Melbourne City (7th) v Adelaide United (3rd)
In what is surely David Villa’s last game on our shores, Melbourne City will be looking to bounce back from last week’s derby defeat. It was another second half fade out by City as they took the lead twice before succumbing to a 5-2 defeat to arch rival Melbourne Victory. Adelaide United has hit the ground running with 2 wins and a draw, including Sunday’s 2-0 win over Perth Glory. The Reds’ overseas players have been on fire but they could be without two of them with Ferreira definitely out while Pablo is a doubt. Bruce Djite is likely to return from a slight calf problem to lead the visitors’ attack. Adelaide United has had trouble defending set-pieces and I think this could be their downfall this evening.
Nick’s prediction: 3-1
Perth Glory (5th) v Newcastle Jets (8th)
Fresh from their epic 4-2 triumph over Melbourne Victory in the FFA Cup, Perth host lowly Newcastle Jets at NIB Stadium. In what was a real cut and thrust cup tie, Perth had to fight tooth and nail to progress through to the semis. One wonders how much that would of taken out of them? The Jets will still be licking their wounds following a 4-1 defeat in Wellington – their second defeat of the season. I expect tired legs to be a factor for the home side as Kenny Lowe doesn’t really have the squad to make wholesale changes.
Nick’s prediction: 1-1
Sydney FC (2nd) v Central Coast Mariners (6th)
Sky Blues manager, Graham Arnold, goes up against his former employers for the first time since his departure last season. Sydney FC has impressed so far and will look to carry on from where they left off in their last outing – a 2-0 defeat of reigning premiers Brisbane Roar. Due to Western Sydney’s involvement in the Asian Champions League, the Mariners have not played competitive football since the 2-1 defeat against Wellington, a fortnight ago. This should be an easy 3pts for Sydney as Central Coast do look like a side bereft of any goal threat while Sydney FC should be that little bit sharper (having played two games more).
Nick’s prediction: 3-0
Melbourne Victory (1st) v Wellington Phoenix (4th)
It’s true what they say that a week is a long time in football. Just days after their derby day massacre of crosstown rival Melbourne City (winning 5-2), Victory find themselves in a spot of bother as they prepare to face a buoyant Wellington Phoenix. The midweek FFA Cup loss in Perth was bad enough but to lose two players through suspension and up to a further three through injury is really tough luck on Kevin Muscat. There are no such concerns for former Victory gaffer, Ernie Merrick, as his youthful looking Phoenix side made it two wins in a row with a 4-1 win over Perth Glory. New signings, Burns and Bonevacia, are really impressing for the Nix while proven performers in Riera and McGlinchey are having a steadying influence. Wellington will not have a better chance at getting one over the Victory in their own backyard.
Nick’s prediction: 2-3