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The Round Table – Week 10

roundtableEach 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 Ben Pahor.

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.

Adelaide United vs Brisbane Roar

Friday 7:40pm AEDT, Coopers Stadium.

Kristian: “No Smith. No Broich. No Theo. Right there you have a lost spine, and I can’t see it getting any better for the calamitous Brisbane Roar at the moment as they lurch from debacle to debacle. It’s the ultimate championship hangover for the Oranje of the A-League and they come up against an on-fire Adelaide United who look irrepressible up front. Watch for the front third to make a huge impact for the Reds who will keep fortress Hindmarsh an undefeated cauldron.”

Kristian predicts: Adelaide 4-0 Brisbane

Justin: “The Roar have so many outs at the moment I don’t even know where to begin, but the bottom line is they just don’t have the depth to compete with those at the top. Adelaide, on the other hand, are fit and firing, and looking incredibly dangerous at home. The Roar have won their last 4 games at Coopers, but that was a different squad and mentality to what we see today. Expect Carrusca, Cirio, Ferreira and Djite to put on a show on Friday night.”

Justin predicts: Adelaide 3-0 Brisbane

Ben: “Despite a slight hiccup away to Melbourne Victory a few weeks ago, Adelaide just keep going from strength to strength and are playing some great football. The likes of Sanchez, Carrusca and Cirio showed again last week just how good they and with these guys in form I can’t see them being troubled by the rabble that is Brisbane at the moment. More disruptions this week with Matt Smith playing his last game before leaving for Thailand won’t help either. The only help Brisbane might get is if Gombau decides to rest some players for the all-important FFA Cup final on Tuesday night.”

Ben predicts: Adelaide 2-0 Brisbane

Perth Glory vs Newcastle Jets

Friday 9:45pm AEDT, nib Stadium.

Kristian: “It’s time for the Jets players to stand up and be counted or face another season out in the wilderness. They had Phoenix on the ropes for 60 odd minutes last week, but couldn’t get the job done and now face the hardest of tasks in table-toppers Perth Glory. Jeronimo has been used sparingly in Stubbins’ rotation policy which has failed to reap rewards and if anything has led to a lack of cohesion between his troops. Barring a Christmas miracle, I can’t see the Glory losing this one with their performance against Sydney proving they can match it with the best this season. Only complacency from the home side can hand Newcastle a result.”

Kristian predicts: Perth 3-0 Newcastle 

Justin: “The Jets have an appalling record in the West (1 win in 14 trips), so it’s difficult to see them getting their second against the table-topping Glory who have yet to be beaten at home this season. Stubbins’ team need others (apart from David Carney) to stand up and be counted, but as it stands, that has yet to eventuate. This should be a comfortable win for the home side”

Justin predicts: Perth 2-0 Newcastle

Ben: “Perth has been the surprise packet of this season and many pundits have been waiting for them to slip up. There are no guarantees in football, but if one thing is certain, it’s that it won’t be this week. Coming off another late, but impressive win, this time against Sydney at Allianz Stadium and with only one loss for the season, the Glory will be too good for the struggling Jets who have been far too inconsistent this season. The odd good performance has only yielded four draws for the season and no wins.”

Ben predicts: Perth 2-1 Newcastle

Wellington Phoenix vs Central Coast Mariners

Saturday 3:00pm AEDT, Eden Park.

Kristian: “The Phoenix are quickly becoming the darkhorses of the A-League after a few years in the finals wilderness for the Yellow and Black. Irresistible upfront with McGlinchey, Krishna and top goalscorer Nathan Burns, manager Ernie Merrick has fashioned a side that could challenge the top four on a shoestring budget. Central Coast however come off one of the worst weeks in their history – a loss to Melbourne that proved just the gulf in class that has erupted in the last 12 months and a prospective move to North Sydney soured by poor atmosphere, bad fan reaction and inability to provide a decent television signal for Fox Sports. I can’t see Wellington losing this one. Easy win for the Nux.

Kristian predicts: Wellington 2-0 Central Coast

Justin: “Wellington are unbeaten in their three previous trips to Eden Park in Auckland, and with the likes of Burns and Krishna having no problem finding the back of the net at the moment, I don’t see this changing. The Mariners have only scored 5 goals in 9 games this season, whereas the Phoenix have scored the 2nd most in the competition – a pretty big discrepancy, and one that tells me the ‘Nix will get up on Saturday.”

Justin predicts: Wellington 3-1 Central Coast

Ben: “Wellington should get all three points in this one. They’ve scored eight goals in their last two games and completely dominated their opponents. I expect another good performance this week particularly against a team that has struggled of late and not won since the opening round. A loss will put even more pressure on Mariners coach Phil Moss.”

Ben Predicts: Wellington 3-1 Central Coast

Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC

Saturday 7:30pm AEDT, Etihad Stadium.

Kristian: “Big Blue. Big City Derby. Call it what you will. It’s still one of the prestige events on the A-League calendar and always brings a match for the neutral be it through on or off field exploits. Sydney will be hurting and looking to make their mark on a Victory side yet to lose. Strangely though I can’t see the Victory losing this one. I expect goals however, with both sides boasting arguably two of the best forward combinations in the competition. Expect a draw here, maybe 1-1″

Kristian predicts: Melbourne 1-1 Sydney

Justin: “Victory have yet to lose this season, and are on a three-game winning streak. Sydney have just come off their first loss of the season, and will be looking to bounce back strong. But you can probably throw the form book out the window when it comes to Melbourne-Sydney clashes, because both teams will turn up to play regardless. However, Victory are scoring an average of 3 goals per home game this season, so if I were to predict a winner in this one, I really can’t see Sydney being able to do enough to stop Muscat’s team.”

Justin predicts: Melbourne 2-0 Sydney

Ben: “This should be a nice fiery game. The last big blue ended in a draw, but I expect Melbourne to just edge out the Sky Blues at Etihad Stadium. Despite complaints about the surface, the Victory were very good last week and Sydney’s injuries may unfortunately start to catch up with them.”

Ben predicts: Melbourne 2-1 Sydney

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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