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

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17th January, 2024
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Double duty in Round 13 for the Roar and Jets, with Adelaide and Western United blessed with a few days off to recuperate and plan for what lies ahead.

It was a dud tipping week for the roar of the crowd last time out, yet the panel fared little better with two correct tips the best it could muster.

Tonight’s match between Brisbane and Macarthur looks a crucial one for both, Wellington and Victory is a tasty Friday twilight fixture and Sydney FC hosts Newcastle later that night in a match they simply must win.

The surging Wanderers will be favourites to take the three points against Perth on Saturday night and the Mariners can seriously rock Melbourne with a win at home the following day. On Tuesday night, Newcastle and Brisbane do battle again after meeting last weekend, this time in the Hunter.

Good luck with your tips for the round and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say as the stumbling voice of the crowd. Here is the way the also struggling panel sees all the action unfolding in Round 13.

Ben Folami Celebrates Winner

Ben Folami and Rai Marchan of Melbourne Victory celebrate a goal. (Photo by Janelle St Pierre/Getty Images)

Texi Smith

Brisbane, Wellington, Sydney, Western Sydney, City, Newcastle


Brisbane Roar’s victory over Newcastle in the final game of the Unite Round was a total shock, especially after the Jets had looked the goods in the first half. They were patient and struck when they had the chance, and the result brought the Roar within touching distance of the top six.

Macarthur’s spawny draw with bottom club Western United, where the gifts from the Western defence were generous, might look like a good result on paper, but they’re on a poor run and need to shake themselves out of it. Expect fireworks in this Thursday night classic as Brisbane Roar bring their A-game and thank the home fans for their tolerance – Jonas Markovski with another goal, Nikola Mileusnic putting the result beyond doubt, dribbling through a pack of players to dink in a superb goal as they coast to a comfortable victory.

The purring midfield of Wellington Phoenix returns home to play the early game on Friday, and they will have done their homework on tonight’s opponents, Daniel Arzani marked out of the game and Zinedine Machach given some tasty North Island hospitality to keep him quiet.

Victory will be smarting from the late goal that denied them a good win against Mariners on the weekend, but will fail to get out of first gear here as the busy Phoenix players run riot. Ben Old’s return to the team will coincide with some of the most slick football ever seen in the A-League, Bozhidar Kraev thrashing in the opening goal, Nicholas Pennington’s deflected shot making it two and Sam Sutton sewing things up at the end in a comprehensive shellacking for the much-fancied Fornaroli-less Melbourne team.

Newcastle’s Apostolos Stamatelopoulos (L) celebrates a goal with Lucas Mauragis. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Allianz Stadium should have been a happy hunting ground for the Jets on the weekend, but they stuffed it up. Tonight’s adversary Sydney FC were left even more rueful following a disastrous defensive display against Adelaide at the same venue, and a rocket from coach Ufuk Talay will be needed to shore up their generous backline.

Max Burgess must start this one, and the Sky Blues might be more suited to three at the back such is their inability to defend. They might as well throw another player forward if their extra man at the back doesn’t offer anything.


Tonight the crowd will be at fever pitch when an early red card rocks the Jets, and Jaiden Kucharski makes them pay immediately from the free kick.

Luke Brattan scores a long-range second and Joe Lolley taps in a third as Sydney FC put their foot on the pedal.

Being involved with Perth Glory in any capacity must lead to an incredible number of frequent flyer points each year. Glory are back in Sydney again for a clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers, who were good value for their win against Melbourne City. Glory are on a tough run, but still playing some enterprising football.

Giordano Colli’s defence-splitting pass for Luke Ivanovic will see them take a shock early lead but from then on, it will be a matter of time before the Wanderers hit their stride, Nicolas Milanovic equalising before the break and the home team turning the screw in a lively second half. Dylan Pierias underlines his class, scoring another smart goal on the break, before Wanderers bring on the cavalry to press home the advantage.

Brian Kaltak celebrates goal against Western United

Brian Kaltak of the Mariners celebrates his goal with team mates. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

No one rates them, but they don’t care. The Central Coast Mariners are back on home soil for a game with Melbourne City, and the visitors will be looking to put things right after their defeat in Unite Round at Commbank Stadium against Western Sydney. Tonight the class of the other Sky Blues will see them corral the Mariners into a series of risky defensive manoeuvres that eventually result in a goal on the hour.

Tolgay Arslan slides home at the far post to finish off a superb smash-and-grab, and as Mariners press looking for the equaliser, Alessandro Lopane finds himself totally unmarked in the box to steer home for two. The Mariners show moments of brilliance themselves, Angel Torres hitting both posts, but Jamie Young is equal to everything they throw at him and the reigning premiers come away with the points from this difficult match.


A bonus Tuesday night game, an hors d’oeuvre for the Socceroos’ final group game in the Asian Cup, and Newcastle have the chance to gain ground on the top six in a fascinating match-up with Brisbane Roar. The visitors have a good record here, but tradition means nothing, and as we know in the A-League, neither does form.

Newcastle will be in a mischievous mood, Apostolos Stamatelopolous scoring from miles out, catching Macklin Freke off his line. The Jets will gain revenge for their collapse last week at Allianz Stadium in the reverse game, Trent Buhagiar scoring on the break and Daniel Stynes sliding home a stunning third. There are no heroics this week and Brisbane are left to lick their wounds in a meek defeat to their much more energetic hosts.

Sydney FC’s Anthony Caceres. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Stuart Thomas

Brisbane, Wellington, Newcastle, Western Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle

No matter what I say about the Roar, it will be wrong, and that says a lot about the club than me. At home? Against Macarthur? Jeepers creepers! Who knows? Go Brisbane, we can win this one. Wellington will beat Melbourne Victory on Friday because the absence of Bruno Fornaroli is not to be underestimated.

Sydney FC are a bit of a joke right now, as shown by Adelaide last week and nothing would please A-League fans more than a Newcastle win at Allianz. The Wanderers will beat Perth Glory, the fortress of CommBank too tough for the visitors to overcome and Central Coast will win one for the good guys and roast City in Gosford on Sunday afternoon.


Tuesday night’s rematch between the Jets and the Roar should go the way of the locals, with my Roar prediction completely worthless to anyone reading.

Andrew Prentice

Brisbane, Wellington, Sydney, Western Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle

The Roar made hard work of beating the Jets last week to give Ben Cahn his first A-League coaching victory. Some extraordinary charity from a referee and blindfolded VAR gave them a penalty to win the game, but winning breeds confidence and the Roar will take plenty from their comeback.

Macarthur’s draw sequence continued in a thriller against Western to start Unite Round, though they had to rely on a wonderful performance from Ulises Davila to share the points. The Mexican’s silky touch and vision will surely be affected by the Suncorp Swamp on Thursday.

Western Sydney Wanderers’ Lachlan Brook celebrates a goal with team mates. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Melbourne Victory continue to defy the odds and stay unbeaten. In fact, they looked set to end the other big unbeaten streak of the Mariners last week but conceded late for another draw. Wellington keep scoring for fun, even without Oskar Zawada, and are back at home where- they are much tougher to handle. I reckon they’ll have more shots on target against Victory than the last time they met. Enough of them will go in to make a difference. You reckon Kosta Barbarouses is looking forward to this?


Only Sydney FC know how Sydney FC managed to make a hash job of what was looking like a cruisy night at Allianz against Adelaide. A remarkable solo performance by Hiroshi Ibusuki turned the game on its head. Sky Blues coach Ufuk Talay will be looking how best to plug the Sydney Heads-sized holes in a back four that, in various incarnations, has not managed to keep a clean sheet all season.

The Jets were hugely unlucky to lose against the Roar. Coach Rob Stanton returns to his former employer with the hope that some refereeing charity might go their way. However, their record at Sydney isn’t pretty, and Talay does seem able to make corrections on the fly. The tiramisu is still fantastic at Allianz.

The Wanderers host a Perth side who were on the wrong end of another thriller last start. At least they’ll be familiar with their Parramatta surrounds, having played there against the Phoenix. Alen Stajcic would no doubt take a boring 1-0 win over the goalfests of recent times. I sense if it ends that way, it won’t be to Perth, as they come up against the A-League’s meanest defence.

David Ball of the Phoenix and Ali Auglah of the Bulls compete for the ball during the A-League Men round eight match between Macarthur FC and Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium, on December 18, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Wellington’s David Ball and Macarthur’s Ali Auglah compete for the ball. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Grand Finalists from last season meet in Gosford with identical records. The Mariners felt Marco Tulio’s absence last week but need to get used to that quickly. Christian Theoharous was his nominal replacement last week and has the tools to test defences with his pace and directness.

The Mariners will want to bank as many home points as possible before the Motocross event scheduled for the stadium in a few week’s time ruins the pristine playing surface. Melbourne City were strangely toothless against the Wanderers, recording only one shot on target. However, Andrew Nabbout made a welcome return off the bench after a quicker-than-expected recovery from an Achilles tendon injury. Angel Torres has been quiet lately and might just be ready to unleash again. At home, the Mariners look slightly better bets.


A bonus game to make up for Western United not being able to find a ground to play on gives us a double helping of Newcastle and Brisbane. So the Jets will only have to wait 9 days for another crack at the Roar after their controversial 3-2 loss in Sydney. Brisbane’s extra day of rest between games is a little offset by their travel.

Newcastle will only have had to ride the Sid Fogg’s coach back from Sydney. They have looked a really handy attacking outfit with the direction of Kosta Grozos and the goal bound intent of Clayton Taylor. If they can find a way to stifle the Roar attack, they will be on their way to a much-needed win.

Here’s the latest scores and as always, use the form below to get involved as part of The Crowd and take on The Roar’s expert tipsters.

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