Melbourne City are one win away from becoming the first team to complete consecutive A-League Men premiership-championship doubles after Jamie Maclaren delivered a 2-1…
Texi Smith continues to extend his lead at the top of The Roar tipping ladder, despite the fact that last weekend saw some better results for most members of the panel.
Four matches are due to be played this weekend and the pick of the bunch appears to be Sydney FC’s clash with the Mariners late Sunday afternoon.
Elsewhere, Brisbane look good things for a second win for the season, Melbourne City will have to overcome Western United should they hope to remain second on the ladder and Newcastle are back in action, hosting the Reds late Sunday.
Good luck with your tips for the weekend and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say in the currently underperforming voice of The Crowd. Here is the way the panel sees all of the Match Week 12 action unfolding.
City, Brisbane, Central Coast, Adelaide
COVID postponements have made the A-League feel more like Russian roulette and it’s hard to know who’ll be playing on any given day. Western United probably wish their last game against Wellington Phoenix had been called off and with Melbourne City in a modicum of form, they should win this clash on what is technically their home turf.
Can I tip Brisbane Roar to win this weekend? I can. But I’ll be the first to admit they’ve looked like absolute cactus this season. That being said and keeping with my long-standing tradition of tipping against the Wanderers, I’m going to back the home side to win here, because if they don’t win this one, I’m not sure when they’ll ever win again.
It’s time to call it: Sydney FC are dreadfully out of form. Steve Corica might point to injury concerns and COVID complaints, but at the end of the day the Sky Blues have played some terribly uninspiring football this season. The result of the Big Blue notwithstanding, if you’re tipping on form you have to back the Mariners to win on the road.
Newcastle’s clash with Adelaide should be one of the matches of the round. These sides are unpredictable, but it’s the fact the Jets haven’t played competitively for more than five weeks that should put the Reds in the box seat here. Adelaide will end up missing Stefan Mauk more than they imagined but they should claim the points in the Hunter.
City, Brisbane, Central Coast, Adelaide
After a run of draws, Melbourne City broke the pattern last weekend with a resounding victory against the Mariners and should continue that winning form against a Western United side that has now lost two on the trot and is slipping down the ladder.
John Aloisi’s team needs a win quick smart, yet based on what we saw from them against Wellington last time out, it will not come in this derby.
Brisbane Roar finally grabbed their first win against Perth before being unable to back up well enough to match Adelaide, in what was a busy week for them. The Wanderers come off an extended break, not having played since January 9 and that should sway things in the favour of the home side.
Sydney FC finally came to life in the Big Blue on Tuesday and gave their fans a taste of just what they are capable of. Victory may well feel a little cheated, yet Sydney looked the best they have all season and Central Coast will have to produce another gutsy and inspirational performance to be able to topple them on home soil. I think they can.
It is great to see the Jets back on the pitch, having played just five games for the season and other teams approaching double that figure. There will be a rush of matches for them now and that can be either problematic or an opportunity to build some momentum.
Adelaide have quietly crept into the top five entering the weekend and will be a tough nut to crack, despite being on the road. Expect some tired second half legs for the Jets and a two goal Reds win.
City, Brisbane, Draw, Newcastle
City, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle
The B-grade Melbourne derby takes centre stage on Saturday night; Western United fresh from a dismal showing at Phoenix and City coming into this one after a powerful display at Central Coast Mariners.
United will rely on the trickery of Alessandro Diamanti again, this time his unpredictability paying off as he ghosts in at the back post with a diving header to give United the lead. City though will be level at the break and will kick into gear in the second half when Marco Tilio takes control, scoring two and setting up another in a comprehensive win for the reigning champions.
We got a glimpse of Brisbane’s promise when they dispatched Glory recently, but that quickly dissolved and the Wanderers showed character last time out in the hastily arranged fixture earlier in the month.
An intriguing clash on Saturday night then, two teams with little to show for their early season endeavour will largely cancel each other out, but a moment of magic from Jay O’Shea will see Roar lift off the bottom of the table and give Wanderers more food for thought in the Carl Robinson managerial debate.
Sydney FC are still smarting from their two losses against the Mariners this season, one in the FFA Cup that highlighted the problems that Steve Corica has in his formation and tactics. With a threadbare squad and men on international duty, the players will finally put together a performance in this return to Leichhardt Oval.
The Mariners will frustrate the home side in the first half, Ruon Tongyik immense in shackling the threat of Bobo and the Sydney fans will be expecting the tired tactics to fail to unlock the resolute defence. What a shock then to see Sydney FC run away with it in the second half, Milos Ninkovic playing some direct football and the maligned Harry Van Der Saag getting on the scoresheet in a 3-0 home win.
On any other day, the Jets would be lambs to the slaughter against Adelaide United. The Reds were dominant at Brisbane, but they’ll find Newcastle in a fiery mood in this Sunday evening clash. Football has been off the menu in Newcastle for a month and their last hit out was before Christmas.
The fans will be out in force to see this one and the bubbling atmosphere will spur the home side on, Olivier Boumal and Daniel Penha reminding the A League that they’re still around. Craig Goodwin will have a day to forget as his set-pieces fail to inspire and a late goal will hand victory to the gleeful home side.
|Match Week 12||Mike||Simon||Stuart||Texi||The Crowd|
|WUN vs MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY||MCY||?|
|BRI vs WSW||BRI||BRI||BRI||BRI||?|
|SYD vs CCM||CCM||DRAW||CCM||SYD||?|
|NEW vs ADL||ADL||NEW||ADL||NEW||?|
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