Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hyundai A-League round 17 preview

As always with my sports articles this was written for and can also be found at but you get to see it here first

The round kicks off in Melbourne on Friday night as the Heart host Adelaide.  The hosts sit just outside the top 6 while the visitors are in second place and will be looking for the three points to try and claw their way back into top spot.  I don’t expect any fireworks in this match which should go the way of the visitors.

The first game of the Saturday triple header sees Sydney hosting the Phoenix in a bottom of the table clash.  The Phoenix will look to recover from their lapses of concentration this season as 3 points in this match will see them off the bottom of the table, while Sydney are looking for some form.  Both sides have the squads to perform better than they have this season but neither side has been able to click.  For Sydney, Del Piero (when he has been fit) just hasn’t had the impact they would’ve liked, although this may be because he hasn’t had the ball supplied to him often enough.  Although in the last few weeks their other big name player Brett Emerton has started to show promising signs having scored a couple of good goals.  I’m tipping this one to end in a boring draw.

Saturday’s middle game see’s the table topping Mariners hosting the Newcastle Jets In the F3 derby.  Newcastle are mid table but have faulted a little lately and will be looking for a win to maintain their place in the top 6.  The Mariners are happily sitting top of the table and will look to grow their advantage over second placed Adelaide.  However the Mariners are now without Tom Rojic who is remaining in Scotland to agree personal terms for his transfer, and I believe Bernie Ibini is still on his 10 day trial in Belgium, however Graham Arnold will look to his experienced players to bring this one home.  The Jets come into this one on the back of a 1-0 win over the struggling Roar and will look to build momentum as they seek out a guaranteed top 6 spot.  I’m tipping a comfortable Mariner’s win.

The final game of Saturday sees the Glory hosting the Victory at NiB stadium.  The Glory will look to the continued resurgence of Shane Smeltz to help them win this one, with the Kiwi striker coming off the back of a drought breaking brace a fortnight ago and a penalty last week.  The Victory will travel to the west full of confidence as they sit in third place and look strong under the tutelage of Postecoglou.  I’m tipping this one to be tight with a draw a likely outcome

The final game of the round and Sunday’s only game, sees the struggling Brisbane Roar hosting the Western Sydney Wanderers.  The Wanderers will come into this one full of confidence as they have already tasted victory over the Roar this season, and their continued consistent performance has firmly cemented them as the best ever expansion club.  The Roar are wounded and some of the changes in players may make an impact on them in this game.  They will be boosted by the inclusion of new signing Jade North, but will be without the services of Erik Paartalu who is off to China.  One thing to watch out for, is if the Wanderers play Rocky Visconte who transferred from the Roar in the last two weeks.  This game shapes as a tight match with the Wanderers flying high and the Roar desperate for a win.  If the Roar can show some dominance inside the area and actually learn how to shoot, then I can see them winning this.

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