There’s no doubt active support is what makes the A-League unique, but how do we balance the need to let fans do their thing with Australia’s unremitting culture of rules and regulations?
But for Sydney’s lax second half against the Jets midweek, the tipping leader (me) had a perfect week of selections. Daylight now runs a clear second.
Two of the three Melbourne teams are back in action over the course of the next seven days and Western United will be particularly hungry for points with finals still on the cards for the new boys.
Elsewhere, Newcastle have a chance for another valuable three points, as do the Reds, while the Wanderers resume action with a potential win keeping them in the hunt for finals. The Mariners play twice and Brisbane will be desperate for a full bag of points to keep their top-four hopes alive.
Good luck with your tips and be sure to insert them into the sheet below to have a say as the ever important voice of The Crowd. With yours truly in a dominant tipping position and the other experts rattled, that voice might be the only one capable of challenging.
Tips: Newcastle, Draw, United, Western Sydney, Draw
Didn’t the Jets put the cat among the pigeons with their 2-1 win over Sydney FC on Tuesday night? The Novocastrians will be riding high on that result and they have a shrewd gaffer in Carl Robinson with plenty to prove. They won’t want to die wondering when it comes to their hopes of reaching the finals.
This is a tough one to pick. Wellington have been one of the form teams all season but Adelaide showed with their 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar that they’ll be no mugs under Carl Veart. Both of these sides are capable of creating chances but with so much to play for, they may cancel each other out in this one.
Not much has gone right for Melbourne Victory this season and the departure of Ola Toivonen is another hammer blow. Victory are effectively playing for pride at this point of the season, but with Western United still harbouring hopes of making the finals, it should be Mark Rudan’s side who claim the win.
The Mariners can’t keep losing, can they? It’s hard to believe they were once one of the most dominant teams in the league. They looked like they had Perth Glory there for the taking last time out but barely created a chance. The Wanderers should have enough experience to see them off in Gosford.
Brisbane Roar ran into an inspired Paul Izzo in their return to A-League action, and they’ll hope to get something out of this trip to Parramatta when they face Melbourne Victory. The trouble for the Roar is they look a bit short of firepower up front. Chalk this one down as a draw between two cagey outfits.
Tips: Newcastle, Wellington, United, Western Sydney, Brisbane
I’ll keep things brief over the next few weeks in an effort to remain humble in victory.
Carl Robinson continues to loom as one of the most impressive managers in the A-League. Two draws, four wins and a loss since he arrived have me convinced of his quality. Jets to win easily over the Mariners.
Adelaide look the sneaky hope after the players expressed a clear dislike for previous manager Gertjan Verbeek and played accordingly last weekend. They are a serious threat for the title. However, Wellington have continued to look impressive. The Phoenix to win in a thrilling contest.
Western United will beat Victory comfortably. The news of Robbie Kruse’s latest injury may well be the last straw for a team already stripped of its talisman.
The Mariners’ clash with Western Sydney could well be the toughest of the season to pick. I am leaning towards the Wanderers on the back of the new contract offered to coach Jean-Paul de Marigny.
In the final contest of this section of matches, Brisbane Roar will earn a much needed three points against a tired and heartless Victory team, destined for a very ordinary week.
Tips: Newcastle, Wellington, United, Draw, Victory
Maybe I am just making up the numbers, but I intend to go down swinging. It’s been a great restart for the A-League and considering all the obstacles, the quality of football has been first class. I only hope Diego Castro was able to follow the action from the badlands of Western Australia.
Central Coast played up to form in their return, as ever having trouble getting the ball in the net. The same can’t be said of Newcastle United. Bernie Ibini had a smashing return to the A-League and will trouble the Mariners’ defence. In coach Carl Robinson, Newcastle have a canny operator who outpointed Sydney FC’s Steve Corica last outing. Newcastle by two.
Wellington were in the box seat to beat Sydney first game back but threw away their lead. Reno Piscopo and Liberato Cacace were standouts and coach Ufuk Talay would have been disappointed with the result. They should account for Adelaide, who looked sharp against Brisbane.
It’s great to welcome back our Melbourne friends. How Melbourne Victory and Western United will go after their stop start resumption to the season is anyone’s guess. Perhaps Victory’s loss of Robbie Kruse and the guile of United’s Alessandro Diamanti will give the men in green the edge.
Central Coast will definitely have the edge in match fitness over the Western Sydney Wanderers, who are yet to play a post-COVID game. This should be enough to break the Mariners’ losing streak. Draw.
With a match under their belt, it will be time for Melbourne Victory to shine against the Roar. Brisbane were slow out of the blocks last week and I’m tipping an upset. Victory by one.
Tips: Newcastle, Wellington, Draw, Central Coast, Brisbane
I’ll be the one to make that call, the Jets are going to make the finals in an absolute fairy tale. They’ve been knocking off big clubs left and right and the lowly Mariners are firmly in their cross hairs as they look to go even with Adelaide on Friday night. Jets to crush their local rivals 3-0.
Wellington can still win the premiers plate. And although it would take perfection from here, alongside a monumental collapse from Sydney FC, how incredible would it be to witness? They have got to get past Adelaide first, who after knocking off the Roar last Sunday, will be fancying their chances to cement their own spot in the top six.
Will Wellington win the premiers plate? Probably not. Will they win on Saturday evening? Yes, 2-0.
Next up we’ve got a Westgate Derby at Bankwest Stadium! Fitting, isn’t it? Melbourne Victory are currently a shadow of a once great club, with players and coaches leaving, injuries piling on the pressure and set to miss the finals for the first time since 2012.
They have a mountain to climb if they wish to return to their former glory. Western United are at a crucial point in their season, with Newcastle breathing down their necks and Adelaide holding the coveted sixth place. Wins against bottom half sides are needed, but I don’t think United have what it takes. Both sides will be rusty, it’ll be a draw.
The Mariners host Western Sydney in what promises to be a purely average affair. The Wanderers are close to that top six group, but they’ve ultimately lacked that oomph prior to the season restart and with a few games now behind them, the Mariners could be a real shout to heap misery on the Wanderers and effectively end their season. I think we’ll see an upset, Mariners in a 2-1 win.
Last but certainly not least, Melbourne Victory play host to Brisbane Roar at Bankwest Stadium. The Roar looked to be in all sorts after the departure of Robbie Fowler, playing almost hesitant football against Adelaide. They need to start putting some Ws on the board if they have any hope of hosting an elimination final, and this is their best chance to get themselves into some form. Brisbane to win comfortably, 2-0.
|27 in 28 (Part 2)||Mike||Stuart||Paul||Tom||The Crowd|
|CCM vs NEW||NEW||NEW||NEW||NEW||NEW|
|WEL vs ADL||Draw||WEL||WEL||WEL||WEL|
|MVC vs WUN||WUN||WUN||WUN||Draw||WUN|
|CCM vs WSW||WSW||WSW||Draw||CCM||WSW|
|MVC vs BRI||Draw||BRI||MVC||BRI||BRI|