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Opinion

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Match Week 17

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Expert
14th April, 2021
16

The less said about the panel’s Match Week 16 tips the better, with a number of draws bucking the 2021 trend. Frankly, it was a tipping train wreck.

Things look no easier this week, with Western Sydney, Adelaide and Macarthur FC all looking to solidify their places in the top six.

Western United, Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix need wins in order to keep their finals’ hopes alive and Central Coast, Sydney and Melbourne City will be hoping that the other two slip up in the chase for the premiership.

Good luck with your tips for the week and be sure to enter those selections in the sheet below to have a say in the very convincing voice of the crowd. Here are the panels’ thoughts on all the Match Week 17 action.

Mike Tuckerman
Western Sydney, Central Coast, City, Sydney, Macarthur, Perth

Western Sydney Wanderers are not the side I thought they’d be under Carl Robinson. They’ve jagged some lucky results so far this season, but this is a must-win game for both teams and the Roar should be the ones who win it.

The latest stop of Western United’s magical mystery tour takes them to Launceston, and while I was tempted to tip a draw, I reckon the lack of home ground advantage will hurt the Victorians here. Mariners to snatch another vital three points.

Melbourne Victory showed some signs of life last weekend, but they’re still the worst team in the league. Their noisy neighbours City should rip them to shreds in the derby.

Connor Metcalfe of Melbourne City shoots during the A-League

Connor Metcalfe (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

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It’s not with any real sense of conviction that I reckon the Sky Blues take three points off Adelaide. Sydney FC aren’t quite as good as they should be this season, while the Reds are a genuine dark horse. But it’s hard to back against the home team at Leichhardt.

Macarthur’s clash with Newcastle looks like a win for the home team on paper, even if it’s still difficult to work out whether Macarthur are a decent team or not. Unfortunately for the Jets, they absolutely are not.

Why do I keep tipping Perth? They never have any luck, and when things are going their way, they’ve tended to conspire to find ways not to win this season.

But they’re always a tough team to beat in the west, and Wellington rarely travel well.

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

Brisbane Roar finally won last week after an extended period out of the winners circle and the Queenslanders gave it to me in spades on social media for suggesting they would not. I’ll suggest it again this time. Wanderers by two goals.

The Mariners have convinced everyone they are a very good football team, however Western United are due another win in what grows increasingly as a Jekyll and Hyde season.

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Melbourne City are highly unlikely to go two matches in succession without a win, especially against Victory, despite Grant Brebner’s men winning well last week.

Sydney are no doubt building yet Adelaide did have their measure last time out and could well have so again at Leichhardt Oval. Macarthur FC should be able to manage three points against the Jets; a side still looking for a win but playing well for long periods.

Perth Glory host Wellington to close out the weekend action and I am convinced that the Phoenix have turned their season around and could be about to stage a late run.

Can they claim the points in the west knowing that the season is potentially over for the loser? No. The Glory in a tight one.

Paul Nicholls
Draw, Central Coast, City, Sydney, Macarthur, Wellington

So much news during the week! The Matildas shipped ten goals in two games, Victory scored off a corner to secure the W-League, and Central Coast Mariners are set to be Australia’s Manchester United.

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I mention all this to distract from my tipping performance last week, which was akin to a blazing train wreck.

Two draws in succession for the Wanderers is quite a rarity in this win at all costs league. Coach Carl Robinson will be worried his team lacks the killer touch.

I don’t think they’ll find it against Brisbane who found some form of their own against the Bulls. Draw.

Western United’s nomadic existence reaches new frontiers of absurdity when they host Central Coast in Launceston. The Mariners won’t mind the venue since they have historically struggled in Victoria. Central Coast to win.

It was good to see some kids getting a hit out for Melbourne Victory and their win over Newcastle was much needed.

Can they get a roll on against City? It’s unlikely. Melbourne City showed some serious perseverance to get a point against Sydney and should win the derby.

Sydney FC are slowly getting back into a groove. Kosta Barbarouses has looked much better with Bobo in the centre and they might click just in time to knock off a strong Adelaide unit. East Coast bias should ensure a Sydney victory.

Macarthur should beat a revitalised Newcastle in a close one.

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Mark Milligan of the Bulls shoots during the A-League

Mark Mill of Macarthur (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The distance derby is back! So are Joel Chianese and Chris Ikonimidis for Perth. So why am I tipping Wellington?

Because Tuckerman and Co. are so close behind I can feel their hot and somewhat malodorous breath on my neck.

Texi Smith
Western Sydney, United, City, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth

What are we going to do to fill the gap during the week? No midweek matches, no W-League, there is a void in our lives. This round is shoe-horned into the weekend with an unusual Sunday triple-header.

Let’s start talk of expansion. We need more games.

Wanderers hosting Brisbane is a battle of two out-of-form teams. Roar beat a lacklustre Macarthur last time out, but between these two teams there has been little else to cheer about over the last three weeks.

Corey Brown of Brisbane Roar looks on during the A-League

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

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Western Sydney to fire in front of their own fans, James Troisi to finally contribute with a brace.

Realists have been waiting for the moment when the Mariners are toppled from their lofty position, and Western United provides another stern test. The green and blacks were unfortunate to come away with nothing in Wollongong, while the Mariners had their feet up for the week.

United to win thanks to a Dylan Pierias thunderbolt on the hour, clinging on to the lead under the weight of a late siege late in the game.

City versus Victory may be a local derby, but the way Melbourne City bossed Leichhardt Oval last weekend, this one is a home banker.

The Vuck will at least give a good account of themselves, despite all their injury woes. City will be patient and score twice in the second half to make the score line look more respectable.

A quick return to Leichhardt Oval for Sydney FC in front of a raucous crowd will give the Sky Blues a boost. Adelaide were unlucky to have the wind taken out of their sails against Wanderers last week, so this will be a close one.

Milos Ninkovic to score the winner on the follow up after a Bobo header is saved by Joe Gauci.

If there was ever a time for the Jets to spring a surprise result, it’s now. Macarthur were dreadful against Brisbane. Roy O’Donovan to poach a goal early and the Bulls to throw everything at the Jets for the rest of the game.

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Lewis Italiano will emerge the hero as Newcastle snatch a much-needed win to keep them away from the wooden spoon position.

Perth Glory are a misfiring enigma who have struggled without Nick D’Agostino and Diego Castro. Wellington Phoenix themselves are a team who play attractive football but somehow fail to convert their dominance into wins.

One of these teams will get the win to take them on a run to finals football. That team will be Perth. Chris Ikonomidis will slide home a winner against the run of play as the Phoenix again rue their missed opportunities.

Match Week 17 Mike Stuart Paul Texi The Crowd
WSW vs BRI WSW WSW Draw WSW WSW
WUN vs CCM CCM WUN CCM WUN CCM
MCY vs MVC MCY MCY MCY MCY MCY
SYD vs ADL SYD ADL SYD SYD ADL
MAC vs NEW MAC MAC MAC NEW MAC
PER vs WEL PER PER WEL PER WEL
Last week 2 1 2 3 2
Previous total 39 37 44 35 37
Total 41 38 46 38 39