A-League Matchday 7 Preview

Melbourne Victory (3rd) v Brisbane Roar (8th)

In what is perhaps the most intriguing fixture of the weekend, Besart Berisha faces his former team mates for the first time since his move to the Victory. Brisbane go into this feeling much better about life following the 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle Jets a week ago. Henrique (aka ‘the slippery fish’) became the first player in A-League history to score a hat-trick as a substitute while Broich was a revelation playing in a more central role. Victory miraculously played out an action-packed scoreless draw in the Big Blue (against Sydney FC) when they otherwise might of led by a couple at the break, following some calamitous decision making in the front third. Brisbane has an extremely solid recent record in this fixture, tasting defeat only once in twelve. Victory get some players back from the international break which sees them close to full strength, minus Delpierre. I still have my doubts about Brisbane’s backline which I expect to come under scrutiny here against Victory’s pacy attacking play.

Nick’s prediction: Melbourne Victory 3-2 Brisbane Roar

Perth Glory (1st) v Wellington Phoenix (5th)

Early pacesetters, Perth Glory, meet the Nix for the second time this season following on from their opening day 2-1 victory across the ditch – thanks to goals from Andrew Keogh and Jamie MacLaren. The Glory has since gone on a run of 5 wins, tasting defeat only once to Adelaide United on Matchday 3. Wellington themselves fell victim to the Reds (2-1) just last weekend when Cirio scored a late winner in a frantic ending to the match. Wellington has lost 2 of 3 on the road so far this season. Despite Perth looking down on the rest of the competition, their goals to shots ratio is the worst in the league. That was evident on Matchday 6, in the 2-1 win over a shorthanded Wanderers outfit, where chance after chance was scuppered by poor finishing. In the end, they had to rely on two set-piece situations, one a glorious free kick goal by Scott Jamieson, to seal the 3 points. Wellington get a few players back from international duty which should see them pose a solid challenge to Perth. In my opinion, Perth are in a false position at the moment. Wellington are unpredictable away from home but they have settled down in Perth since Wednesday so travel won’t be a factor.

Nick’s prediction: Perth Glory 2-2 Wellington Phoenix

Western Sydney (10th) v Newcastle Jets (9th)

It’s desperate stakes at Pirtek Stadium as the two bottom sides aim to get their respective seasons off the ground. They have accumulated just 3pts between them! Western Sydney will have the short turnaround after playing out a scoreless draw against Central Coast on Wednesday night, a game that was rescheduled due to the former’s involvement in the ACL. The Jets for their part will be looking to rebound from a painful 4-0 defeat to Brisbane in what can be described (for want of a better term) as a car crash of a performance. Tony Popovic will tinker with his squad with perhaps Bridge, Haliti and Perkatis getting starts. Most importantly, Nikolai Topor-Stanley returns from Socceroos duty and will slot straight into central defense. The Jets get a few bodies back themselves but I can’t see the likes of Scott Neville and Andrew Hoole making too much of a difference to a side so far behind in fitness and organization.

Nick’s prediction: Western Sydney 2-0 Newcastle Jets

Melbourne City (6th) v Sydney FC (4th)

Ah Melbourne City, you’ve done it again! Who would want to be a City supporter? The newly-branded club contrived to drop more points from a commanding position this season following a 2-2 draw against the Mariners. The Melbourne outfit led 2-0 until the 79th minute when a worldy from Glen Trifiro and a long-range deflected strike from John Hutchinson completed the meltdown. For Sydney FC, it was more a case of a point earned (than two dropped) as they rode their luck at times, especially in the first half, against Melbourne Victory. Graham Arnold earned his corn at halftime with the introduction of Triantis and Gersbach steadying what was otherwise a rocking Sky Blues ship. These sides played out a 1-1 draw in Sydney, on the opening day of the season. Aaron Mooy returns to boost City’s midfield while Sydney welcome the return of Janko and last week’s most talked about, Terry Antonis. Melbourne City will be out to avenge last week’s result but it’s hard to see them taking down the Sky Blues who have conceded a measly 3 goals to date.

Nick’s prediction: Melbourne City 1-1 Sydney FC

Central Coast (7th) v Adelaide United (2nd)

The Mariners will be playing their third game in a week when they host high-flying Adelaide United. It’s been a good week, so far, for Phil Moss and his men with two respectable draws away to Melbourne City and most recently against Western Sydney. Flamboyant United manager, Joseph Gombau, will be hoping to show off more of his sideline antics following his side’s last gasp 2-1 win over Wellington. The Spaniard ran half the length of the field to celebrate with his players and perhaps is on a final warning from the powers that be for his over-exuberance. He will though be in a confident mood going into this fixture knowing full well that his team took down the Mariners 3-2, a little less than a fortnight ago, in an FFA Cup semi-final. Hot temperatures ranging up to the high 30’s are predicted for Gosford on Sunday. Possession is king in these sort of oppressive conditions and no one possesses the ball better than Adelaide United. Add the fact that the Mariners are bound to be a little leg weary and you sense the visitors hold a distinct advantage.

Nick’s prediction: Central Coast 1-3 Adelaide United

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