After one of the most successful weeks in Asian Champions League history for Australian clubs, we’ve got a full serving of A-League action to keep us entertained. How will your team fare this weekend?
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 22: Matchday 1, 2015/2016
(3) Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers (1)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: March 25, 2015 (1-4)
Last week Western Sydney finally put a stop to Perth’s winning streak with a solid 2-1 victory at home. They’ll be hoping for another strong showing this week but will have to do so without Topor-Stanley and Vidosic. The Wanderers defence is always a little more fragile without their captain and on their patchy run of form, Brisbane can tear open any back line. We wont get to see Tommy Oar this week so the man with the most to lose, Thomas Broich, will be keen to impress and show his importance to the team. Western Sydney Wanderers my finally be able to pull away and secure some breathing space at the top of the table this week.
Key Statistic | Since beating Central Coast a month ago, Brisbane Roar has conceded 11 goals and has not won any matches.
Key Player | Thomas Broich: He has toiled away lucklessly for the most part of the season but still manages to have the second most assists in the league.
Prediction | Brisbane Roar 1 – 3 Western Sydney Wanderers
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 22: Matchday 2, 2015/2016
(9) Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United (2)
Venue: Westpac Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting; November 13, 2015 (4-2)
It’s so hard to pick how Wellington are going to play week in, week out. Their last 4 matches are W, L, W, L and Adelaide United will have to be careful. Wellington have both Hamish Watson and Blake Powell returning while Adelaide United will welcome bake La Rocca. Even with the Nix’s ability to pull good games out of the hat, it will take something special to dismantle this Adelaide side. Bruce Kamau looks to have found his range and they haven’t conceded in their last 2 fixtures. They should be far too strong for Wellington.
Key Statistic | The goals conceded is the real difference here. Wellington have let in 38 goals compared to Adelaide’s 25. That’s down to the Red’s stable defensive line where as the Phoenix have had to chop and change all season thanks to injury and suspensions.
Key Player | Bruce Kamau: Fresh from scoring his first A-League goal in Round 20, Kamau backed it up with another against Brisbane Roar a week later. He’s been touted as the next big thing for a while but has he finally made it?
Prediction | Wellington Phoenix 1 – 2 Adelaide United
(4) Melbourne City v Sydney FC (6)
Venue: AAMI Park | Last Corresponding Meeting: January 2, 2016 (2-2)
Melbourne City suffered another set back last week as they were beaten by underdogs Wellington Phoenix. So far this season they’ve been able to bring their best to the big games and will be hoping to get their title aspirations back on track this week. Sydney are coming off a huge ACL win against the reigning champions, and they didn’t have to travel to Asia to get it done. They also have a stack of talent returning to the squad this week including, Zac Anderson, Andrew Hoole, Christopher Naumoff, Ali Abbass, George Blackwood and Mickael Tavares. Given their uplifting win, returning stars and City’s disappointing loss last week, I think Sydney get an upset win here and grab 3 valuable points away from home.
Key Statistic | Melbourne City have scored almost double the goals that Sydney FC has, however they have also let in 15 more than the Sky Blues. Will attack or defence win out?
Key Player | Filip Holosko: The big Slovak hasn’t had the best debut season for Sydney but will be very important for the rest of the season for a number of reasons. Firstly he isn’t playing ACL so he is one of the more rested players in the squad, and secondly, Alex Brosque is injured again so Sydney need someone to step up in attack.
Prediction | Melbourne City 1 – 2 Sydney FC
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 22: Matchday 3, 2015/2016
(10) Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory (5)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: January 8, 2016 (3-3)
When these sides met just over a month ago, Central Coast defied all odds and came away with a draw. Since then though it’s been much of the same, with plenty of big losses chucked in there. They have a good chance this week with Victory coming off a big trip to Japan mid-week and will also be without one of their best, Kosta Barbarouses. Stepping in will likely either be veteran Archie Thompson or young flyer Connor Pain. The Mariners captain Nick Montgomery will be serving a 1 match suspension but in better news for the club, Roy O’Donovan finally returns from suspension and Fabio Ferreira also makes his way back into the side. Despite all their travel, Melbourne Victory have enough depth to cover tired bodies and should get a win on the Central Coast.
Key Statistic | Melbourne Victory haven’t lost to Central Coast Mariners since April 2013.
Key Player | Roy O’Donovan. I can’t say the Mariners season trajectory changed too much in his absence, however his return will be a big boost to the side running in last place and the striker’s goal scoring ability will be handy too.
Prediction | Central Coast Mariners 2 – 3 Melbourne Victory
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 22: Matchday 4, 2015/2016
(7) Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets (8)
Venue: nib Stadium| Last Corresponding Meeting: December 12, 2014 (2-0)
Perth’s golden run had to come to an end at some point, however, they are favourites to bounce straight back up against Newcastle Jets this week. Since being hammered by Perth 6-1 five weeks ago, the Jets have only lost once and have come away with 3 victories so I’m sure they wont be a push over this week. Motivating Perth will be a chance to sneak into the top 6 if either Sydney FC or Melbourne Victory loses. Newcastle are only a further 2 points back though and can jump above Perth if they get an unlikely win.
Key Statistic | Perth Glory have only lost once in their last 9 home matches.
Key Player | Andy Keogh: The Irishman’s return has bolstered Glory’s scoring options and bagged 3 goals in February. Along with Harold and Castro, he will be hard to stop.
Prediction | Perth Glory 1 – 0 Newcastle Jets