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The Roar's A-League Men tips and predictions: Round 8

15th December, 2022
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15th December, 2022
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In what has been a disappointing week for the A-Leagues all-round, the actual matches have taken a back seat to the diabolical decision to sell off grand finals to the highest bidder.

The only positive about that scenario is that it potentially distracts from the awful tipping that took place in Round 7. The crowd’s selections were way off, as were those of the panel. Perhaps the best thing to do is to take a mulligan and block it from the memory entirely.

Despite fan protests on the cards and the prospect of the Melbourne derby on Saturday night looking like a ghost town by half-time, football will be played and the players will be set to put on another great show for those who choose to watch.

Brisbane will be looking to build on the point they snatched late against the Reds last Friday, the Phoenix can step into the eight with a win over Adelaide and the Mariners host Sydney FC in what looks like a tasty affair on the Central Coast.

Perth are on the hunt for a third win of the season against Macarthur on Sunday and Western United will be desperate for the win against the Wanderers at AAMI Park a few hours earlier.

Good luck with your tips for the round and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say in the underperforming voice of the crowd.

Here is the way the panel sees all the action unfolding across the weekend.

(Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)

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Mike Tuckerman

Draw, draw, draw, draw, draw, draw

No comment.

No comment.

No comment.

No comment.

No comment.

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No comment.

Melbourne Victory fans

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Stuart Thomas

Newcastle, Wellington, Central Coast, City, Western Sydney, Macarthur

I thought the Reds were home last Friday and I was about to collect my winnings before the Roar earned a late penalty. Beforehand they were not particularly impressive, and off the back of an F3 derby win, the Jets could well take all three points at home.

Wellington conceded late to drop points against the Wanderers last week and now face the impressive Adelaide United. How much will the home conditions level this one up? A fair amount, I would think, and the home side will grab the win in the tightest match of the round.

Was Sydney FC’s win over City last week a true indication of their form? I’m not convinced, and the Mariners will be furious after a rubbish first half against the Jets last Sunday. Central Coast in something of an upset.

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The Melbourne derby could well be a sour affair should fans exit the stadium at the 20-minute mark of the contest. City are unlikely to lose two on the trot, and despite a win last weekend, Victory have still not found top form this season. Light blue over dark this time around.

Western United simply cannot find their mojo and will be without Leo Lacroix after his late Round 7 send-off. The Wanderers stumbled a little last week against the Phoenix and will be looking for a quick bounce back on the road. Form says Western Sydney will claim the points.

Perth will be after consecutive wins late Sunday and Macarthur need to get moving before the top six skips more than a game clear of them. It is tough to see Perth winning in Sydney, and they probably won’t against a Bulls team capable of far better.

Samuel Silvera of the Mariners celebrates scoring a goal

(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Blayne Treadgold

TBC

Andrew Prentice

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Newcastle, draw, Central Coast, City, Western Sydney, Macarthur

It’ll probably be easier to tip how many fans will stay rather than the result after this week’s grand final announcement was met with such universal acclaim – ahem. Way to alienate your most valuable customers, APL.

Anyway, the A-League remains as unpredictable on the pitch as it does off it, so picking winners from this lot is like expecting administrative coherence. The Jets got away with one against the Mariners, but sometimes that galvanises a side to produce better things. I’m still not convinced by the Roar, who continually look feeble in attack but who keep churning out the results. Warren Moon’s men are definitely flying under the radar and have in fact been beaten only once this season. They might be due.

The Phoenix should have held on against Western Sydney at their home away from home in Wollongong last week. Adelaide missed the contribution of Socceroo and Sydney grand final protestor Craig Goodwin against the Roar. He makes the Reds a totally different prospect.

Battle of the enigmas. Honestly, who can predict either of these sides? The Sky Blues, after a patchy pre-World Cup break, came out and beat the previously undefeated City last week. The Mariners were cod-ordinary in the first half against the Jets and then threatened to blow their fiercest rivals out into Brisbane Water and down to the Hawkesbury in the second only to succumb to the simplest of corner set-piece goals. The two teams’ records this season are almost identical – the Mariners are 2-1-3 to Sydney on 3-1-3, with the Mariners having played one fewer game. Both have scored 13 goals and both have fancied attack over defence. It’ll be easier to predict that the Mariners will be denied a goal by VAR for a handball that occurred three days previously at Pluim Park than it is to pick a winner with any certainty.

Will Metro Trains put on extra services at 8.10pm on Saturday to cope with the planned fan walkout of AAMI Park? Does it depress me even to suggest that possibility? To partially quote legendary Melbourne radio host Leaping Larry L, if the Holden Precision Driving Team had the timing of the APL when it comes to announcements, they’d be the Holden Precision Driving Corpses. As for the game, it’s usually a highlight in the calendar with a jam-packed stadium, Melbourne City’s attacking assets don’t often have two off weeks in a row, even though Jamie McLaren scored his mandatory goal from the penalty spot. A virtual Socceroos-in-Qatar front line awaits the defensively resolute Victory, who will have a more difficult task keeping City at bay than they did a toothless Macarthur attack last week.

Marko Rudan coaches against a former employer for the second week in a row. The reigning champions seemed to have righted a listing ship with their win in Wellington prior to the break but came unstuck against the Glory. This was despite dominating possession, having more goal attempts and completing more passes than their hosts. The Wanderers also dominated the possession stats last start without it bearing fruit on the scoreboard and yet had goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas to thank for keeping them in the game. Western United fans added to the vociferous displeasure of the grand final announcement this week. In order to stage a walkout protest, they’ll need to turn up to this game first.

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Perth went ‘home’ last week, albeit to the – let’s call it ‘compact’ – Macedonia Park, and rewarded their fans with a win that had captain Mustafa Amini warning opposing sides that they’d “cop it” after a long trip over the Nullabor. This time it’s Perth who have to take the trip, and waiting for them is a Macarthur side who simply didn’t land enough blows on Melbourne Victory last week to make an impact. Given their attacking assets, coach Dwight Yorke will expect and demand more from his side in this game. Despite their defensive heroics at home, the Glory might be hard-pressed to keep the likes of Daniel Arzani, Ulises Davila, Al Hassan Toure, Danny De Silva and Lachlan Rose at bay.

Texi Smith

Newcastle, Adelaide, Central Coast, City, United, Macarthur

The Jets rode their luck on Sunday in the F3 derby but showed some spark, including some enterprising wing play from future Socceroos star and Jack Grealish impersonator Daniel Stynes. They entertain Brisbane Roar, who were fortunate to accept the gifts from Adelaide United to grab a point from a game that they should have lost. The unpredictability of the A-League Men’s dictates that this will be an even affair early on, but the Jets will take their home advantage and dismantle their visitors in a free-flowing second-half display.

Thankfully, Wellington will be back home this weekend after their pointless game at WIN Stadium, a match that they will feel they should have won. Adelaide United were the much better side in Brisbane, and only a lack of discipline saw them cough up two points at the end of that one. With Craig Goodwin potentially back in the starting line-up and the impressive Nestory Irankunda ready to cause havoc from the bench, this will be a surprise victory for United.

The Mariners were off-colour on the weekend, going down against the Jets in a shock home defeat in the F3 derby. Sydney FC looked impressive in their slender victory over Melbourne City at Allianz, but this fixture goes only two ways: either a dreadful performance from the visitors and a simple victory for the Mariners or a thumping victory for the Sky Blues. There doesn’t seem to be anything in between. Today we will see Sydney FC revert to their old ways, and the pretty one-touch passing will get them into all sorts of trouble. Banners and painted bed sheets in both home and away sections will be damning of the APL, and the visiting fans will hold a silent vigil in protest at the uproar that has enveloped the A-Leagues this week.

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A threatened walk-out on 20 minutes won’t happen in this one. The football will be too good and Victory will be two goals up already. The riches in attack for both teams will come to the fore and by half-time, Jamie Maclaren will have reduced the arrears, leaving the game beautifully poised for the second half. Another three goals, culminating in a thumping volley from Valon Berisha to seal it in injury time will cement this game in the folklore of the A-League, City running out winners after a massive turnaround.

Western United looked to have done enough to get something at Perth last week, but this has been a disastrous start to the season for the reigning champions. With Leo Lacroix now suspended, and with a change of tact being at home, United will step out of their shell and come looking for goals from the opening whistle. The visitors’ mean defence will be equal to it though, and it will the Wanderers who take a lead into half-time. A Dylan Pierias run and finish will bring the game back to parity, setting up a frantic finish, and Dylan Wenzel-Halls will pop up at the far post to poach a goal on the rebound to win it for Western United.

Two teams separated by two points on the ladder, Perth Glory will have their tails up against Macarthur FC after their win at home last weekend. Alas, any promise of a revival for Glory will evaporate as they are put to the sword by a high-quality midfield performance, with Ulises Davila and Danny De Silva dictating the play. Glorious conditions will see some champagne football played by both teams early on, but a Daniel Arzani diving header will set the scene for a thumping win for the Bulls who will run away with it in a one-sided second half.

Round 8MikeStuartBlayneAndrewTexiThe Crowd
NEW vs BRIDrawNEWTBCNEWNEW?
WEL vs ADLDrawWELTBCDrawADL?
CCM vs SYDDrawCCMTBCCCMCCM?
MCY vs MVCDrawMCYTBCMCYMCY?
WUN vs WSWDrawWSWTBCWSWWUN?
MAC vs PERDrawMACTBCMACMAC?
Previous total101510171417
Last week112131
New total111612181718
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