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The Roar's A-League Men tips and predictions: Match Week 13

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1st February, 2022
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A huge week of football lies ahead on the Australian domestic scene, with the A-League Men beginning to return to something near normal after a host of postponements had put the season’s completion into serious doubt.

Western Sydney will be hoping the appointment of their new manager can lift them against Perth, Newcastle and Brisbane will be desperate for points on Thursday night and Adelaide and Sydney FC fight over three points when two in form teams meet a day later.

The Wanderers and Perth back up quickly this weekend and Western United, Macarthur FC and Melbourne City all have the chance to cement themselves near the top of the ladder across the weekend.

Good luck with your tips and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say as the ever important voice of the crowd. Texi Smith has a substantial lead yet is far from home in the 2021/22 tipping. Here is the way the panel sees all the action unfolding over the next five days.

Mike Tuckerman
Wanderers, Draw, Sydney FC, Draw, Macarthur, City

After finally axing Carl Robinson, the Wanderers will be looking for the new-coach bounce when they host Perth Glory. Having appointed Mark Rudan for the rest of the season, they’ll expect to start climbing up the standings and they should start by taking three points off the visitors here.

The Jets will be better for their run-out last weekend, even if they lost in impossibly dramatic circumstances. Arthur Papas will look at that game as three points dropped but they’ll face a Brisbane Roar side with their tails up in this one. The Roar were good value for their win last week, but this one could finish all square.

Adelaide United needed two goals in the final three minutes to see off Newcastle last time out and they’ve been weakened by the departures of Stefan Mauk and Ben Halloran. You never quite know which Sydney FC side is going to turn up, and they were fortunate to jag a win last week. But I think the Sky Blues will nick this one.

Western Sydney should be a much-improved side under Mark Rudan, but they won’t particularly relish a visit from the tough-to-beat Western United. John Aloisi’s side have been one of the surprise packages of the season and much as Rudan would love to get one over his former club, this could end in stalemate.

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You have to really feel for Wellington Phoenix. They’ve been on the road forever, they’ve lost key players to rival clubs and they’ve played just twice in the new year so far. They should give a decent account of themselves in the Gong, but I expect Macarthur to claim all three points on what is not an overly taxing road trip.

When Melbourne City turn it on, they look like the most unbeatable team in the league. The trouble for Paddy Kisnorbo is they’ve been one of the most inconsistent sides this season. They should have more than enough firepower to see off Perth Glory, but can they flick the switch at the right time?

Simon Hill
Western Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Draw, Macarthur, City

Coach Mark Rudan of Western United

Coach Mark Rudan (Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Stuart Thomas
Perth, Newcastle, Adelaide, United, Macarthur, City

The Glory made a triumphant return to A-League play against Sydney FC against the odds and now face a fractured and broken Wanderers with a new man at the helm attempting to pick up the pieces. In the medium term, Mark Rudan will, yet Perth will be too strong in this one, despite being on the road yet again.

Newcastle lost to Adelaide last weekend, no shame there, and should be too strong for a still unconvincing Brisbane Roar, that does at least appear to have ignited its season over the last few weeks. A hit out against the Reds last Sunday will be all the Jets need to get back into the swing of things and secure an important three points.

Adelaide will beat Sydney FC on Friday night despite the improved form of the visitors and their sudden arrival in the top six. Now third on the ladder, the Reds are a seriously well coached and competitive side, with Sydney’s form still a little patchy. It might be tight, yet the Reds will prevail.

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The chances of Western Sydney backing up and toppling the consistent Western United on Saturday are slim, Macarthur could well grind their way to a win against an improving Wellington on Sunday afternoon, before Melbourne City put Perth to the sword in the final fixture of the weekend in the Sunday twilight.

Texi Smith
Western Sydney, Brisbane, Sydney, United, Macarthur, City

How things change! The Wanderers finally caved in to pressure and jettisoned their under-fire and under-performing coach, replacing him with a man who has been around the traps in the A-League as a player and manager, but who comes with his own baggage. The bounce will be immediate, Bernie Ibini scoring early to set the crowd alight.

When Daniel Stynes equalises soon after the cracks will start to show and the smiles begin to fade, but some reactionary tactical changes in the second half will shore things up and Terry Antonis will nick a late goal to give Mark Rudan the debut win.

Brisbane Roar are up and running, they’ve turned the corner and they are ready to begin a rapid ascent up the table. Jay O’Shea will be instrumental in their success here at McDonald Jones stadium, his vision and cunning opening the door for his teammates to cash in. Olivier Boumale’s brilliant solo effort will be scant reward for some intense Jets pressure, Brisbane coming away with a three-goal win, Nikola Mileusnic again among the scorers.

Kings of the fightback, so loose in defence, so silky in midfield, so profligate up front. That’s Sydney FC. Anthony Caceres has reached a new level and will be involved in all areas of the field. Adelaide came up trumps at Newcastle last time out and will look to build on that against tougher opposition. Yaya Dukuly will be a constant thorn in Sydney’s makeshift defence, and it will be a shoot-out, the odd goal in seven being the difference as Sydney get the win. Here’s a sure fire tip : Max Burgess will replace Milos Ninkovic (or the other way around) between the 62nd and 68th minute.

Milos Ninkovic playing for Sydney FC

Milos Ninkovic. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Wanderers will be flying by the weekend. Miracle worker Rudan will have his chest puffed out even more than usual as he guides the red and black into battle against Alessandro Diamanti and friends. The impish Connor Pain will be the perfect baddie for the home fans to get their claws into, scoring early to signal the intent of the visitors. From then on, Wanderers will attack in waves, Jamie Young the difference, and despite some great chances, Western United will survive with their goal intact and record a fabulous away win at Commbank Stadium.

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You just can’t back Wellington Phoenix at the moment, but write them off at your peril. Just when you think they’ve hit the lowest of lows losing 4-0 at Adelaide, they bounce back at home to Western United. I’m going with the league table and form in this one, the mathematician in me says Macarthur based upon probability alone. Looking forward to seeing the entertaining Walter Sandoval come up against some experienced and meaty defenders, but I’m sticking with the away win here by two.

This Sunday arvo spectacular sees the out-of-form champions take on the nomadic unpredictability of Perth Glory. This game ended 1-0 earlier in the season, just before Glory meted out a hiding to Victory. Anything could happen here and with City still not back to full strength, they are there for the taking. Alas, this is one that Perth just won’t get going in, and City will grind out goals in either half from Manuel Pucciarelli and Taras Gomulka to steady the ship and keep them up at the top of the table.

Match Week 13 Mike Simon Stuart Texi The Crowd
MAC vs WUN WUN DRAW WUN MAC MAC
WSW vs PER WSW WSW PER WSW ?
NEW vs BRI DRAW BRI NEW BRI ?
ADL vs SYD SYD ADL ADL SYD ?
WSW vs WUN DRAW DRAW WUN WUN ?
WEL vs MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC ?
MCY vs PER MCY MCY MCY MCY ?
Previous total 17 16 15 21 16
Last week 2 1 2 2 1
New total 19 17 17 23 17

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