Last week we saw goals a-plenty in an action packed Big Blue and while Sydney FC were busy conceding 4 goals, Brisbane Roar seized the opportunity to go top of the table. This week we kick-off with Melbourne Victory continuing their ascent of the ladder while Brisbane get another home fixture to consolidate their place at the top of the heap.
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 7 – Matchday 1, 2015/2016
(3) Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners (8)
Venue: AAMI Park| Last Corresponding Meeting: March 27, 2015 (2-1)
Melbourne Victory will be looking to make it 3 on the trot after putting away Sydney FC last week while Central Coast battled to a 1 all draw with Wellington Phoenix.
On paper this looks like it’s going to be a runaway Melbourne win and I’m inclined to lean that way myself but you can never be to sure with how the Mariners are playing these days. Last weeks Big Blue was a free flowing, seesawing fixture and Central Coast will take heart that Melbourne can be vulnerable. That said, Melbourne Victory have too many weapons up front that are capable of smashing through the Mariners defense. That coupled with the return of defenders Scott Galloway and Giancarlo Gallifuoco from Olyroos duty to sure up defense should leave Melbourne with a comfortable victory.
Key Statistic | Melbourne Victory has scored 14 goals is their last 5 games with Central Coast Mariners. With 7 goals in their previous 2 league fixtures, it’s looking good for a few more this week.
Key Player | Besart Berisha. He is in scintillating form, scoring 13 goals in his last 14 appearances for the Victory. With Central Coast’s tendency to attack rather than defend I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it 14 from 15.
Prediction | Melbourne Victory 3 – 1 Central Coast Mariners
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 7 – Matchday 2, 2015/2016
(1) Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City (7)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Last Corresponding Meeting: November 8, 2014 (1-3)
Brisbane needed a late goal from super-sub Henrique to overcome a stubborn Perth Glory but there was no fairy-tale for Melbourne City as they were walloped 3-0 at home by a resurgent Western Sydney Wanderers.
It’s incredibly frustrating how inconsistent they are. Their results read D,L,W,L,W,L so far this season but I think they’re finally going to make it 2 of something in a row this week. Brisbane have surprised everyone with just how competent they are under John Aloisi and the return of fan favourite Henrique can only be a good thing. Melbourne City will be hoping Aaron Mooy comes back fresh and will at least be able to get a few minutes under his belt, as he is far and away the best player in their side and probably the best in the league when he’s hot. Chances are he wont get a whole lot of game time though and Brisbane will be welcoming back their own influential midfielder Matt McKay as well as danger man Jamie Maclaren.
Key Statistic | Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City have the best 2 conversion rates in the league with Brisbane sitting at 21.6% and Melbourne at 20.3%. Don’t expect a whole lot of meaningless shots as the teams look to make them count.
Key Player | Jamie Young. I don’t often put a goalkeeper up as key player but Jamie Young has been in great form of late and has kept 3 clean sheets in a row. City striker Fornaroli has also been in great nick and Jamie Young will need to be at his best to keep the Uruguayan scoreless.
Prediction | Brisbane Roar 2 – 0 Melbourne City
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 7 – Matchday 3, 2015/2016
(4) Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix (6)
Venue: Pirtek Stadium| Last Corresponding Meeting: February 8, 2015 (2-0)
Western Sydney Wanderers have come from nowhere to sit 4th on the ladder after humbling Melbourne City 3-0 to make it 3 consecutive wins. Wellington Phoenix got their season back on track with a 4-2 win over Adelaide United in front of an impressive crowd.
Western Sydney Wanderers look to have turned over a new leaf and can make it 4 in a row if they beat Wellington this week. It won’t be an easy task with Wellington’s Bonevacia back to his energetic best and they also have influential trio Michael McGlinchey, Louis Fenton and Tom Doyle returning from international duty. Mitch Nichols has hit his best form since leaving Brisbane roar and tops the Wanderers goal charts with 3 to his name and will be a threat again this week. It’s a good thing he’s been doing well as Vidosic has been disappointing so far.
Key Statistic | Despite sitting at opposite ends of the table last season, the Wanderers still managed to beat Wellington Phoenix 2-0 in their only home fixture and their current form suggests they’ll be able to get another one this week.
Key Player | Michael McGlinchey. McGlinchey returns from international duty and it remains to be seen how many minutes he’ll get this week but he really is the heart of this team. Aside from his 2 goals and 1 assist he has created 18 chances.
Prediction | Western Sydney Wanderers 2 – 0 Wellington Phoenix
(9) Perth Glory v Sydney FC (2)
Venue: AAMI Park| Last Corresponding Meeting: February 7, 2015 (1-3)
Both teams were on the losing side last week with Perth Glory going down 1-0 to competition leaders Brisbane Roar while Sydney FC where overwhelmed 4-2 by Melbourne Victory.
Sydney FC notched their first defeat of the season last week but will be more worried with their inability to get any foothold in the game in the second half. Perth Glory will certainly be an easier proposition and their glowing away record over under Graham Arnold speaks for itself. Both Sydney and Perth are getting players back from international duty with the Sky Blues expecting Andrew Hoole and Christopher Naumoff to return while the Glory have Josh Risdon back in the mix. Perth don’t have a lot of attacking weapons up front and aside from Sydney’s slip up last week, they have looked solid defensively. I cant see the Glory causing too many problems this week.
Key Statistic | Sydney have never lost a regular season away fixture under Graham Arnold. The tally so far sits at 12 wins with 4 draws. Given their solid start to the season, I don’t see them ruining that record against Perth Glory.
Key Player | Michael Thwaite. Usually content as a centre-back, Thwaite was pushed into midfield by his coach in the second half and was actually Perth’s most dangerous player. He got away 2 cracking shots and brought a bit of spark back into the team. Might be work Kenny Low pushing him up field more often.
Prediction | Perth Glory 1 – 2 Sydney FC
Hyundai A-League Predictions: Round 7 – Matchday 4, 2015/2016
(10) Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets (5)
Venue: nib Stadium| Last Corresponding Meeting January 24, 2015 (7-0)
United’s woeful start to the season continued in Wellington where they conceded 4 goals for the second week in a row. The news wasn’t so bad for Newcastle who settled for a 1 all draw with local rivals Central Coast Mariners.
Given how the season has started for these teams it’s hard to go with anything other than a Jets win but we’ll have a look at the fixture none the less. A big plus for Adelaide is the return of captain and keeper Eugene Galekovic who has been missing for some time with injury. It’s certainly not going to solve all their problems but it will be a huge moral boost for the struggling side. This is the fixture last season which really showed how far the Jets had fallen when they conceded 7 goals without reply, however, they’ve come a long way since then. Despite the Jets newfound goal scoring ability they have really built on a well organised defense, absorbing lots of pressure before hitting on the counter.
Key Statistic | Newcastle have an average possession of just 46% compared to Adelaide’s 56%. Adelaide can pass the ball around all they want but unless they find a way to break down Newcastle’s well organised defense, they won’t win the game.
Key Player | Nigel Boogaard. The Jets captain was on the field for Adelaide last time the sides met but he’s proven a capable captain and defensive rock for Newcastle in his time so far. Expect his usual defensive prowess as well as his ability to be a danger in the opposition box for set pieces.
Prediction | Adelaide United 0 – 2 Newcastle Jets