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The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Match Week 14

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Expert
24th March, 2021
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Match Week 14 throws up another feast of A-League football with some of the patterns of form that are starting to appear hopefully making things a little less stressful for us battling tipsters.

The inform Wanderers open the round when they travel to City, the Mariners will look to hold top spot with three points against Victory and the final game of the weekend will tell us a lot about both Adelaide United and Sydney FC.

Paul Nicholls has skipped clear at the midway point of the season and looks a likely winner of the coveted Roar A-League tipping trophy.

Although it is under lock and key at my place and will not be handed over without a fight.

Good luck with your selections this weekend and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say as the ever important voice of the crowd. Here are the thoughts of the panel on all the Match Week 14 action.

Mike Tuckerman
City, Brisbane, Central Coast, Perth, Draw, Draw.

Melbourne City were simply too strong for the Mariners in midweek and they’ll want to back it up with another good performance at home. The Wanderers are no pushovers, but City might just edge this.

Brisbane Roar have been blowing hot and cold for a while now, but on their day they’re good enough to beat any opponent. Warren Moon will hope Saturday is one of those days against an equally inconsistent Western United.

There was always going to be a bump in the road for the Mariners, but it is how they bounce back from that 2-0 defeat to Melbourne City that could define their season. Expect a response against rock-bottom Melbourne Victory.

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It’s been a month since Perth Glory won a game and they need to start moving up the table sooner rather than later. They tend to be tougher to beat at home than on the road and they’ll view this as a real opportunity to bank three points against the Jets.

Bruno Fornaroli of the Glory celebrates a goal during the A-League

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

I can’t figure out whether either of Wellington or Macarthur are decent teams this season. The Phoenix haven’t enjoyed a lot of luck, while Macarthur go missing for long stretches. I’ll hedge my bets and tip a draw.

Adelaide United are looming as the real dark horse of the campaign. After a patchy start under Carl Veart, they’ve now won their last five games in a row. Sydney FC are under pressure to maintain their place in the top six, so this one could finish all square.

Stuart Thomas
City, United, Central Coast, Perth, Wellington, Adelaide

Melbourne City have steadily climbed the ladder week by week and not lost since the 7th of February when the Jets stunned them. They will scoot past the Wanderers on the ladder with a win on home soil and take another step towards their looming championship glory.

Brisbane Roar need goals and points and should consider themselves a little fortunate to have escaped with one last week against the always unlucky Phoenix.

However, I’m tipping Western United on the road in this one, believing that the Roar have serious issues and are not just suffering a temporary case of goal fright.

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Steven Lustica of Western United (L) celebrates his goal

(Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

The Mariners had the loss that many felt was coming last week, yet it took top quality in the form of Melbourne City to do it. It is likely they will bounce back at home against Victory with a bumper crowd on hand at Gosford. Perth Glory will beat the struggling Jets in the late Saturday evening game and Wellington, despite a busy schedule, should account for Macarthur on Sunday afternoon.

The Adelaide vs Sydney FC clash looks, on paper, like a ripper. Home ground advantage could swing this one the Reds’ way, although it must surely be the toughest match to tip this weekend.

Paul Nicholls
City, Brisbane, Central Coast, Perth, Macarthur, Adelaide

On Saturday morning I woke up and went for a dip in our backyard pool. As I dried off the thought hit me: since when did we have a swimming pool? It’s been that kind of a week. Full marks to ground staff who managed to get most of the games going, although at Newcastle the drainage was so efficient that even players rolled off the surface.

Melbourne City are on fire, with Jamie Maclaren knocking in his 90th A-League goal without working up a sweat. It should be a classic against a Mitch Duke inspired Western Sydney, who have hit top form. City to win. Brisbane Roar scrapped hard to earn a point against Wellington last week.

The worrying statistic is that they haven’t won in their last seven games. I think they will finally step up against the inconsistent Western United.

For the first time this year Central Coast were outplayed when they lost to Melbourne City last week. Fortunately they will have Melbourne Victory to beat up on at home and will get back to the winners list.

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Newcastle were ordinary against a slick Adelaide on the weekend and it would be a brave punter to tip them when they travel to Perth on Saturday. I’m not that brave.

Were Wellington ripped off last week? An incident that would have been a certain penalty just a few weeks ago is met with a shrug of the shoulders now. Macarthur to nick the points with another dodgy VAR call.

Craig Goodwin has made a huge impact on his return to Adelaide. His red-hot Reds to make it six straight against a below par Sydney FC.

Texi Smith
Western Sydney, United, Central Coast, Perth, Macarthur, Sydney
Here it is, the perfect weekend. Six games, a Friday night appetiser, a club sandwich of three back-to-back games on Super Saturday and a double-decker sundae to complete the round.

Wanderers at Melbourne City is a blockbuster. Both teams are firing on all cylinders. All eyes will be on Mitchell Duke, the expectation of seeing another Thierry Henry special, and he will deliver. City will batter the West Sydney defence to no avail and it will be a priceless win for the visitors as they continue to gather momentum in their assault on the Premiership crown.

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Hold on, didn’t Western United just beat Brisbane? This is like a two-legged Littlewoods Cup tie, with United holding a slender advantage coming into the second leg.

Dylan Pierias scored the only goal last time – he is an absolute gun – but it will be his teammate Besart Berisha who will shine in this one. With Macaulay Gillesphey suspended, a two-goal home defeat will be tough on the Roar.

The Central Coast are, in theory a home banker this weekend. Victory at the bottom of the pile have nothing to lose, and they will take solace from the Mariners’ two home defeats this season against Wanderers and Phoenix.

They are not infallible. I fancy a scrappy win for Mariners with Ziggy Gordon bundling in from close range. It’s my safe tip as I know everyone else will tip the Mariners too!

Almost as safe as a Mariners win, Perth Glory go up against a Newcastle team who have had wretched luck. Perth have strung together a run of one point from twelve, so they’re in similar form, but their home advantage and a late kick off in front of a good crowd will spell trouble for the visitors.

Neil Kilkenny will be instrumental in midfield and Bruno Fornaroli will grab a brace in a healthy win for the Glory.

Phoenix and the Bulls. Sounds like a rock band. These two teams are thoroughly enigmatic. It is difficult to know what you’re going to get from Macarthur, while Wellingong play extremely attractive open football that simply doesn’t get them anywhere at times.

This is a local derby, the B69 derby if we apply the terminology often used in A-League games, and both teams will be up for it. Macarthur to continue their topsy-turvy form and snatch a win to propel them up the table.

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Adelaide have won five on the bounce. Sydney have had two home wins to steady a ship that was listing badly ahead of the midweek trip to Glory.

Have they papered over the cracks? Will they be undone by a lively and unrelenting Adelaide attack? No. This will be a picture-perfect performance from Sydney FC, Milos Ninkovic to boss the midfield and Bobo to feed off the service and fill his boots in a surprise 3-1 win.

Match Week 14 Mike Stuart Paul Texi The Crowd
MCY vs WSW MCY MCY MCY WSW MCY
CCM vs MVC CCM CCM CCM CCM CCM
PER vs NEW PER PER PER PER PER
WEL vs MAC Draw WEL MAC MAC WEL
ADL vs SYD Draw ADL ADL SYD SYD
Last week 3 2 5 2 3
Previous total 27 27 31 28 27
Total 30 29 36 30 30

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