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The Roar's A-League Men tips and predictions: Round 5

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2nd November, 2022
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Welcome to tipping hell, everyone! The A-League is testing our resolve across the early rounds, with another weekend of red cards, upsets and stunning comebacks making the art of selecting correct results near impossible.

All credit to the roar of the crowd last week, with three correct tips setting the pace while a couple of members of the panel hit the skids in dramatic fashion. This week, as usual, things look no easier. The struggling Victory are up against Newcastle. Western Sydney and Central Coast are both in good form form ahead of their clash, while Brisbane and Sydney are certain to provide fireworks on Sunday afternoon in a match I will be covering live here on The Roar at 3pm.

Good luck with your tips for the weekend, and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to continue the solid form of the crowd as it sets the pace early in the season.

Here’s how the panel sees all the action unfolding in Round 5.

Mike Tuckerman

Victory, City, Western Sydney, draw, Sydney, Adelaide

Three games without a win is not the start Tony Popovic would have expected to make, and his Victory side made heavy weather of their 0-0 draw against a ten-men Brisbane Roar last weekend. Nevertheless, Victory remain tough to beat at AAMI Park, and they’ve got an arsenal of attacking weapons at their disposal, even if new signing Bruno Fornaroli is unlikely to play much of a role. After successive home wins, the Jets found Western Sydney Wanderers too hot to handle in Parramatta. This game could spell danger for the Victory, but they should get back on track with all three points against the Novocastrians.

Melbourne City threw away two points when they let Wellington Phoenix back into their game in the 2-2 draw last weekend. That will displease coach Paddy Kisnorbo to no end, and they’ll be fired up to make amends against a Perth Glory side that looks well short on quality. The West Australians haven’t been getting much out of Bruno Fornaroli for a while now, but he won’t have the chance to put his former employer to the sword now that he’s moved on to City’s bitter rivals, Victory. Glory showed glimpses of decent football in their 2-1 defeat to Adelaide United last time out, but City are a step up in class. It’s hard to see how the hosts don’t clinch this one.

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Has Marko Rudan righted the ship in Parramatta? The Wanderers haven’t exactly set the world on fire in their three wins to date, but what they have done is prove defensively solid and good enough to score the goals they need. Both Romain Amalfitano and Brandon Borrello boast enough quality to do some serious damage at this level, while the Mariners – and in particular the irrepressible Jason Cummings – should prove tough to beat, this is a fixture in which the Wanderers can really make a statement. Expect the home side to chalk up another impressive win in the build-up to the Sydney derby.

Talk about a tough one to pick. The Nix are still waiting for their first win of the season, but once again Ufuk Talay has made them a resoundingly difficult side to beat. Three draws from four probably wasn’t the start Talay was hoping for, though they would have kickstarted the campaign with a win but for a stoppage-time equaliser from Ben Halloran against Adelaide in Round 1. Macarthur were the hard-luck story of the last round, and they were unlucky not to come away from their clash with Sydney FC with a point. It’s hard to imagine they’ll really relish this trip to New Zealand, though. This one could finish all square.

(Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

After a slow start, Brisbane Roar are starting to ease into the new campaign. They’ll go into this game without suspended first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Holmes though, and his replacement, Macklin Freke, doesn’t always inspire a terrible amount of confidence. The Roar usually like to market this clash as a State of Origin-style encounter, but Sydney FC attackers Robert Mak and Joe Lolley couldn’t care less about state rivalries. With former Roar midfielder Luke Brattan pulling the strings in midfield, it’s hard to see how the Sky Blues don’t head back down to Sydney with all three points.

What have I picked here? Adelaide United to win? That’s Western United nailed on for their first victory of the season, then. I’ll stick with the Reds to triumph, even though I think John Aloisi’s side should have the quality to trouble his former teammate Carl Veart’s outfit. I’ve come too far and put too much thought into what I was going to write to change my tip now. It’s hard to believe I’m languishing at the foot of the table with this foolproof system.

Stuart Thomas

Victory, City, Western Sydney, Wellington, Sydney, United

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I must admit to losing a little faith in Melbourne Victory. Everything appeared to be set up for a dominant season, yet with just one win from four, they are not even in the top six. Maybe new signing Bruno Fornaroli will help turn things around. Surely they beat the Jets at home.

Melbourne City threw points away last week against the Phoenix and will not do so again against Perth, a team looking a little better than some predicted in the preseason. Saturday night’s clash between the Wanderers and Mariners could be a belter, with another Wanderer win destined to have their fans celebrating. Write off Central Coast at your peril.

Macarthur FC finally got out of first gear against Sydney last week, and the Phoenix did a lot right against City in their comeback draw. Tricky to predict, yet Sky Stadium might just get the locals home. Brisbane will need to score three goals to beat Sydney FC on Sunday, and they will not. The Sky Blues in a comfortable win against a toothless Roar attack.

Can Western United find their way off the bottom of the ladder with a first win of the season against Adelaide? That win appeared to be at hand against Central Coast last week before a send-off changed the game, while Adelaide did just enough against Perth. It’s a tough one to call, but based on desperation, United might just earn the three points.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Blayne Treadgold

Victory, City, draw, draw, Sydney, draw

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Both Victory and Newcastle are desperate for a win. Can the incoming Bruno Fornaroli provide the goals? My thoughts are yes. 2-0 to the Victory.

We saw last week against Wellington that City do have some frailties. Can Perth exploit them? Despite Glory having a pretty good record against City in Melbourne, this will be a step too far. 2-1 to City.

The Wanderers keep proving us wrong, picking up points where previously they would have fallen. Central Coast will provide a tough test, the X factor of Jason Cummings and Garang Kuol may prove enough for the Mariners to grab a point. 2-2.

Wellington punches well above its weight. Although I think Macarthur will be on the rebound after last week’s ‘derby’ loss to Sydney. The trip across the ditch will be a new challenge for Dwight Yorke. 1-1 in this one.

Sydney are hitting their straps, Patrick Wood has filled the void left by the Adam Le Fondre injury, and imports Joe Lolley and Robert Mak are also flying. Sydney are too strong. 2-0.

The World Cup break can’t come soon enough for Western United, but for Adelaide, who are starting to build momentum, it will be a disruption. A tough one to pick. 1-1.

Hiroshi Ibusuki

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

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Andrew Prentice

Victory, City, draw, Wellington, Sydney, Adelaide

Victory have not scored since Round 1, so signing Bruno Fornaroli this week seemed inevitable. How a team with the strike power of Nick D’Agostino, Ben Folami, Jake Brimmer, Luis Nani and Chris Ikonomidis could have failed to trouble the scorers for three games is a mystery, but the whole competition is becoming a mystery for tipsters. The Jets offered nothing against the Wanderers’ iron curtain defence last week, having looked vibrant in attack in their first two games. They don’t seem to be great travellers right now and may be coming up against Victory at a bad time.

Perth did well not to get blown away by Adelaide United last week. It looked ominous after 20 minutes, but Glory were able to steady the listing ship and came close to grabbing a point. However, they’re up against a City team who did get grabbed last week by a late-finishing Phoenix, and the City players would not have been looking forward to Patrick Kisnorbo’s wrath post-match.

The Wanderers were efficient against the Jets last week and have conceded only one goal in the first four games. In comparison, the Mariners were exhilarating against Western United. At 0-2 down at half-time, they still looked like the better team and blew the defending champions away in the second half, coinciding with the introduction of Australian football’s new wunderkind Garang Kuol. The Wanderers defence won’t have it as easy this week, but the Mariners’ willingness to throw players forward will suit Western Sydney’s counter-attacking assets.

Wellington’s Yellow Fever have seen their team play almost as much at home this last month as they have in the last two years. But they haven’t seen them win or lose yet. A stirring late fightback against Melbourne City last week restored faith in Ufuk Talay’s squad as a competitive force. Macarthur fell to their first defeat against Sydney FC last week, abetted by another ridiculous VAR-inspired red card farce handed to central defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis. These two teams have racked up five draws between them so far this season. The law of averages says that run can’t last, surely.

The Roar have the same 0-3-1 record as the Phoenix, yet the manner in which it has come about has been almost non-descript, a fly-under-the-radar job that hasn’t yet given them a decisive strike. ‘Strike’ is a sore point at the Roar – they’ve scored only once all season. The Roar are going to have to do better at the pointy end against Sydney FC than that if they’re to get something out of this game. The Sky Blues have scored ten times already this season and the Roar will be without first-choice keeper Jordan Holmes.

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Corey Brown of Brisbane Roar looks to pass the ball.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

On paper, Western were cruising at half-time against the Mariners last week, but it was the most deceiving 2-0 lead imaginable. The Mariners had 13 shots to three in that first half and looked capable of tearing Western’s defence to shreds – and that was before Garang Kuol had even entered the fray. Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s needless and deserved red card in the 48th minute – a rare occurrence of VAR intervention getting a decision right – opened the floodgates. Things just don’t seem too rosy at Western United right now. In comparison, Adelaide are clicking into gear and have the competition’s form player in Craig Goodwin tormenting defences with his passing, crossing and scoring ability. They looked ready to pile on the misery against Perth but let the Glory back into the game after a fast start at Hindmarsh. A-League form has been a poisoned tipping chalice so far this season, but apart from throwing darts at a board or buying an octopus, what else have we got?

Texi Smith

Victory, City, Western Sydney, Wellington, Brisbane, United

Victory couldn’t crack open the Brisbane Roar defence last weekend in the heat despite playing against ten for the whole second half. Following their opening-day win in Sydney, things haven’t gone to plan, and they have recruited yet another star striker to join their overflowing attack. The Jets were surprisingly weak at CommBank Stadium last week, but in Jaushua Sotirio and Reno Piscopo they have two livewires who can win any game. I fear, though, this is going to be another grim away day for the Jets and they will be overrun by Victory in a storming second half.

The way Melbourne City faded on Sunday evening was alarming. Patrick Kisnorbo was out-thought by his counterpart, Ufuk Talay, as Wellington Phoenix grabbed a deserved point and could have won it. Glory were easily second best at Adelaide but are made of tough stuff. In Ryan Williams they have an exciting winger, and he could be a real menace to the City defence. Unfortunately he will be on the losing side, as City finally click and rack up a handsome first-half lead and add to it early in the second.

It’s amazing how a red card can turn a game. Western United were executing the perfect smash and grab on the Central Coast but were instead humbled by a spectacular comeback by the Mariners. Western Sydney Wanderers smothered the Jets last weekend, snuffed out like a candle, and two goals from nowhere settled quite a turgid game. This is a tough one to pick, and with Jason Cummings firing on all cylinders, there will be a lot of attacking options for the visitors. But again the dominant no-nonsense defence and the silk of Calem Nieuwenhof and Milos Ninkovic in midfield will give the Wanderers the edge in a tense 1-0 win.

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Wellington Phoenix back at home and welcoming a Macarthur team smarting from their unjust defeat to neighbours Sydney FC has a home win written all over it. After securing a fabulous point in Melbourne last week, the impetus is with the home side, and they will punish the visitors with a bombardment from set-piece specialist Clayton Lewis, Ben Waine scoring twice, Yan Sasse looking like the quality player we know he is and Steven Ugarkovic scoring a long-range belter in a 3-0 win.

Zero wins from four games for Brisbane Roar this season, but there’s been plenty of promise in three creditable draws. If there’s one team who will crumble when given a little pressure in the air at the back, it’s Sydney FC, who have been utterly unconvincing in defence. Reverting to the pretty but ineffectual midfield passing routine against ten-man Macarthur last week, they couldn’t energise themselves to take control of what should have been a routine win. The bustling Charlie Adams will have a fantastic duel with James Donachie and it will be a free-scoring affair, with Carlo Armiento scoring twice to win it late in the game.

By the time Western United take the field at AAMI Park, there will have already been 180 minutes played on the pristine surface this weekend. Without Nikolai Topor-Stanley they will be forced into a reshuffle, but with Alessandro Diamanti back in, this could be the turning point for the league’s basement team and reigning champions.

Round 5MikeStuartBlayneAndrewTexiThe Crowd
MVC vs NEWMVCMVCMVCMVCMVC?
MCY vs PERMCYMCYMCYMCYMCY?
WSW vs CCMWSWWSW Draw Draw WSW?
WEL vs MACDrawWEL Draw WELWEL?
BRI vs SYDSYDSYDSYDSYDBRI?
WUN vs ADLADLWUN Draw ADLWUN?
Previous total375979
Last week120223
New total49511912
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