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Opinion

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Match Week 3

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Expert
6th January, 2021
18
1060 Reads

After what has been a terrific start to the A-League season, rather disappointingly, just three matches will take place this weekend.

A host of fixtures have been postponed due to the virus that shall not be named and football appetites will have to savour the limited offerings.

In saying that, Carl Robinson returning to Newcastle, a chance for Macarthur redemption and Brisbane versus Victory part two are all appealing storylines. Paul Nicholls holds an early lead in the tipping, after a tricky end to last weekend’s action where the final three matches went against common logic.

Good luck with your tips for this weekend and be sure to enter them into the sheet below to have a say in the voice of the crowd. Enjoy the matches – and good tipping!

Mike Tuckerman
Western Sydney, draw, Brisbane

It’s a shame about COVID because you’d think the Jets would be able to sell 30,000 tickets on the basis of how much the town hates Carl Robinson alone. The Newcastle will certainly struggle this season, but they won’t need too much additional motivation to get up for this clash. The Wanderers should win this.

Well, well, well… how about a first spot of adversity for Macarthur FC? They didn’t look much chop in that 2-0 defeat to the Mariners last time out and it’ll be fascinating to see how Ante Milicic’s men back up from a loss.

Wellington were unlucky not to jag a point against Sydney FC. Let’s say they’ll do so here.

Brisbane Roar should make it two from two against Melbourne Victory in front of a packed house at Dolphin Stadium.

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Brisbane Roar head coach Warren Moon

Brisbane Roar head coach Warren Moon. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

All the Roar needed was a bit of confidence, and they’ll take plenty from that 3-1 win over the same opponent last week. Can Victory find some answers? They won’t find them in Redcliffe.

Stuart Thomas
Western Sydney, Wellington, Brisbane

Wanderers coach Carl Robinson will swagger into McDonald Jones Stadium this Friday with a firm contract, a talented squad and in full knowledge that he will be the most hated man there. None of that sentiment will help the Jets, now a FA owned entity and desperately keen for someone to invest financially and emotionally in them.

After a poor performance against the Mariners in the F3 Derby, it is hard to see things getting any better here. Western Sydney to win by multiple goals.

Picking a winner in the Macarthur versus Wellington clash looks mighty tricky. The Phoenix were decent at times against Sydney and Macarthur fell in a screaming heap against the Mariners. On that basis, and little else, I’ll tip Ufuk Talay’s men with no confidence but plenty of hope.

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Well here we go again, the always entertaining tip from me on a Roar game and two teams facing each other for the second time in eight days. Last time round, Brisbane did the business, few picked it and Victory looked well off the pace for much of the contest.

No doubt the big V will continue to improve yet the Roar look likely to triumph again after two solid performances to start the season.

Paul Nicholls
Western Sydney, Wellington, Brisbane

Newcastle welcome Western Sydney Wanderers to McDonald Jones stadium on Friday. Or will it be the other way around? Maybe the Jets will need the Wanderers to open up the gates for them, considering the latest ownership dramas in the Hunter.

The Jets will certainly fight hard against the club that has pinched their coach and a fair portion of their playing staff. I’m not sure they’ll have the firepower though.

After losing their opening game against Macarthur, the Wanderers could take some positives from the performance. One of them was one-time Jet Bernie Ibini’s form. Unfortunately for the Jets, I think the Wanderers will click and get the three points.

I spent the first half an hour of Macarthur’s opening home game googling tinnitus, only to find that the ringing was coming from Campbelltown Stadium. I want one of them bells. It’s a pity their performance wasn’t quite as melodious.

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Was there something wrong with Lachlan Rose? Gassed from the week before maybe? According to Fox analyst Mark Bosnich, the players should be getting plenty of games under their belts.

Blink and you would have missed Wellington’s goal against Sydney last week. Actually, even with your eyes wide open you still would have missed it on the Fox Sports coverage. With or without the cameras, Wellington played well and should get up against Macarthur.

Louis Fenton of Wellington Phoenix controls the ball

Louis Fenton of Wellington Phoenix (Photo by Steven Markham/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I’ve got egg on my face after tipping Brisbane to get scrambled by Melbourne Victory on the back of one indifferent performance.

So now should I bet my house on them after their stirring 3-1 win on the weekend? It’s tempting. The Dylan Wenzel-Halls show was classy – the way he finished Brisbane’s third goal was excellent. He’s the kind of Aussie player who can put bums on seats.

Back-to-back wins for the Roar against an uninspiring Victory.

Texi Smith
Western Sydney, Macarthur, Victory

Far out, from an entertainment perspective, this A League season has eclipsed any that I can remember after two rounds. The sheer unpredictability makes every game like a cup final for the neutral – anything can happen!

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The Jets enter a new dawn by slashing their ticket prices for a double-header on Friday, and that will bring in a few extra interested onlookers.

Wanderers though will be smarting from their opening day defeat. Peroxide bombshell Nikolai Muller looked lively after coming on against the Bulls and he will be the difference in a narrow victory; Daniel Margush likely to be kept busy at the other end to preserve the clean sheet.

All eyes will be on special agent Steven Ugarkovic, a ridiculous situation that leaves no one feeling comfortable.

Phoenix will be smarting after their ‘home’ defeat to Sydney FC. They had enough possession and chances to win the game, but it was the final product that let them down.

As it will do in this one. For Macarthur, the game will pan out in very similar fashion to the surprise defeat to the Mariners, but this time their French connection will click and convert their massive superiority of possession into goals. A big score line in this one, Matt Derbyshire to finally repay the faith shown in him.

Brisbane got off to a flying start in the first game of what feels like an early season two-legged cup tie. We’ll see Victory play with a lot more abandon in this one, and their team of stars will be much more wary of the threat from Dylan Wenzel-Halls and sweary rapper JOWIC.

Expect former Liverpool youth player and member of Perth Glory’s premiership winning side Jake Brimmer to star. As a Toon fan it pains me to admit that Callum McManaman looks the goods too – we haven’t forgotten, Callum.

A smash and grab win for the Victory to underline the topsy-turvy nature of this fantastic A League season.

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Week 3 Mike Stuart Paul Texi The Crowd
NEW vs WSW WSW WSW WSW WSW WSW
MAC vs WEL Draw WEL WEL MAC ?
BRI vs MVC BRI BRI BRI MVC ?
Last week 1 2 3 2 1
Previous total 1 2 2 0 1
New total 2 4 5 2 2