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Opinion

A-League Round 22: Team of the week

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Roar Guru
9th March, 2020
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Round 22 was a tough round to pick a team of the week, with no squad managing to keep a clean sheet.

It made picking a team a difficult exercise but a fantastic challenge. Once again, like in Round 21, some players picked themselves: Tom Glover helped his team win the game with some outstanding saves and Scott McDonald scored a brace. All players warranted a place in the system, which is a 4-4-2 this week.

Starting XI

Formation: 4-4-2
Tom Glover, Rhyan Grant, Rostyn Griffiths, Luke DeVere, Scott Jamieson, Josh Risdon, Luke Brattan, Aiden O’Neill, Connor Pain, Alessandro Diamanti, Scott McDonald.

Goalkeeper

Tom Glover (Melbourne City)
Glover made crucial saves at pivotal points in time for Melbourne City. A good goalkeeper gives the whole team confidence, which his team displayed in the second half as they withstood a barrage of Perth Glory attacks to win the game 3-2.

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Defenders

Rhyan Grant (right-back, Sydney FC)
You wouldn’t know from watching them that Sydney FC is almost certain to win the premiers plate given the exemplary attitude of Rhyan Grant and his team – you’d think they were fighting for a spot in the top six!

Rostyn Griffiths (centre-back, Melbourne City)
Griffiths broke the deadlock in the game between Perth Glory and Melbourne City. He has been a revelation playing at the centre of defence, changing from his usual role in the centre of midfield.

Luke DeVere (centre-back, Wellington Phoenix)
DeVere has been sensational for Wellington Phoenix, making playing at the centre of defence look easy. He is impressive without the ball, although his passing is exquisite, hitting his 67 passes with 92.5 per cent accuracy.

Scott Jamieson (left-back, Melbourne City)
Jamieson was playing as part of a back four yet managed to provide two assists four minutes apart in the first half. That gave Melbourne City the ascendency with a three-goal lead by the 34th minute.

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Midfielders

Josh Risdon (right wing, Western United)
Josh Risdon provided a hat-trick of assists. His passing to set up the goals was outstanding. Risdon’s performance in Round 22 can’t be a one-off if he wants to push for higher honours and even a move overseas. Credit has to go to coach Mark Rudan for playing him on the right wing when he’s always traditionally played in defence as a right back.

Luke Brattan (centre midfield, Sydney FC)
Brattan helped Sydney FC control the balance of play following the opening goal being scored by Melbourne Victory. He averaged nearly a pass a minute, with a passing accuracy of 87.3 per cent.

Aiden O’Neill (centre midfield, Brisbane Roar)
O’Neill passed the ball accurately and showed that he can be recognised as one of the top central midfielders in the competition. He had a passing accuracy of 94.5 per cent, finishing with 73 passes.

Connor Pain (left wing, Western United)
Pain played a good game for Western United, scoring their fourth goal of the game. He is an important part of the team’s structure, playing a pivotal role because his high work rate and his ability to be a regular goal scorer. Like with Josh Risdon, coach Mark Rudan deserves credit for playing Pain in a position that suits him.

Connor Pain of Western United in action during the Round 3 A-League

(AAP Image/Sean Garnsworthy)

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Strikers

Alessandro Diamanti (Western United)
Diamanti finished the game with a goal and an assist. He scored the all-important second goal for Western United to give them a 2-1 lead and also provided the assist for the fourth goal for Western United, which just about put the result of the game beyond doubt.

Scott McDonald (Brisbane Roar)
McDonald finished the game with a brace, but he didn’t just score goals; he helped Brisbane Roar control the balance of play for the majority of the game. He put everything into his performance as far as endeavour was concerned, but his execution was particularly impressive, as he showed when he scored the opening goal of the game with some clever work in the penalty area, giving Daniel Lopar no chance of saving it. McDonald’s high standard can’t be an aberration; it needs to be the start of a trend.