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The Round Table: Week 8

roundtable_week8Each week, Ultimate A-League podcast hosts Kristian Dwyer and Justin Tickner sit down with a member of the Ultimate A-League team to preview all the action of the upcoming weekend’s games… in their own words.

This weeks guest contributor is James Anderson.

For a full preview of all this week’s games, and discussion and analysis of all the big talking points in the A-League, make sure to listen to the Ultimate A-League Podcast, released every Tuesday night! Get the latest episode from iTunes, the Ultimate A-League apps, or at ultimatealeague.com/podcast.

Melbourne Victory vs Adelaide United

Friday 7:40pm AEDT, AAMI Park.

Kristian: “I think the most pertinent thing to remember here is these are two teams that haven’t lost and didn’t even look like beating each other at Adelaide Oval earlier in the season. However, there will be different conditions this time around with a slower field to work with. Expect plenty of goals in this one and a great game for the neutral.”

Kristian predicts: VICTORY 2-2 ADELAIDE

Justin: “Victory and Adelaide are two of the three undefeated teams this season, and it’s easy to see why this will be the Game of the Round. Both have shored up their defences this season, but still provide plenty of attacking options as well. At home, it’s hard to go past the Victory here – 4 wins from 4 home games, at an average of 3 goals a game this season, is pretty daunting for any team that has to visit Melbourne.”

Justin predicts: VICTORY 2-1 ADELAIDE

James: “This rivalry is set to light up the competition once more, and with both teams in impressive form, we should expect an extremely close match. The midfield contest will be the key battle, with James Jeggo set to play a central role against his old club. Certainly an exciting match on paper, but it could have the potential for both teams to cancel the other out.”

James predicts: VICTORY 1-3 ADELAIDE

Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory

Saturday 5:00pm AEDT, Suncorp Stadium.

Kristian: “Being realistic here, with Brisbane Roar in turmoil and the Glory in fine form and on top of the table, you would expect the Glory to come out winners here. But the Glory have this hoodoo that persists where in games they should win, they fail to do so. Brisbane will have the ‘new coach factor’, so as much as it pains me to go against my team, I’m going to have to go with a draw again for this one. It will all come down to how Thijssen marshals his charges.”

Kristian predicts: BRISBANE 1-1 PERTH

Justin: “Perth have a pretty awful record in Brisbane over the course of the A-League, but at the same time the Roar have lost all three of their home games this season. With a new coach, though, who knows what to expect from the boys in orange! But, given they’re top of the table and in strong form, I like Perth to snatch a rare win at Suncorp here.”

Justin predicts: BRISBANE 0-1 PERTH

James: “It’s hard to bet against Perth in their current form, and coming up against a club surrounded in such turmoil, I would be surprised if the Glory don’t bag another win this weekend. You can expect Brisbane to put up a fight, and maybe even score a goal, but Perth are just too strong at the moment.”

James predicts: BRISBANE 0-2 PERTH.

Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC

Saturday 7:30pm AEDT, Pirtek Stadium.

Kristian: “They like their derbies spiteful in the harbour town! The barbs have been flying thick and fast between the two sides of town. What the Red and Black half will have to contend with is their lack of profligacy, but will be hungry for a win after another weekend of spurned opportunities. Sydney have looked good all season and are undefeated but I can’t help but think that we’ll see some derby magic here. Maybe Rukavytsya to get his first goal for his new club.”

Kristian predicts: WANDERERS 1-0 SYDNEY FC

Justin: “Regardless of form, both teams always turn up to play in a derby. The Sky Blues had a good win last week (albeit with a little help from the City defensive line), and Western Sydney should’ve got past the Jets, if they could just be a little more ruthless in front of goal. If they can rectify that, I like the Wanderers to get their first win of the season here.”

Justin predicts: WANDERERS 2-1 SYDNEY FC

James: “The Sydney Derby will have the spectacle of an EPL match, and so it should, as these two A-League giants deserve such attention. Rukavytsya and Castelen are beginning to come to life for Western Sydney, and if they continue their surge, they could wreak havoc on the Sydney defence.”

James predicts: WANDERERS 2-1 SYDNEY FC

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City

Sunday 3:00pm AEDT, Westpac Stadium.

Kristian: “What a difference a few months can make. At the back end of last season, Heart were making a late, great push for finals and the Phoenix were slumping. Now, we have the rebranded City travelling to windy Westpac desperate to get another win on the board. But they’ll face a Wellington outfit with attacking verve, and with a City defence that has let in more goals than Australia does asylum seekers, we’re looking down the barrel of a big win for the Kiwis here.”

Kristian predicts: WELLINGTON 3-0 CITY

Justin: City won their last game at Westpac Stadium 5-0 (when they were still Melbourne Heart), but it’s a different proposition with Wellington this year. A stronger squad, with quality in the form of McGlinchey and Riera in midfield and Burns up front, should hold them in good stead against a shaky City defence. Phoenix to get back on track with a solid win in this one, I think.”

Justin predicts: WELLINGTON 2-0 CITY

James: “Both sides can play football, as they’ve shown so far this season, but Wellington’s slick combinations in the front third will be too much for Melbourne City.”

James predicts: WELLINGTON 2-0 CITY

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners

Sunday 5:00pm AEDT, Hunter Stadium.

Kristian: “This is the game Phil Moss needs to win. Earlier on this week in the podcast I said that whoever lost this game will get the sack, however I can’t help but think that Moss’ position is more in jeopardy. The only thing I feel keeping the bloke at the club is his contract, which runs till 2017. But this isn’t about speculating on coaches, it’s about speculating on a result. And sadly I don’t think the Mariners will win this one. The Jets have shown more reason and more desire to succeed this year and, despite some poor performances, I think we’ll see the Jets get up here and find their attacking teeth.”

Kristian predicts: JETS 2-0 MARINERS

Justin: “Only 1 win between them this season, and that was in Round 1 when they played each other, which says plenty about how these two sides are performing. The Mariners got the points in Round 1 thanks to a late Mitchell Duke goal, but the Jets are starting to show a little improvement, whilst the Mariners really aren’t. I think the Jets (at home) can edge this one.”

Justin predicts: JETS 1-0 MARINERS

James: “A Round 1 rematch, and you can expect this one to be as dull as their first encounter. Central Coast are slowly coming to life this season, but it seems quite the opposite for Newcastle, with the exception of David Carney, who has been in scintillating form for the Jets. Central Coast will win this one, though not impressively.”

James predicts: JETS 0-1 MARINERS

About the author

avatarKris is a freelance sports journalist, a two-time WA media guild award winner, and podcast host and writer for Ultimate A-League.

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