It is a huge week for Perth Glory, with six points up for grabs and their season resting on the two wins required to stay in touch with the top six.
Melbourne City, Western United and Brisbane Roar also back up during this match week, all jostling for finals’ positions, as the climax to the home and away season draws ever nearer.
It looks a tough tipping week. Paul Nicholls continues to hold his lead despite some improved performances from other members of the panel and the voice of the people.
Good luck with your selections this week and be sure to enter them in the sheet below.
Here are the thoughts of the panel as we enter Match Week 19.
City, Draw, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Central Coast, Brisbane, City
One defeat in their last 11 games has seen Melbourne City move to the top of the standings, and anything less than a comfortable win over the hapless Newcastle Jets will be a huge surprise.
Both Adelaide United and Western United have played well in fits and spurts this season, however both sides have lacked consistency. The Reds are generally a tough team to beat at home, however the visitors should dig in for a point in Adelaide.
It’s now or never for Perth Glory. Another defeat here would just about end their finals hopes for the season and while Macarthur have looked impressive at times, they don’t travel particularly well. Glory to win it for mine.
Last week’s postponed Anzac Day clash is a bit of a disaster for Brisbane Roar, who now face a string of midweek make-up games. Those won’t count for much unless they win against Wellington, and they’ll be desperate to see off a direct rival in the race for a finals spot.
I should have tipped Victory to enjoy the new coach bounce-back against the Wanderers last week. By that logic I should probably tip a desperate Western Sydney to win the derby, but I won’t… because I don’t think they will.
Melbourne Victory followed a narrow win with a narrow defeat to Sydney FC, but they’re just not playing with any confidence. I think the Mariners have been pegged back a bit recently, but they should have too much resolve for the hosts.
Every game in the run home is a bit of a must-win for Brisbane Roar, and they really don’t like Western United. The visitors may have Alessandro Diamanti and Besart Berisha, but can they do it on a crisp Wednesday night in Redcliffe? The answer is no.
This could be end game for Perth Glory. The trip out west has always proved difficult for visiting sides, but Melbourne City have plenty to play for and a Jamie Maclaren who doesn’t mind torching his former clubs.
City, Adelaide, Perth, Wellington, Sydney, Victory, United, City
I can see this week’s winners in my mind so clearly I almost don’t want to share them. Mr Nicholls had best be ready for second place comes seasons’ end.
Anyone tipping against Melbourne City at home tonight is a fool and those prepared to gamble against Adelaide at Coopers when they take on Western United on Friday could potentially be labelled the same.
It all comes down to the next two matches for Perth Glory and they will get the points in the first of them against Macarthur at HBF before crashing back to earth when City boss them next Wednesday night at the same venue.
It is hard to tip against Wellington right now with three wins from their last four and they should be able to manage the unpredictable Roar at home. Whether I will be able to handle the abuse from up north should the result go the other way is an entirely different question.
Sydney FC should win the Sydney Derby by the length of the straight and a little birdie tells me that Central Coast are struggling to maintain their early season consistency. Victory to pinch the win at home.
I cannot pick the Brisbane Roar vs Western United result with any confidence. Frankly, this is a guess. Western United on the back of a Connor Pain hat-trick.
City, Adelaide, Macarthur, Wellington, Sydney, Central Coast, Draw, City
The Eurosnobs must hate the A-League at the moment. Imagine having half the teams still in the premiership race with only seven rounds left.
And what impudence not having the same team winning the league ten years in a row. Why, it’s anti-football. We love it, so that’s all that counts.
Melbourne City at home should easily account for Newcastle in the most obvious result of the round.
Western United are proving to be a bit of a dark horse with only one defeat in their last four outings. Adelaide will need to get their premiership challenge into gear and should win at home.
Perth are having a stop-start season, not only in their results but having their momentum checked by Covid-19 restrictions. Macarthur could have beaten Melbourne City last week and might nick a win in the west.
Wellington are one of the biggest improvers of late and should boost their top six hopes with an away win against Brisbane Roar and the Sydney Derby is back although it has lost some of its lustre from years gone by.
The Wanderers defeat by Victory must have shaken Carl Robinson up and a poor performance against Sydney could put his position under pressure. Sydney by the odd goal.
Melbourne Victory are becoming the newest bane for tipsters, although I expect Central Coast will be more desperate and ease pundits’ nerves with a win on Sunday.
I’m sitting on the fence for Brisbane against Western United in what should be an entertaining draw and I see more heartbreak for Perth as they try to catch up on their fixture backlog against Melbourne City midweek. City by three.
City, United, Perth, Brisbane, Western Sydney, Victory, Brisbane, Perth
I thought I was so smart tipping Victory to win their first game under Steve Kean and it just all went wrong after that. Another eight games this week, we are so spoilt. Best league in the world!
Melbourne City get us underway with an absolute home banker against a Newcastle Jets team in a right mess. Both these teams had an away draw at Macarthur in the last two weeks but the performances were worlds apart. The Jets were powderpuff at Western United and it will continue here.
The two United’s should serve up a treat in this match of the round. Adelaide will be keen to get back to winning ways, while you never really know what you’re getting from Western United. I’m going for the green and black to score an upset win at Fortress Coopers, and Alessandro Diamanti to score his first of the season.
Perth Glory will finally get back to winning ways in the first of a run of home games that could bring them back into contention for a finals spot. Diego Castro to pull the strings as Perth ease past a misfiring Macarthur Bulls.
We’ve not seen much of Brisbane recently, and they’ll be raring to go. The Nix have been impressive and sit on the cusp of a finals’ spot. With all those around them with games in hand, this is a must win for the visitors, but they will scrap in vain as the Roar steal the win with a Riku Danzaki diving header in the last minute.
The Sydney Derby is typically a cricket score for the Sky Blues or a turgid 1-0 for the Wanderers. The reigning premiers will knock on the door all evening in this one.
Their usual failings with the final ball and the unnecessarily intricate play around the penalty area that allows the defence to regroup will be their undoing. Bruce Kamau will scuff a shot into the net on the rebound after a point-blank stop from Andrew Redmayne.
Victory weren’t that bad against Sydney FC midweek, they hit the post and had a fair amount of the ball. Mariners are a well-drilled unit this season, but are on a winless streak.
This is another Victory win and another worrying reverse for the Central Coast; the languid Rudy Gestede heading home from a corner to snatch the points.
Two teams in desperate need for points to push for that coveted finals spot go head-to-head in Redcliffe. This should be a classic and three points for the home team.
Bet against Melbourne City at your peril. The final match of the round in Perth will give the neutral the result they wanted, blowing the premiership wide open.
City will be two goals up in the first half through Jamie Maclaren, but a needless send off just before half time will change the game completely.
Perth will romp home in the second half, Daniel Stynes and his loose socks doing the damage with a vintage display of mesmerising footwork and Beardsley-like finishing.
|Match Week 19||Mike||Stuart||Paul||Texi||The Crowd|
|MCY vs NEW||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY|
|ADL vs WUN||Draw||ADL||ADL||WUN||ADL|
|PER vs MAC||PER||PER||MAC||PER||DRAW|
|BRI vs WEL||BRI||WEL||WEL||BRI||BRI|
|WSW vs SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD||WSW||SYD|
|MVC vs CCM||CCM||MVC||CCM||MVC||CCM|
|BRI vs WUN||BRI||WUN||Draw||BRI||BRI|
|PER vs MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY||PER||MCY|