Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: April, 2015 (3-1)
Brisbane Roar are still finding a way to win despite not playing their best football but they’ll need their best against a free scoring City who look like they are finally living up to their hype. Tim Cahill is in the squad but may not make an appearance after being left out of the Australia team because of injury. I think we’ll see a good battle between Bruce Kamau and Brisbane’s full backs who and be exposed as they like to in up front quite often. Melbourne go into this one slight favorites but the Roar have a fantastic home record and I think they can hold out for a draw.
Key Stastic: Brisbane haven’t lost in their last 9 outings at home.
Key Player: Jamie Maclaren. Got his season off the mark last week with a well taken goal and celebrated with an Australia call up. Chances are he won’t get much time on the pitch so he should still be feeling fresh for this one.
Prediction: BRI 2 – 2 MCY
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
Venue: Westpac Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: October, 2015 (1-2)
There’s no way I can back the Phoenix after their performance last week, make that any game so far this season. The Jets on the other hand look like a team on the up, despite going down to Sydney last week. Newcastle have taken points in their last 2 trips to Wellington and should be able to get something out of this one as well.
Key Stastic: Wellington have just the 1 goal in 4 games this season and sit rock bottom of the ladder.
Key Player: Nigel Boogaard. The big defender surprisingly leads the goal scoring for the Jets but will need to be on his toes this week with Krishna looking to capitalize on his goal last week.
Prediction: WEL 0 – 1 NEW
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Venue: Allianz Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: November, 2015 (2-4)
Sydney FC are still flying high and yet to concede this season but they come up against a Melbourne Victory side that bagged 6 goals last week. The real worry for Sydney is Victory talisman Berisha getting back to form with a hat-trick. Melbourne will be missing Valeri and Georgievski while it’s all smooth sailing for Sydney with Ibini joining the squad. Melbourne have had Sydney accounted for over the last few seasons but if the Sky Blues can reproduce their performances from the first four rounds they should get a win.
Key Statistic: Sydney hasn’t beaten Melbourne Victory in their last 9 fixtures.
Key Player: Marco Rojas. The New Zealander has been in fine form since returning to the Victory, scoring 4 goals in his last 3 outings and generally being a menace. I think he’s Melbourne’s biggest threat at the moment.
Prediction: SYD 2 – 0 MVC
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Coopers Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: March, 2016 (4-2)
The defending champions are yet to register a win for the new season but they’ll get their best chance this week against their fellow winless team Central Coast Mariners. James Holland looks set to make a return, which will boost their chances, though the Mariners welcome back Nick Montgomery from injury. Adelaide have been really good value despite not winning yet and Guardiola in particular has stood out. Central Coast did well to get the draw last week but I think Adelaide will be too strong.
Key Statistic: Central Coast hasn’t beaten Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium since March 2013.
Key Player: Ryan Kitto. The forward has toiled lucklessly so far this season, hitting the wood work a couple of times. He’s been doing everything right, he just hasn’t found the net yet. This week could be his chance.
Prediction: ADL 1 – 0 CCM
Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Venue: nib Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: December, 2015 (2-2)
Perth were poor in their loss to Brisbane last week and it was disappointing to see them go backwards with such a good squad. Despite that they will still be favorites to beat Western Sydney who have failed to show much promise this season. The Wanderers Japanese import Kasukami has often looked the only one capable of turning games for them but they’re giving the ball away needlessly in midfield too often. If it weren’t for Santalab popping up and scoring goals at opportune moments the Wanderers would be looking off a lot worse this season too.
Key Statistic: Perth improved in almost every area in terms of stats on their win against Melbourne City but somehow managed to lose against Brisbane. Their possession improved from 37% to 40%, passing accuracy from 67% to 76% to name a couple. Just shows it counts for little if your strikers aren’t on their game.
Key Player: Andy Keogh. Keogh’s goals usually come in bunches, if he gets one, there’s a good chance he’ll get more.
Prediction: PER 1 – 1 WSW