With the Socceroos in town, there are few weeks of the year that are more exciting for Australian football fans. The Hyundai A-League continues however, as do our A-League predictions.
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 25: Matchday 1, 2015/2016
(6) Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers (1)
Venue: AAMI Park | Last Corresponding Meeting; February 6, 2016 (1-1)
Melbourne Victory are just hanging on by a thread this season and this result is crucial to their finals hopes. Despite sitting top of the table, Western Sydney have just 2 wins in their last 6 outings so their not looking so hot themselves right now. Just looking at the ladder positions, it would be much easier to back Western Sydney but I think Melbourne can spring a surprise this week. They have a number of star players returning this week including Rashid Mahazi, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Daniel Georgievski. I think they will bring a spark back to the squad and be enough to overcome the wanderers.
Key Statistic | Western Sydney Wanderers have only one once in 5 away fixtures against Melbourne Victory.
Key Player Fahid Ben Khalfallah: It’s hasn’t been the best season for the Tunisian but his return this week will surely boost Victory’s attacking prospects after a limp display against Newcastle last week.
Prediction | Melbourne Victory 2 – 1 Western Sydney Wanderers
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 25: Matchday 2, 2015/2016
(8) Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory (5)
Venue: Hunter Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: January 24, 2016 (1-6)
The last time these sides met at Hunter stadium, Perth romped to a 6-1 victory, since then they’ve gone on to stake their claim for a finals berth while Newcastle have also improved. The Glory welcome back Marinkovic from injury but they also lose Josh Risdon who is with the Socceroos this week. Newcastle should field a similar line up to last week with the exception of Daniel Mullen who is serving another suspension. With Newcastle being forced to reshuffle their defence and Perth’s attacking talent all in outstanding form, it’s hard to see any result other than a comfortable win for the boys in purple.
Key Statistic | Perth Glory haven’t lost to Newcastle Jets since way back in 2011 and are on a 7 match winning streak in this fixture.
Key Player | Andy Keogh: He’s currently scored in 6 games straight and another goal this week will make it 7. Keogh has slotted in seamlessly with Harold, Castro and Garcia in Perth’s attacking unit.
Prediction Newcastle Jets 0 – 3 Perth Glory
(3) Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC (7)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: December 30, 2014 (0-0)
Brisbane were looking the goods last week until a silly challenge from Hingert earned himself a red card and the team were overcome by City’s attacking talent. The Roar have some decent depth in that position, however, and should be able to cover the position with minimal fuss. A bigger out this week is the loss of captain Matt McKay who was drafted into the Socceroos squad midweek. It may mean we see more of Tommy Oar this week. It’s all good news for Sydney though with the return of Matt Jurman and Milos Ninkovic from injury. Their torrid run of form continued last week and they need a win against Brisbane to keep their finals hopes alive. It’s not looking promising though as Brisbane have only lost at home once all season.
Key Statistic | Sydney have racked up 399 fouls this season, far more than Brisbane on 313. Discipline has been an issue for them and they need to keep their calm given their bad results and how frustrating it can be watching a team like Brisbane keep the ball.
Key Player | Dimi Petratos. Scored a blinder last week before being overcome by Melbourne City. He’s had an outstanding season and will again be a danger this week.
Prediction | Brisbane Roar 1 – 0 Sydney FC
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 25: Matchday 3, 2015/2016
(2) Melbourne City v Wellington Phoenix (9)
Venue: AAMI Park | Last Corresponding Meeting: January 25, 2016 (3-1)
Melbourne City will be looking to take advantage of any slip up for Western Sydney Wanderers to jump into pole position to grab the premiership. Standing in their way are a Wellington side who can knock over any team on their day, problem is that comes all to infrequently. In moral boosting news this week, Wellington announced the signing of Gui Finkler for next season. In more good news Roy Krishna makes his long awaited return from injury, which is a huge boost to the Nix. City will be without their internationals this week with Aaron Mooy, Alex Wilkinson and Aaron Hughes all representing their countries. I don’t think Wellington will be able to win but it sure is a good time to face City and they might just be able to grab a point.
Key Statistic | Wellington managed to get one over Melbourne City when the teams last met, with a 2-1 victory at home. They actually also have a decent record at AAMI Park with 4 draws, 1 win and 1 loss in their last 6 outings.
Key Player | Anthony Caceres: In the Absence of Mooy, I think Caceres will start and be highly influential in the match. Someone needs to fill the void and he is the best man for the job.
Prediction | Melbourne City 2 – 2 Wellington Phoenix
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 25: Matchday 4, 2015/2016
(4) Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners (10)
Venue: Coopers Stadium| Last Corresponding Meeting: January 16, 2016 (3-1)
After cruising to the top of the ladder, Adelaide have been brought back to earth with a loss and a draw in their last 2 fixtures. They’ll be happy to face Central Coast this week, who haven’t won since Round 17. For their part, the Mariners will also be feeling pretty good about this week after coming from 2 goals down to get a share of the points against Sydney FC last week. It was a spirited performance against the Sky Blues, however, Adelaide are a different prospect at the moment. They are still genuine title contenders and a win could see them rise back to the top of the ladder. We know they have a decent attacking unit but I give a lot of credit to their defensive line as they have conceded just 26 goals this season.
Key Statistic | The Mariners average possession this season has been just 44% compared to Adelaide’s 55%. I expect the Reds to run Central Coast ragged and add to their tally of 58 goals conceded so far.
Key Player | Roy O’Donovan: Broke a 4 game goalless streak for Central Coast last week and has been a decent attacking outlet for the Mariners since his return.
Prediction | Adelaide United 2 – 0 Central Coast Mariners