Sydney travel to Perth hoping to snatch glory


This season’s A-League is on the verge of its first important milestone.

Round nine marks the point when the ten clubs have all played each other, ending the first third of the home/away sequence of the season, before the top 6 contest the finals.

When this round ends on Boxing Day it’s time for clubs to take stock of where they are and recalibrate their goals accordingly.

Perth Glory v. Sydney FC, Friday evening

The round gets off to an explosive start as first meets third. Perth are unbeaten after eight and their mettle as genuine contenders will be tested as they face the Premiers of the last two seasons.

Sydney’s form may be indifferent recently, but they will be buoyed going into this fixture after last weeks derby win against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Despite their stuttering start they have still garnered 14 points from eight games. Sydney, something of a hoodoo team for Glory, have won the last EIGHT match ups including a 6-0 thrashing in the corresponding fixture last December.

Recalled Socceroo Chris Ikonomidis will be determined to give the Perth fans something to shout about before he heads to the AFC cup for the whole of January.

Glory coach Popovic will see this game as the perfect chance to underline Perth’s silverware credentials and give them a nine-point cushion over the reigning Premiers. Sydney will be equally determined to preserve their own position and would be delighted to knock Perth off their perch. Even if it’s Victory that replace them on the summit.

In a bizarre scheduling decision Glory host Sydney again on 9/1/19, but since Perth have only hosted two of the last twenty fixtures between these teams the Sydneysiders can hardly complain.

Prost will be live tweeting this tie of the round @perthmcneela. Look out for the match report tomorrow.

TIP: Draw

Wellington Phoenix v. Brisbane Roar, Saturday arvo

Phoenix have indeed risen from the ashes to win their last two games while the Roar has been reduced to a silent scream losing their last three. It’s a three-and-a-half hour flight for Brisbane and they were comprehensively demolished by Victory last week.

Meanwhile the Nix forward line of Roy Krishna, Sarpeet Singh and Nathan Burns have been on fire as they develop a fruitful understanding. It’s hard to contradict the form book in this one.

TIP: Phoenix Win

Melbourne City v. Melbourne Victory, Saturday arvo

City won the last soy latte derby but they’ll be up against it this time. The ongoing Bruno Fornaroli and Warren Joyce feud shows no signs of abating and the worries of diminishing attendances have been exacerbated this week by the announcement of the disbandment of City’s active fan group, the Melburnians.

Training bust-up with coach Joyce rumoured to cost City forward Fornaroli his place. Photo credit: The Guardian.

The troubles of City are in stark contrast to the outrageous good fortune of their city rivals Victory. Their marquee signings Ola Toivonen and Keisuke Honda have been sensational while Kevin Muscat has managed to integrate these talents with the rest of his squad to devastating effect.

But a watchword. Derbies are always unpredictable and City have been consistently inconsistent in their last six games which read WLWLWL. They’re due a win by this metric but Victory’s fearsome form seems poised to end City’s anomalous record.

TIP: Victory Win

Central Coast Mariners v. Newcastle Jets, Sunday arvo

The Mariners awful run must end sometime. But the Jets, whose impressive but ultimately unproductive attacking display had Perth Glory on the ropes last week, welcome back talismanic Irish forward Roy O’Donovan.

The Irishman completed his controversial ten-match suspension since last season’s Grand Final. The Jets should have the impetus to fuel their rise up the table by sinking the Mariners.

TIP: Jets Win

Adelaide United v. Western Sydney Wanderers, Boxing Day

These two inconsistent and unpredictable outfits share a desperate need for a win. German managers Marco Kurz and Markus Babbel have seen their teams promise much and deliver sporadically during this campaign. Both sides lost in disappointing circumstances last week.

Wanderers will be without their normally reliable keeper, Vedran Janjetovic, who is suspended after his sending-off last week. But Adelaide will be without a recognised striker due to injuries.

It’s tempting to conclude these complementary misfortunes will cancel each other out, but if Adelaide can find a shade of the class they displayed when going toe to toe, for the first half, with Melbourne Victory 2 weeks ago, they will prevail.

TIP: Adelaide Win

A PB of of 3/5 in last week’s tips. Can your ScozzieProst correspondent continue his incremental improvement?


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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