Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hyundai A-League R12 preview

This is my preview of round 12 action int he Hyundai A-League which can also be seen on

The Hyundai A-League nears the halfway point and heads into Christmas with a short sharp round, all five round 12 games will happen over 2 nights, Friday and Saturday.

Friday night kicks off in Sydney as the Wanderers host Adelaide United.  The locals are jubilant after their win last weekend in the local derby, while the visitors travel up to Sydney on the back of the 3-1 win over the Nix.  The Wanderers have to be satisfied with their current 4th position on the table, which from memory is one of the best 1st season efforts of all expansion clubs, but they will be looking for another 3 points to take them outright third behind Adelaide.  The visitors will also be looking to take the 3 points which would give them top place on the ladder.  I’m looking for this to be a draw.

Friday nights second game sees the introduction of the Mulvey era to Suncorp Stadium, with the Roar hosting arch nemesis Perth Glory for the first time since the grand final.  Look for fireworks in this one, and expect near riots if Berisha gets fouled anywhere near the area.  This is of course all subject to proving his fitness after a shoulder injury sustained last week in Melbourne.  If he does play it will be a great night, but even if he doesn’t there are still a lot of tensions between the two teams, so I’m expecting it to be a feisty affair.  Of course Brisbane’s fortunes this season have been well documented and with new head coach Mike Mulvey only having been in the job three days it will be interesting to see how the players react to the changes.  I would like to think that against the arch whingers at home on the ‘eve’ of Christmas the Roar will  be able to score a decisive victory and deliver the home fans some much needed Christmas cheer.

There are three games on Saturday, but there is no point previewing them here as the Mayans have already informed us there wont be a Saturday.  
Which is interestingly enough how the Roar have been marketing their Friday match against Perth
Brisbane Roar FC advertising for the BRFC v PGFC R12 Hyundai A-League match
But on the off chance that the Mayan’s were actually wrong or the more likely scenario that modern idiots have misinterpreted the meaning of the end of the Mayan calendar, here is a look at those three games.

Saturday kicks off in Wellington with the Phoenix hosting table topping Central Coast Mariners.  The Phoenix have been having a few dramas of their own in recent weeks with big talent on the field and talking the talk, but failing to walk the walk and to actually get results and points.  The Phoenix currently sit in seventh but could find themselves stone cold motherless last if they loose and other results go the way of the teams below them.  Ricki Herbert will be looking to his side to put their talents into action and has already put the team on notice that failure could result in the loss of positions for underperforming players.  The Mariners travel over the ditch looking to cement their spot at the top of the table and will be a strong challenge for the locals with several players looking dangerous at the moment.  I suspect this match will end in a draw as the locals just don’t have that killer punch at the moment, and the Ring of Fire will level out the Mariners.

The second game of the day sees us heading to Newcastle as the Jets host Sydney FC.  The locals are coming out of a period of turmoil where the ATO have applied to the courts to have owners Hunter Sports Group wound up over unpaid taxes, which also stems from the financial trouble Nathan Tinkler who owns the Hunter groups is experiencing.  Sydney FC are still rooted to the bottom of the table but new coach Frank Farina has stated that he wants results fast, so I am in no doubt that this will be a match he is targeting for a large Sydney win.  The jets have failed to capitalise on their depth and marquee man, and are stagnating in mid table.  I’m looking for the Farina factor to give the visitors the edge in this one.

The final game of the round and Saturday, is the second instalment of the Melbourne Derby.  A lot has changed since the first instalment in round one when the Heart took a decisive win casting a shadow over the new Postecoglou era at the Victory.  Since that night the Heart have fallen off the pace while the Postecoglou factor has started to take effect at the Victory, with the Heart now sitting third from last while the Victory are sitting third.  The result on Saturday should be more reflective of how the two sides are performing this season.  Im looking for the Victory to share in the Christmas spoils as Santa Postecoglou gives the Victory fans the gifts.

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