One of the key figures behind the US women’s national soccer team’s success, Tony Gustavsson is set to be named the new Matildas head coach.
Just ten matches remain in A-League home-and-away play for 2019-20 and boy has it taken some time for us to get here!
That being said, the season stands to be one of the tightest in recent memory in terms of teams jockeying for position in the top six.
Bar Sydney FC, the remaining five positions are all up for grabs and the indecision could well last all the way to the final match in a fortnight’s time when Western United take on Melbourne City.
My tipping lead was extended once again last week, thanks to some fine finishing late from the Mariners and solid wins to Perth, Adelaide and Newcastle.
Good luck with your selections for this next section of eight matches and be sure to enter your tips into the sheet below to have a say as the all-important voice of the crowd.
Sydney, Western United, Glory, Draw, City, Draw, Wanderers
Look for the Sky Blues to bounce back from a last-start defeat against a Reds defence that isn’t exactly watertight. Two desperate sides have everything to play for when Western United meet Western Sydney, but United’s experience should see them edge the Wanderers.
Glory got back to winning ways with that win over Western Sydney and they should continue the streak against Victory. With the games coming thick and fast, look for Brisbane to hold solid against a Sydney side that doesn’t have much to play for.
It’s not that Adelaide United are a bad side or anything, it’s just that Melbourne City will be looking to shore up second spot and should get the points on Tuesday, and I can’t help but wonder whether Perth are still a title threat? Hard to believe so if they can’t beat a team like Western United, but this one could finish all square.
In the final match of this segment, Western Sydney will beat Melbourne Victory. There you go, Wanderers fans, your team isn’t as bad as Victory this season. There’s something to hang your scarves on!
Adelaide, United, Perth, Sydney, City, Perth, Western Sydney
My lead in the tipping is so vast, I will be doing this version with my eyes closed.
The Reds will beat an undermanned Sydney on Thursday night and Western United may well claim a finals spot with a win against the Wanderers the following evening.
Perth found some real form against Western Sydney on Tuesday night and should snatch the points against Victory on Saturday, before the Sky Blues bounce back to form and topple the Roar at ANZ Stadium on Monday night.
Tuesday’s clash between the Reds and City looks like a ripping affair. Tough to call, I’ll lean the way of the men in blue considering the extra rest they will enjoy in the lead up.
Bankwest Stadium hosts the Glory and Western United on short turnarounds and the toss of the coin goes the way of the Glory after their impressive win against the Wanderers. In an unprecedented Wednesday night double-header, Western Sydney and Victory do battle to round out this section of matches.
I am not tipping Victory for all the tea in Sri Lanka, they are not a team to be trusted when it comes to consistency of performance.
Draw, United, Victory, Draw, City, Draw, Western Sydney
As the temperature drops the action heats up. I’m loving the quality of the post-COVID-break football and the nearly one match a day is a winner. If this becomes the new normal, I won’t be complaining.
Adelaide have looked more impressive than Sydney FC since the restart. The Sky Blues’ loss to City should shake them out of their torpor but only enough for a draw.
How good was it to see Besart Berisha getting stuck in the other night? The beast is back. Western United to pip the Wanderers.
Despite their lowly position on the table, Victory have been playing some great football. It’s heartening to see Marco Rojas getting back to his best. It’s time for Victory to realise their potential and win against a hot-and-cold Glory.
The Roar could fancy themselves against a Sydney FC on a quick turnaround. I’ll call this a draw. Coming off one of the longest rests, Melbourne City did a great job nullifying the premiers the other night – expect more of the same as City dispatch Adelaide for another three points.
A double-header at Bankwest rounds out the action next Wednesday night. What better way to spend a mid-week winter evening. Perth and Western United will fight out a cagey draw and Western Sydney should bounce back and win against Melbourne Victory.
Draw, Draw, Perth, Roar, City, Western United, Wanderers
Isn’t Adelaide hosting Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium a huge game in the battle for sixth place?! The Reds are the only side at risk of dropping from the finals, but they were looking destructive up front as they threaded the needle of Perth Glory’s defence five times.
Sydney were outclassed and outgunned by a brilliant Melbourne City outfit who, after months of inconsistency, put together a complete 90 minutes and took a monumental three points.
Sydney again have nothing to play for but will want to bounce back to gather some steam heading into the finals. We will see a high-scoring affair with these teams cancelling each other out.
Western Sydney play Western United in a game the latter’s fan-base once strangely called a ‘derby’, and although we laughed back then, the tension on the pitch will certainly feel as if it is one. Both teams were pitiful in their last matches, with United falling short of Newcastle and Western Sydney losing out to Perth.
Personally, I don’t feel as if either of these teams deserve to play finals, and for the sake of the unpredictable nature of the game, we’ll see another draw.
Victory are horrendous – the worst side in the competition. Their fans are not happy, and I don’t blame them.
After their shock loss to the Mariners, the Victory have slumped to five straight losses for the first time in their history and they aren’t looking promising for this match-up either. Perth are coming off a dominant win over the Wanderers and will be hungry for a home elimination final. This won’t be pretty.
Sydney FC are then up against the Roar, who are still in a prime position to claim a home final.
Sydney’s train is off the rails, as the break has hurt that dominant team we saw pre-virus. Brisbane will win in a nailbiter.
Melbourne City are in the spotlight after knocking off the champions last weekend and, now expected to win, they’ll need to back it up. On the other side of the coin, Adelaide United are fighting for their right to play finals football.
I was going to tip draw for this – City are perennial underperformers in big games and arguably none are bigger than this, with a win basically guaranteeing them Asian Champions League football – but I’ve been bitten by the bug and I’m backing them to dispatch of Adelaide with professionalism.
Wednesday’s double-header is going to do wonders for my boredom in lockdown. It begins with Perth Glory against Western United, and depending on United’s result against the Wanderers, it could be a hugely important game for their inaugural season. Perth are inconsistent but they are so threatening when on their game.
United aren’t going to go down without a fight, they’ll win this one in a scoring frenzy.
Last and probably least, Melbourne Victory play the Wanderers in what is likely to be a dead rubber, both teams are not where they’d like to be at this point in the season and their huge fan-bases are sewn with discontent. Not much else I can say about this one, Victory won’t be winning it.
|27 in 34 (Part 4)||Mike||Stuart||Paul||Tom||The Crowd|
|ADL vs SYD||SYD||ADL||DRAW||DRAW||DRAW|
|WUN vs WSW||WUN||WUN||WUN||DRAW||WUN|
|PER vs MVC||PER||PER||MVC||PER||PER|
|BRI vs SYD||DRAW||SYD||DRAW||BRI||BRI|
|MCY vs ADL||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY|
|PER vs WUN||DRAW||PER||DRAW||WUN||PER|
|WSW vs MVC||WSW||WSW||WSW||WSW||WSW|