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The Roar


The Roar's A-League Men tips and predictions: Round 10

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27th December, 2023
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A-League tipping looked easy for some in Round 9, with only the Melbourne Derby draw blotting the copybook for some.

It was nice to finally see some predictability in the results, however the chances of that continuing this weekend do appear to be slim.

It looms as one of the most compelling rounds of A-League play in the history of the competition, starting Thursday night when the Roar travel to Melbourne looking for a result against the improving City.

Sydney have hopes of toppling ladder leader Wellington on Friday night, Jets fans will be out in force when Western United come to town and the Original Rivalry is inflamed again on Saturday night.

Central Coast are lurking about the six and threatening, with Perth heading to Gosford for another intriguing clash and the Wanderers face a stumbling Macarthur in the final match of the round on Monday.

Good luck with your tips for the round and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to be part of the voice of the people. Here is the way the panel sees all the Round 10 action playing out across the five days.

Round 10TexiStuartAndrew25
Last week55325
New total21262325

Texi Smith


City, Sydney, Newcastle, Victory, Central Coast, Western Sydney

Thursday night football again this week and we’re not complaining – remember how good it was during Covid when we had a game every night? – but maybe Brisbane Roar will be aggrieved that they have to start off the weekend again with a loss.

Their loss of form has been alarming and it could have been an even heavier defeat against the Mariners last week. They travel to Melbourne City who should have beaten rivals Victory last time out, and will be hungry to put it right tonight.

A Steven Ugarkovic thunderbolt is overdue and we’ll get one to start off the scoring, followed by a lesson in six-yard box finishing from Jamie Maclaren as City go to town. The Roar will be a shadow of their former selves despite some clever wing play from Carlo Armiento, and a horrible way to end the year for the visitors.

Sydney FC’s 4-2 win against Western United last week was the perfect scoreline to give them a false sense of hope; the porous defence was evident, and if they play like that against Wellington Phoenix on Friday night, it doesn’t matter how many goals Joe Lolley scores, the Phoenix will run riot.

Kosta Barbarouses celebrates a Wellington goal with Tim Payne. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

There has to be a change in the Sky Blues formation and personnel to cope with the hard-running of tonight’s visitors. Ben Old is showing fantastic form, Kosta Barbarouses is finding the target regularly, unlike during his time in Sydney, it all adds up to a Wellington smash and grab.


However, this is the A-League, with tales of the unexpected and logic-defying results on a weekly basis. Tonight we will see the Anthony Caceres show, and his verve and intricacy will give the visitors a taste of their own medicine as he finds space and time to score an incredible hat-trick in a comprehensive dismantling of the league leaders.

Newcastle Jets have a glorious chance on Saturday to widen the gap between themselves and Western United. With the home fans coming out in force, this will be like a return to the good old days, as Brandon O’Neill pulls the strings in an impressive performance.

Reno Piscopo and Apostolos Stametelopoulos with first-half goals and an Angus Thurgate own goal will have the Jets roaring, although Daniel Penha’s late double against his old club make it nervy for the squadron as they do just enough to earn the three points.

Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United square up once more in the original rivalry, and all eyes will be on Nestory Irankunda as he makes a surprise start at a packed AAMI Park. Turning around a dip in form to win last week, Adelaide are showing the inconsistency that has become a hallmark, and tonight will be a tough one for the visitors, as Zinedine Machach gives a big performance in an excellent display from Victory.

Nishan Velupillay with a tap-in to finish off a thrilling move on the half-hour, Machach with the second on half-time and Daniel Arzani wows the crowd with a mazy run and finish to complete the rout. Victory in top spot at the turn of the year, you heard it here first.

How could Perth Glory dare spoil the New Year’s Eve celebrations at their hosts Central Coast Mariners? It wouldn’t be right. Despite their dramatic come-from-behind heroics last week against Macarthur FC, and despite a spirited display tonight, the home team will scrape home with the points to make the fireworks all the more enjoyable for the home crowd.

Luke Ivanovic will have Glory ahead early, his goal drought now well and truly ended, but Angel Torres has the scores level at the break. As Glory threaten to overrun the Mariners, it’s up to the under-employed trickster Christian Theoharous to supply the winning touch, scampering into the box in a one-two with Marco Tulio to thrash home a volley to end the year the right way for the resurgent Coasties.


New Year’s Day is a beautiful occasion at Commbank Stadium. All the staff on public holiday rates, the fans enjoying another day off and Macarthur bringing a healthy contingent of cow bell ringers to the scene of their first ever game in the A-League, what a memorable one that was, with hopes and aspirations for the new year ready to be realised or dashed.

The spaghetti legs of Nicolas Milanovic will have the Wanderers in the lead in the first half with a mesmerising run, Marcelo will rise highest to power home a header from a clever Jorrit Hendrix free-kick and everything will look rosy at the break. When Valere Germain bundles in a goal a minute into the restart, a nervy second half will see a string of saves from Lawrence Thomas to keep the home team’s noses in front in a slightly undeserved victory.

Wanderers still in the hunt and poised to claim that top spot in the coming weeks.

Stuart Thomas

City, Wellington, Newcastle, Victory, Central Coast, Macarthur

It has been far from a steady couple of weeks for the Roar and Melbourne City do look to be improving under Aurelio Vidmar. It is hard to see anything but a home win tonight in Melbourne.

Fingers crossed for a Wellington win in Sydney on Friday, something tells me the visitors have a steel in them that will be required against the Sky Blues. This looks like the match of the round.


If the Jets fans turn out in droves, they should lift their team over the line against a very unconvincing Western United team that lost the unconvincing Sydney last time out. An undefeated Victory in an Original Rivalry at a packed AAMI Park? Adelaide simply overcome by the stage and the emotion of the home fans.

Central Coast are back and destined to be far too good in the second half against Perth in Gosford. Nisbet the star again; slowly forging a reputation as one of the best players in the A-League. Logic says the Wanderers when Western Sydney face Macarthur at CommBank Stadium on Monday. However, I’m seeing a win for the visitors in a low scoring affair.

Andrew Prentice

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

Two weeks ago we speculated that Ross Aloisi might cause his brother’s sacking if the Roar beat Western. Now Ross has left the Roar for China, and left them floundering. City might well take advantage of the opportunity afforded them, having shown fortitude in the derby stalemate last round.

The Roar may appreciate getting away from the desolate swampland that is Lang Park after getting routed by the Mariners last week. But City are clicking now, and even the news of Jay O’Shea’s contract extension might not be enough to avoid a third straight defeat for the Roar.

Wellington Phoenix at the top of the A-League. Given what the club endured during the “Rona Seasons” it’s a sporting fairy story to rival most. They roll into Allianz on the back of two impressive wins to face the Jekyll and Hyde Sky Blues, who either score lots of goals or none at all and can’t seem to prevent the opposition from finding the net.


Kosta Barbarouses looks like a player reborn this season, and has stepped up to get among the goals in Oskar Zawada’s continued absence. Joe Lolley is bearing most of the Sky Blues attacking responsibilities. If the Phoenix keep him quiet, Sydney could be heading for another Zero Hour (and a half).

David Williams of Perth Glory and Tate Russell of the Wanderers compete for the ball. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Jets return to their home ground of Motocross-McCartney Park on Saturday where hopefully the continued rain on the East Coast doesn’t render the pitch Suncorp-like for the visit of Western. Both teams have only won twice, so the game will be tight.

Even though Western’s season has been akin to a satellite crashing back to earth so far, they are only three points behind the Jets. A win and other results could see them jump to 9th. I think the Jets will be too good on their own turf, though, soggy and mislaid as it may be.

The Mariners revival continued apace last week. They are now unbeaten in five games in the A-League, and are in the Zone semi-final of the AFC Cup. Their traditional New Year’s Eve game against the Glory comes with Angel Torres and Marco Tulio in red hot form. It has been the conversion of Josh Nisbet to a more attacking midfield role that has really sparked the champs.

Perth staged a remarkable revival to beat Macarthur last round. Fast becoming the entertainers of the league, the Glory can never be counted out, but they face their old bugbear – travel – this week. They won’t want to give the Mariners two goals start, though I think they just might, and the Brisbane Waters fireworks show post-game will bring in not just a New Year but a Mariners win.

Western Sydney were hit late by Wellington when their Round 9 game looked like ending the same way as their Round 1 clash – bagels all round. They face their south-west neighbours on Monday at a time when the previously high-flying Bulls have been toreadored back into the herd by two successive defeats.


The Wanderers have been miserly hosts this season, except when they welcomed back their inaugural coach with tea and bickies and open goals. Apart from that four-goal aberration against the Victory, they have not conceded at home. Macarthur might find the alleyways of Pamplona easier to get through than the Wanderers defence.