Can Brisbane roar to derail Victory? Will Babbel’s lilac revolution blossom again?


A-League Round 8 Preview and Tips

Socceroo Mooy set to miss Asian Cup

Brisbane Roar v. Melbourne Victory, Friday evening.

Can John Aloisi’s Brisbane rediscover their Roar to derail the Victorious Honda-powered juggernaut?

Since their injury-time loss to Perth Glory, Victory have been railroading all comers with a streak of five consecutive wins. Accomplished Swedish forward Ola Toivonen is linking well with Kiwi strike partner Kosta Barbarouses to take full advantage of Honda’s sublime approach play.

Meanwhile Roar are struggling to find their voice thus far but will take comfort in their unbeaten home record this season. They will be looking for predatory forward Adam Taggart to celebrate his 150th A-League appearance by steering them to a much needed 3 points.

Tip: VICTORY victory.

Wellington Phoenix v. Central Coast Mariners, Saturday arvo.

Likeable Mariners coach Mike Mulvey needs a win

The Nix go into this fixture against cellar dwellers Mariners, fortified by a spectacular 3-1 away win against Sydney, but with the threat of impending A-League expulsion hanging over them.

The FFA board while announcing the successful new clubs for expansion, also reminded the Nix that they risk failing to meet KPIs in attendances, memberships and viewing figures.

If current trends persist, they may not have their license renewed in the 2020-21 season, enabling one of the failed bids from Thursday’s FFA board meeting to prosper from the New Zealanders’ misfiring.

In short-term footballing terms however, their prospects for collecting three home points look more rosy. With the Mariners sojourn at the A-league seabed, stretching the ingenuity of all but the most dedicated devotees of nautical clichés, they seem likely to return to their coastal home with a disappointing catch.

Tip: Wellington Nix the 3 points.

Western Sydney Wanderers v. Sydney FC, Saturday evening.

The Sydney derby is the tie of the round.

Their previous match-up in Round 2 resulted in a controversial win for Sky Blues, thanks to the VAR controversially disallowing a Wanderers goal from mercurial winger Roley Bonevacia that could have changed the course of the game.

German coach Markus Babbel was sent off for his, some would say, justifiable reaction to that decision, which seemed to temper VAR’s use by officials in subsequent games.

Wanderers Teutonic triumvirate fired them to a win last week against the Mariners. Alex Baumjohann’s majestic midfield play, Patrick Ziegler’s exquisite defensive interventions and Babbel’s intrepid sartorial statement, sporting a lilac lounge suit, in the dugout conspired to fire the Wanderers to a well-deserved win.

Meanwhile Sydney slumped to a home defeat at the hands of Wellington Phoenix, never recovering from a first half calamitous defensive collapse seeing them go in 3-0 down at the break.

Tip: Wanderers to claim back to back wins.

Newcastle Jets v. Perth Glory, Sunday arvo.

The Jets rocketed from bottom table to top six as they piled on the misery for Roar last Sunday beating them 2-0.

Brazilian forward Jair was ecstatic to score his first A-League goal, his first since September 2017 following a season of firing blanks in China.  They’re sure to have their tails up for the visit of the Perth table-toppers.

However, Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium, is Glory’s happiest hunting ground going  ten games unbeaten there. But the Perth side have not exactly marched to the top this season in convincing style, with only one of their wins by a margin greater than one goal, relying on late Chris Ikonomidis goals on three occasions.

Can Popovic grind out another result here, or is this the Jets’ chance to slay their home hoodoo against the West Australians?

Tip: Glory to bask in the flight home with 3 points courtesy of a late winner.

Adelaide v. Melbourne City, Sunday evening.

The final act of the round sees these two finals pretenders smarting from away defeats against the top two last week.

Sitting 4th and 5th (the Reds on 11, City on 10) this 6-pointer takes on great importance for both teams, even this early in the season.

City coach Warren Joyce continues to court controversy excluding his Uruguayan forward Bruno Fornaroli, citing training ground misdemeanours, while many of their fans felt their lacklustre attacking show against Glory last week cost them at least a point.

Reds’ German coach Marco Kurz will be pleased with his team’s performance, if not their result, against Melbourne Victory last Saturday, where a rub of the green and superlative touches from Toivonen were the only difference between nul points et trois.

Tip: Adelaide to prevail in a bruising encounter with a lot at stake.


About Author

Scozzie reporting on A-League and other stuff from the Indian Ocean shores. St. Johnstone fan. Follow me on twitter @perthmcneela.

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