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Opinion

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Match Week 8

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Expert
10th February, 2021
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Last-minute draw changes saw Monday night’s slated Jets versus Western United clash postponed and instead, Brisbane Roar took on Macarthur FC in Redcliffe.

A further fixture was also added to the schedule, with the Wanderers tackling Melbourne Victory at Bankwest Stadium last night.

As such, The Roar’s tips and predictions were thrown into disarray. Thankfully, the panel were able to get their tips through to me in time for both encounters, however, that left the roar of the crowd out in the cold, with no means available to gauge the mood of fans.

With Brisbane undefeated and the Wanderers firm favourites the following night, it seemed logical to allocate those choices to the fans, with very few potentially brave enough to tip against the expected results.

Match Week 8 begins this Friday with the Bulls hosting the Reds before Saturday and Sunday feature two matches respectively, Tuesday presents another grand final replay and Melbourne Victory round out the action in a Wednesday clash with Wellington.

Good luck with your selections and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say as the voice of the crowd. Here is the way the panel sees all the action unfolding.

Mike Tuckerman
Macarthur, Sydney, Western Sydney, Mariners, Brisbane, Sydney, Draw.

Bit of a smash-and-grab raid from the Bulls in Brisbane on Tuesday night, but they’ll be better for Ante Milicic having rested several key players. That might just give them the edge over the unpredictable Reds.

Despite having never really got going so far this season, Sydney FC just keep finding ways to win. Mark Rudan won’t want to lose to one of his former clubs but Western United have been a bit luckless to date.

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Look for the Wanderers to heap more pressure on Paddy Kisnorbo. City just look so disjointed, it’s hard to see how they win in Parramatta.

Brisbane Roar came back to earth with a bit of a thud against Macarthur FC, but that might have been a timely reminder of how tough the league is. They should bounce back with another home win.

Can’t tip against the Mariners in the form they’re in. Wellington are a better team than results suggest, but they’re at an obvious disadvantage having to play home games in Wollongong.

City to lose at home again. It’s hard to believe a club with so many resources just can’t get it together.

I have no idea who’ll win between an under-performing Melbourne Victory and a luckless-so-far Wellington Phoenix. Let’s split the difference and call it a draw.

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Stuart Thomas
Macarthur, United, City, Wellington, Brisbane, City, Wellington

Macarthur sat third at the time of writing, are playing well and Adelaide come off two straight losses. That is enough to swing this one the way of the home team.

Sydney won well against Wellington and despite so much talk about their less than dominant form, have lost just once this season. This will be number two, with Western United bouncing back after the heart breaking loss to the Mariners.

I’ll ride the Melbourne City train for one more week, tipping them against the Wanderers in Sydney, yet with little confidence and back Wellington to defeat Central Coast in the earlier of the Sunday matches.

Connor Metcalfe of Melbourne City shoots during the A-League

Connor Metcalfe (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Later that night, the Roar should bounce back with three points against the Jets in the sunshine state and Tuesday’s grand final replay will surprisingly go the way of Melbourne City when they stun the champions at AAMI Park.

Picking Melbourne Victory is just not an option right now, therefore a Wellington Wednesday appears likely at the same venue.

Paul Nicholls
Macarthur, Sydney, Western Sydney, Draw, Brisbane, City, Victory

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This must be the first season where tipping the winners is easier than tipping who is actually going to play. Just another by-product of the COVID era I suppose.

Macarthur are doing just nicely thanks very much. Kudos due to coach Ante Milicic. Adelaide still look uncomfortable away from home and I think they’ll get beaten on the road again.

I’ve been riding the Western United bandwagon for a while but like cheap champagne they look great but lack any fizz. Sydney are playing in third gear at the moment but Kosta Barbarouses is back in town folks and will help them get the win.

Wow, what happened to Melbourne City? The silver spoon boys getting ready to move into the cellar. They won’t have an easy time of it away to the Wanderers and I’m predicting a fifth straight loss for City.

Wellington are continuing their losing ways and Central Coast are playing like world beaters. The Phoenix did beat the Mariners on their last outing and will take some heart from that result. Wellington might surprise and get a draw.

Brisbane couldn’t follow up their pummelling of Melbourne Victory against Macarthur but the boys in orange were looking a little jaded. Newcastle will be pumped after their win against Melbourne City but I think Brisbane will find their winning form again.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls of the Roar celebrates after kicking a goal

Dylan Wenzel-Halls (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Tuesday sees a repeat of last year’s grand final between Melbourne City and Sydney FC. At the start of the season you would have pencilled this in as a marquee match but not so at the moment.

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Despite their ladder positions I think City will turn their season around. Like City, Melbourne Victory are desperate to reboot their season and will do it against an out of sorts Wellington Phoenix.

Texi Smith
Adelaide, Sydney, City, Wellington, Brisbane, City, Victory

As if we’re meant to be able to tip this A League season with any sort of conviction. Let’s face it, Macarthur were rubbish at Brisbane and came away with a 2-0 win.

Adelaide were overrun by the Perth juggernaut, but still looked lively. Logic tells me that the Reds will get up in this one, and for once I’m going to trust that logic and back them.

Sydney FC were still wasteful in and around the penalty area against the Phoenix and looked shaky towards the end. They have an uncanny knack of picking up undeserved victories, like true champions. On Saturday we will see their true champions’ form and a much fancied Western United will cop a handsome beating.

The unimpressive City will come out fighting in this one. Wanderers will be expected to easily beat the misfiring visitors, but this will be a turning point for Melbourne’s rich kids and they will sneak a win in the dying moments to silence the vocal home crowd.

Write off the Mariners at your peril. I still can’t comprehend those two 3-2 results, unbelievable. Phoenix beat the Mariners recently at the Central Coast fortress and they will continue that streak with a rare complete performance.

The Roar will be smarting going into this one. They didn’t do anywhere near enough in their last game and nerves will show against a Newcastle Jets team without a care in the world. A majestic display from Jack Duncan will not be enough to save the Jets and Brisbane will nick this one by a single goal.

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Sydney FC’s Melbourne vacation will be soured at AAMI Park. An unusually Ill-disciplined game and several uncharacteristic defensive lapses from the visitors will see them survive somehow until late on, when Adrian Luna will bundle home the only goal of the game.

Steve Corica will be red carded and there will be an all-in fracas at the final whistle as the Premiers realise just how poor they’ve been.

Melbourne Victory. What can we say about Melbourne Victory? Well, they’re bottom of the ladder, but it’s only by a small margin.

Wellington will have expended all their energy in the win against the Mariners and will be ripe for the picking. Finally, we’ll see some top quality play from Victory, and a Jake Brimmer hat-trick will see the home side edge this one in a high-scoring encounter.

Match Week 7 + 8 Mike Stuart Paul Texi The Crowd
BRI vs MAC BRI BRI BRI MAC BRI
WSW vs MVC WSW WSW WSW MVC WSW
MAC vs ADL MAC MAC MAC ADL MAC
WUN vs SYD SYD WUN SYD SYD SYD
WSW vs MCY WSW MCY WSW MCY ?
WEL vs CCM CCM WEL Draw WEL ?
BRI vs NEW BRI BRI BRI BRI ?
MCY vs SYD SYD MCY MCY MCY ?
MVC vs WEL Draw WEL WEL WEL ?
Last week 3 2 4 1 5
Previous total 10 10 15 15 8
Total 13 12 19 16 13