finish all square at the unloved venue.
We learned a few things about Western United last week. Not only will they be tough to beat, but they’ve also got the creativity in Alessandro Diamanti and the finishing power of Besart Berisha to help register results. They won’t win the A-League but they could well stun an unsuspecting Perth Glory here.
There can’t be too many games where the Central Coast Mariners go in as outright favourites, but this is surely one of them. The Gosford side were unlucky not to nick a point off the Wanderers last weekend, while the Jets are coming in cold off the bye. The Mariners will out-hustle their local rivals in the derby.
Just a few days out from meeting in the FFA Cup Final at Coopers Stadium, Melbourne City will look to lay down a marker when they host the Reds at AAMI Park. City could be a dark horse to win the league this season and with Jamie Maclaren back in the side, they should snag all three points at home.
Sydney FC shape up for an intriguing home clash against long-time servant Ufuk Talay and his Wellington Phoenix side. The Sky Blues looked shaky at the back in the opening round but they should be better for the hit-out, while Wellington may not have the firepower to truly test opponents on the road.
Tips: Victory, Perth, Central Coast, Adelaide, Sydney
The Wanderers were a little lucky to get the points against the brave Mariners last weekend and it’s tricky lining them up against the Victory, who didn’t impress in the Melbourne Derby last weekend. The Marvel experiment continues yet I’m tipping Marco Kurz’s troops will get over the line against the red and black.
What a start it was for Mark Rudan and his Western United squad against the Phoenix in their opening A-League match. This will be tougher test against Perth in Round 2. The Glory looked quite sharp in the first half against Brisbane last Sunday and will be furious at letting two points slip. The visitors will claim all three this week.
We all love an F3 Derby. There is no doubt the Mariners look a better unit under Alen Stajcic and they pushed the Wanderers to the brink last week. Against a Jets team making their first appearance for season 2019/20, this is a tricky affair to gauge. With a run under their belt, perhaps Central Coast can do the job on their home patch.
Adelaide United impressed at times against Sydney in Round 1 and will win on the road against a Melbourne City team that looked disconnected in last week’s derby, while Sydney FC will make it two from two with a win at Leichhardt Oval against the Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
Have a little flutter on Kosta Barbarouses to score. He looked likely against the Reds, and he and Adam Le Fondre loom as a dangerous combination.
Tips: Victory, Draw, Newcastle, City, Sydney
Both Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers were a little rusty in Round 1. Nothing epitomised Victory’s lack of touch more than Elvis Kamsoba’s offside goal. The Wanderers battled hard against Central Coast but will need to step up against Victory. Alex Meier looked out of sorts but hopefully he’ll acclimatise soon. Victory to win.
Western United appear to be on a winner in Alessandro Diamanti. For the first time since the Alessandro Del Piero era it looks as though we have a class foreign player that can impose their will on the game. Diamanti was hard working, skilful and looked like he was having fun. Tony Popovic won’t be losing too much sleep over last week’s draw. The Glory will improve and be among the season’s front runners. Draw.
The Mariners were a trifle unlucky not to pick up a point against the Wanderers. Milan Duric looks to have some decent skills although they could struggle to score goals this season. Will the week off be a negative for Newcastle? With Dimi Petratos in the team and a bunch of Novocastrians in the crowd, the Jets should grab the points.
Adelaide looked sharp in their first up loss to Sydney whereas Melbourne City were another one of the rusty teams. City were certainly missing Jamie Maclaren and if he is back and fit they should just edge the Reds.
Sydney FC was my standout team of the first round. The trio of Alex Baumjohann, Milos Ninkovic and Adam Le Fondre looked dangerous and will worry the Phoenix. Wellington’s biggest ace might be coach Ufuk Talay, who knows his opponents inside out. Sydney to win 3-0.
Tips: Victory, Perth, Central Coast, Draw, Sydney
The first round of this season showed me exactly why my fellow writers have struggled so frequently with tipping – nil-nil draws and 95th-minute equalisers. However, there was one true winner.
Love it or hate it, it worked to perfection.
Round 2 kicks off on Friday at Marvel Stadium, with Melbourne Victory hosting the Wanderers in what is historically a fiery encounter. Victory failed to impress in the opening round and 35 minutes into the Melbourne Derby, I said to my best mate, “this has nil-nil written all over it”. Spot on.
A team left homeless for two seasons, a declining quality of football and fans screaming for change returned home on Saturday night. It was a set up for a fairy tale, and for all of 82 minutes, the Mariners played the perfect villains. Mitchell Duke steadied the ship and guided the Wanderers home with a brace. Much less than a convincing win however.
I predict a hard fought Victory win and their first three points of the season.
History is made again on Saturday, as Western United host their first ever home game against the reigning premiers following their first ever win in their first ever game. The phrase “first ever” is getting old really quickly.
Western United were far from convincing in their game against Wellington, as were Perth in their draw with Brisbane, looking dangerous going forward but shaky at the back. It’s a concern for Tony Popovic’s men, but watching that team has me salivating. Chris Ikonomidis is a superstar in the making.
Perth to win comprehensively, 4-1.
In the F3 Derby, I was really impressed by Central Coast’s pre-season. All they lack is composure. Find that and they could very easily be challenging for the top six. Alen Stajcic has the Mariners heading in the right direction.
Newcastle are coming off of a tumultuous preseason, losing their star striker in the transfer window, and witnessing their marquee Wes Hoolahan injure his ankle. They are a total enigma going into their first game.
There’s no doubt that Ernie Merrick is a superb coach, but I think Stajcic has his number on Saturday.
As the football gods would have it, we are presented with a double header this week between Melbourne City and Adelaide United, due to play each other again in the FFA Cup final next Wednesday night.
City were impressive in their 0-0 draw to Victory, however they missed Jamie Maclaren and lacked the ability to find the back of the net. Erick Mombaerts has the team playing an impressive style of football and they’ll relish the opportunity to play in front of their home fans before making the trip to Adelaide.
The Reds hosted Sydney in a blockbuster of a season opener, falling to ten men before losing the game in the 87th minute. They matched it with the champs and definitely sent off a warning shot to the rest of the comp. Sleep on Adelaide at your own peril.
I’m predicting a 1-1 draw.
Sydney were similar to Perth last week, looking dangerous in attack but leaky in defence. It won’t make a difference here though. Wellington are winning the wooden spoon this year. It is hard to see this game going any way other than a thrashing in favour of the Sky Blues.
|Round 2||Mike||Stuart||Paul||Tom||The Crowd|
|MVC vs WSW||Draw||MVC||MVC||MVC||MVC|
|WSU vs PER||WSU||PER||Draw||PER||PER|
|CCM vs NEW||CCM||CCM||NEW||CCM||CCM|
|MCY vs ADE||MCY||ADE||MCY||Draw||MCY|
|SYD vs WEL||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD|