The opening round of A-League tips I submitted to the Roar were abysmal.
However, my level of tipping hopelessness to start the season was easily conquered by the utterly disgraceful performances put forward by the other panel members, and the flailing voice of the people.
Only the Reds’ triumph at Coopers on Friday registered a point for yours truly, with nudie runs called upon for the rest of you.
Round 2 looks just as tricky, with Brisbane hosting Sydney on Friday night up north, the Phoenix and and Glory involved in an enthralling clash the following day and Western United seeking a perfect start to the season, up against the Wanderers in Sydney.
Elsewhere, reigning champions Central Coast need a rebound against the Bulls, the Victory could make a real early statement against the Jets at AAMI Park and should Melbourne City lose to the Reds in Adelaide, the concerns for Rado Vidosic’s side’s competitiveness this season will continue to grow.
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’s the way the panel sees the action unfolding across the weekend.
Brisbane, Wellington, Western Sydney, Central Coast, Victory, Draw
Last week’s tipping was the perfect round of fixtures to open the season, absolutely no chance of knowing what was to come and the beautiful randomness of the A-League gave us some cracking results.
Saturday night at Suncorp, and what an opportunity for Brisbane Roar to open their home account with the scalp of an undercooked Sydney FC. The midfield wizardry of Jay O’Shea and the trickery of Henry Hore and Nikola Mileusnic will cause the brittle Sky Blue defence all sorts of problems.
Jordan Courtney-Perkins will again be found out and Roar will power into a comfortable half-time lead. While Joe Lolley will reduce the arrears in the second half, there will be no way back for Steve Corica’s men and the questions will again be asked.
The clash between Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory at the Cake Tin brings a wealth of experience to a distance derby between two teams on similar trajectories. Alen Stajcic’s men will be smarting after letting the lead slip last weekend, but Phoenix have a lot to play for.
Once Oskar Zawada has powered them into the lead, there will be only one winner. Glory will rally to equalise in the second half through Luke Ivanovic, but a late winner from Bozhidar Kraev will see the fans off home with a smile on their faces.
Wanderers have a chance to put things right after last week’s blank against Phoenix, but Western United are no pushover as they showed against Melbourne City. This will be a vintage performance from Western Sydney, a big Saturday night crowd treated to a goal fest, Jorrit Hendrix pulling the strings to manufacture a two-goal lead by half-time.
A punch-drunk Western United side will be swept aside in the second half, Brandon Borrello scoring a hat-trick to get the Wanderers’ season on track.
The Mariners were soundly beaten last week in a horror show in Adelaide, while Macarthur earned a point against one of the potential surprise teams of the season, Brisbane Roar.
The champions of the Central Coast will rely on their fervent home support, and will entrust Christian Theoharous with the task of unlocking the Macarthur defence. The visitors will put up a fight, but Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Marco Tulio will have the Mariners out of sight.
An impressive win first up from Melbourne Victory sees them heavy favourites for this one; a spirited comeback from Newcastle Jets on the other hand gives them impetus coming into this tricky fixture.
Zinedine Machach will open the scoring on the hour after a tense first half, and following Paul Izzo’s penalty save from Daniel Stynes’ attempted Panenka, Victory will secure the points with a Chris Ikonomidis breakaway goal.
Will normal service be resumed when Adelaide United and Melbourne City meet on Sunday night? United’s home advantage will be evident in the first half an hour, but converting that into goals will be unsuccessful. Cue
Jamie Maclaren with yet another goal to have City purring by half time. But that all changes when Hiroshi Ibusuki equalises with Adelaide’s first chance on target to set up a frantic finish. No further goals, and a decent point for the home team.
Brisbane, Wellington, Western Sydney, Central Coast, Victory, Adelaide
I’ve surged to the lead off the back of one correct tip? How funny. As I wrote earlier in the week, Sydney are in trouble and Steve Corica does not look to have the weapons at his disposal to get them out of it. Brisbane win with two first half goals.
Wellington versus Perth has me scratching my head and leaning to the home side for little more reason than the location. The Wanderers were a little conservative in Round 1 and struggled to create avenues to goal. Western United stunned City. Yet the home side will pinch this one at CommBank Stadium.
Central Coast were not as bad as the 3-0 loss to the Reds suggested last weekend and the Bulls were a little stodgy right across the park. At home, the Mariners win it in front of a healthy crowd. Victory should beat the Jets based on what they produced in the opening 45 minutes against the Sky Blues in the Big Blue. But will they repeat that against what looks a plucky and talented Jets squad?
If Adelaide topple Melbourne City on Sunday night, the perennial favourites for the premiership will be in all sorts of trouble early on and desperate for a win. Nestory Irankunda to open his account for 2023/24 and the Reds to march to the top of the ladder early in the season.
Sydney, Wellington, Western Sydney, Draw, Victory, Adelaide
The A-League sure lived up to its unpredictability in Round 1. One of the enigmas were Sydney FC, who looked the most likely for much of the game against the Victory. But they were given a lesson in finishing by the southern visitors.
The Sky Blues away form last season was much better than their home form which is the only thing I’m hanging my hat on in tipping them against Brisbane.
If nothing else, the tyranny of distance must play a part in the Phoenix-Glory clash. Both sides drew last week, although Wellington will probably be happier with that outcome on a hot Western Sydney afternoon.
Perth scored early and conceded late against Newcastle. They may not get as many early chances as afforded them last week. Wellington look a lot stiffer and miserly at the back than they were last season, though they have young keeper Alex Paulsen to thank for keeping their sheet clean in Round 1. Phoenix by the odd goal.
Western United knocked off perennial table-toppers Melbourne City in Round 1 to the surprise of most. Western Sydney came up against the yellow wall in Parramatta but must surely rate themselves good bets if they keep creating as many chances as they did against Wellington.
Carl Antonsson looks a handy forward acquisition and Western will need to be defensively on their toes to deal with he and striking partner Brandon Borello. Noah Botic will trouble the Wanderers defence but they have that Marko Rudan-like steel to cope with most forays.
The reigning champions had a disastrous Round 1 outing in Adelaide. Two injuries in the opening half and a red card in the second undid a first 30 minutes where it seemed they were going to make Adelaide the bunnies yet again.
Instead, the Reds could’ve won by more than 3-0, even if that result seemed harsher than the game dictated. They also have to play an AFC Cup game this Thursday before backing up for the Sunday fixture against Macarthur.
Perhaps the one thing in the Mariners favour is that Macarthur have to do that too, except they travel to steamy Phnom Penh for their AFC Cup match. On balance, this might be two tired teams come Sunday.
Melbourne Victory’s smash and grab win in Sydney last week taught the home side the value of taking your chances. They’ll be more expansive at home and the Jets are attack-minded too, which could make for an open game.
Newcastle snatched a point in Perth very late, after committing playing-out-from-the-back suicide to concede their second. The Victory’s high press will pounce on similar lapses.
Adelaide are off to a flyer. Nestory Irankunda started for the first time last week and is a crowd-pleaser already. City looked a pale (blue) imitation of their former selves last week. With both Andrew Nabbout and Matt Leckie sidelined with injury, a lot is being expected of habitual scorer Jamie MacLaren.
The Reds may well be getting the Premiers at a good time, who have to fit a midweek trip to Thailand into their schedule for the AFC Champions League. Adelaide look good for the points on Sunday.
|BRI v SYD
|WEL v PER
|WSW vs WUN
|CCM vs MAC
|MVC vs NEW
|ADL vs MCY
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