Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A-League Round 7 Preview

Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Friday, November 21
6.40 PM (AEST)
The Roar finally broke their season duck as the coaching blowtorch on Mike Mulvey was eased down a degree or two (for a week at least). The reigning Premiers have a demanding schedule ahead until Christmas, beginning with the undefeated Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium. Kevin Muscat will have last year’s semi-final disappointment at Suncorp still fresh in his memory and will be looking for redemption. It was Besart Berisha who spoiled the party that night for the Victory, but against his former club he will be aiming to replicate what he did so often to opposition clubs in his more familiar orange shirt. Don’t be surprised if he is the first on the score sheet.
Pick: Melbourne Victory (Draw No Bet), Besart Berisha always a good choice in the "1st Goal Scorer" market
Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
nib Stadium, Perth
Friday, November 21
8.45 PM (AEST)
The ‘Glory Days’ have returned to the west and so have the crowds. A tough win over an inexperienced and committed Wanderers highlighted Glory’s ability to bounce back from a huge travel schedule that could now be a thing of the past. The two teams met in Round 1 for the opening “Distance Derby” and it was Perth prevailing courtesy of a late Jamie McLaren winner. Wellington has exceeded expectations by playing an attractive brand this season with three wins from six starts. They were very unlucky not to share the points with Adelaide at Coopers last weekend after a late winner to Sergio Cirio.
Pick: Draw
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Sat, November 22
4.00 PM (AEST)
The realities of the Wanderers' Asian Champions League win are starting to hit home as the club looks to replenish its points' drought on the A-League ladder. After a mid-week rescheduled Round 3 draw at home to the Mariners, the Wanderers take on a Jets team struggling to find form, and holding the mantle of the worst defensive record in the League. I think the Wanderers will be ruthless against a Jets team lacking in attacking potency, despite having the Argentine duo of Jerónimo Neumann and Marcos Flores on their roster.
Pick: WSW (H2H)
Melbourne City v Sydney FC
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sat, November 22
6.30 PM (AEST)
Melbourne City fans left AAMI Park last Sunday disappointed in sharing the points with the Mariners who played right to the final whistle. City looked the better for most of what was a skilful and entertaining arm-wrestle between the sides. City take on a Sky Blues team that have been a fortress at the back so far this season recording fourth clean sheets in as many weeks. Aaron Mooy’s return from Socceroos duties will be a big boost to City, but Sydney’s superior defensive record should be enough to see them get the three points.
Pick: Sydney FC (H2H), but good value in (Draw No Bet) given their unbeaten record this season

Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Sunday, November 23
Mid-week, the Mariners again battled out a hard fought draw against the Wanderers, who have finally registered their first point of the season. An attacking Adelaide will be a much tougher proposition adding to the fatigue of playing in another mid week fixture. The Reds have an appalling record in Gosford over the past ten seasons, losing 10 times in 13 attempts and only sharing the points on one occasion. This is a much more confident Adelaide team on the road under Gombau, but never underestimate the gritty determination of the Mariners to upset the rhythm of any side in the competition. The record in the shadows of the palm trees at Gosford does worry me, so I’ll look to hedge my bet if the Mariners can rally for their third draw in a week
Pick: Adelaide United (Draw No Bet)

I’ll be on The TattsBet Brekky show @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire @Aleague season with my previews and reviews of every game.

James ‘Hamez’ Clark

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