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Opinion

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Match Week 15

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Expert
31st March, 2021
19
1081 Reads

Paul Nicholls’ golden run at the top of the tipping ladder continues; now eight points clear and looking a certain winner.

If there ever was a week to make ground upon him it is the upcoming seven days, where nine matches will be played and A-League action gracing our screens each and every day. The pick of the matches involve the Mariners, firstly when they face the Reds tonight in a battle for top spot and on Tuesday when they back up against the Wanderers.

Good luck with your tips this week and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say in the reliable voice of the crowd. Here are the thoughts of the panel on all the Match Week 15 action.

Mike Tuckerman
City, draw, Macarthur, draw, Sydney FC, Western United, City, draw, Sydney FC
Hard to stop City in the form they’re in, particularly as they’re playing this ‘away’ game in their own stadium.

Can Adelaide win games on the road? With the Mariners so tough to beat this season, this one could finish in a stalemate.

We’re halfway through the season and I still have no idea whether Macarthur are a decent team or not. I’ll stick my neck out and go for a home win.

Brisbane Roar are tough to beat at Redcliffe, but they’ve had plenty of distractions this week. This might not be the game of the round.

Melbourne Victory might want to win for Grant Brebner, but sadly for them, the team is absolute rubbish. Sydney FC simply must win at AAMI Park.

The Jets have had a rough few weeks. It won’t get any easier when they lose to Western United at home.

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I’m tempted to tip a draw in Wollongong, mainly because Wellington have been luckless this season. But it’s hard not to back City in this kind of form.

I expected more of the Wanderers this season, with commanding performances few and far between. Both sides will be hard to break down.

Sydney FC better get a hurry-on if they want to secure their spot in the finals. They’ll view this game as an opportunity to dent the hopes of a direct rival.

Stuart Thomas
City, Adelaide, Macarthur, Western Sydney, Sydney, United, City, Western Sydney, Sydney

Okay, here goes in what looks an epic week of A-League football. Melbourne City will continue their run against Western United tonight and Adelaide will knock the Mariners off the top of the ladder with a win on the road just a couple of hours later.

I’m tipping Macarthur to beat Perth in Sydney on Friday, based mostly on the defensive issues Perth appear to have on the road.

Mark Milligan of Macarthur FC

Mark Milligan of Macarthur FC. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Brisbane will lose all hope of a finals’ appearance if the Wanderers are permitted into the state to claim the three points on Saturday and Sydney FC should be able to man handle Victory on Sunday considering the absence of positive signs emanating from Grant Brebner’s camp.

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Without confidence I’ll tip Western United to pip Newcastle in the Hunter on Monday before City back up from the weekend with another three points against Wellington in Wollongong.

Tuesday’s clash between the Wanderers and Mariners looks a ripper and the red and black will win it; announcing themselves as the real deal, before Sydney FC claim their second win in four days, against what will be a tired Perth Glory.

Paul Nicholls
City, Adelaide, Macarthur, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, City, Central Coast, Sydney

I have no idea how I happen to be leading but I’m getting a little nervous. Now that the Ever Given has been refloated in the Suez Canal, I’m starting to empathise with her captain.

Sure he’s got clear water ahead but when he takes a look behind him, holy moley, there’s a flotilla bigger than D-day coming up fast.

Western United will have no chance against Melbourne City. Adrian Luna and Craig Noone have City at full steam ahead. Are the Mariners listing to port? I think Adelaide can capsize them away from home.

Macarthur are proving to be the surprise packet of the season. They surprise when they win and surprise when they lose. They should sink Perth this week.

Who knows what will pan out in Brisbane over the next few days? I hope all Roar fans are doing OK. For the city’s morale I’ll tip them against Western Sydney.

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Jack Hingert of Brisbane Roar

(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Forget the Big Blue, I think we should rename this the seniors derby. Sydney might just have too many (false) teeth. Newcastle showed plenty of ticker after trailing by two goals against Perth last week. A half decent crowd should see the Jets back in the winner’s circle.

Can big bad Steve Taylor keep Jamie Maclaren quiet? He might but City have too many big guns for Wellington. Other than their mauling at the hands of Melbourne City, the Wanderers have looked good for the last few weeks.

The Mariners are in a mini rut, but with Gianni Stensness blocking the middle like a container ship across a canal, I think they’ll get up.

Sydney to wrap up a titanic round with a win over Perth.

Texi Smith
United, Central Coast, Perth, Western Sydney, Victory, Newcastle, Wellington, Western Sydney, Sydney

The mercy rule will soon be applied in this tips and predictions league as Mr Nicholls stretches his lead out even further ahead of this nine-game blockbuster public holiday weekend. But will nine games go ahead?

Early knock-off from work for anyone wanting to go to the first game of the weekend, Western United with a chance to topple the form team City.

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When Dylan Pierias puts United ahead, the alarm bells will be ringing, when Besart Berisha knocks in a second against the run of play, it will be all out attack from City. A surprise then when the green and black hold on for the win.

Mariners are off the boil. Adelaide are on fire. But it’s not as cut and dried as that. Marco Urena and Craig Goodwin to have a striking duel, but the, er, Bear from Point Clare, Matty Simon, will get the all-important winner in a high scoring affair at the Stadium of Sauce.

When Perth finally find the form they showed in the early stages of the season, Macarthur will be dumb-founded. The pure silk of Daniel Stynes will appear from the bench to set up the winner for Bruno Fornaroli in a smash-and-grab win at the Bull pen.

If the Roar game goes ahead at the Moreton Daily Redcliffe Dolphin Stadium, it will see two ill-prepared teams go head to head. Wanderers were meek in defeat at City, but at least they got some game time.

Roar to give the Brisbane faithful something to cheer, but the firepower of the Wanderers will shine through late on, Berie Ibini scoring a brace in a handy win.

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Sydney have disappointed this season. It’s the same pattern every game. If they had a striker with a killer instinct, they would be top by miles.

For all the pretty tippy-tappy football and sublime skills of Milos Ninkovic and Anthony Caceres, the rewards have been scant. This is the week that Victory get their win. One goal will do it, Jake Brimmer sweeping the ball in the net on the follow up.

Newcastle have the chance to get back on track against a Western United team jaded from their exploits on Thursday. A deflected shot from Ramy Najjarine will set the Jets away and they will endure ten minutes of injury time at the end of the game hanging on to the one goal advantage in an ugly win.

Phoenix will turn on the style at WIN Stadium, Tomer Hemed striking early on to set the scene for a thrilling game.

City will dominate large parts of this one, but the home side will rely on a bit of luck to keep the marauding Melbourne City attack at bay and snatch a second goal late on to seal an unlikely win.

Crisis time at City, temporarily taking the heat off neighbours Victory.

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Both the Mariners and Western Sydney will be full of confidence for this one, in front of a decent crowd at Bankwest.

Home advantage will give the Wanderers an edge and they will scrape a win, Daniel Margush saving two penalties to preserve an early lead in an absorbing game.

Sydney FC will pull out all the stops for my birthday treat. The profligacy that has haunted them all season will disappear for one perfect evening and Kosta Barbarouses will score twice in a display of clinical finishing.

Perth will not know what has hit them, three down at the break and then conceding more in front of the Cove for a thumping defeat.

Match Week 15 Mike Stuart Paul Texi The Crowd
WUN vs MCY MCY MCY MCY WUN MCY
CCM vs ADL Draw ADL ADL CCM CCM
MAC vs PER MAC MAC MAC PER MAC
BRI vs WSW Draw WSW BRS WSW BRS
MVC vs SYD SYD SYD SYD MVC SYD
NEW vs WUN WUN WUN NEW NEW NEW
WEL vs MCY MCY MCY MCY WEL MCY
WSW vs CCM Draw WSW CCM WSW CCM
SYD vs PER SYD SYD SYD SYD SYD
Last week 2 3 4 2 2
Previous total 30 29 36 30 30
Total 32 32 40 32 32
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