A-LEAGUE WEEK 12
BRISBANE ROAR V WESTERN SYDNEY
Brisbane find themselves back at home after a disappointing win over the Mariners. They were certainly the better team but a lot of their final ball and finishing was lacking, something which they'll rectify by being in front of their home fans this week. Their history against the Wanderers isn't all that flash but this is a game that Brisbane will be expected to win.
Jamie Maclaren cannot stop scoring at the moment and it looks more than likely that this will be his last year in a Brisbane jersey with the ever ongoing contract disputes playing their part. Another talking point is that Kerem Bulut seems to have found a way to get himself exiled from another club with WSW sending him on an official week off, however, the talk is that he's already played his last game for the Wanderers
As mentioned, I expect Roar to be far too good. They weren't clinical enough in the win last week but this week should be different.
NEWCASTLE JETS V WELLINGTON PHOENIX
The Jets are looking for a third straight victory and having the home advantage, plus versing a manager-less team who has to travel significantly just before Christmas, they might just be able to get it. The Phoenix are still without a manager after the resignation of Ernie Merrick and the longer the uncertainty goes on, the more difficult each match is going to become.
Newcastle have won their last two home games against the Phoenix and managed to bag three goals in each of those matches. They were beaten earlier on in the season in NZ, however, that was a match they were very much in until Roy Krishna slotted home his second goal of the first half and match in the 40th minute. The stats were very similar but unfortunately the only stat that counts is the final score.
ADELAIDE UTD VS SYDNEY FC
The astonishing undefeated season of Sydney FC continues through Christmas and taking on an Adelaide squad who can't manage much to smile about apart from a solitary win and a better goal difference than the Central Coast. Things won't get any easier for them when they host Sydney either as the class and synergy of the Sydney players completely outweighs the class and form of the Adelaide squad.
One stat that Adelaide can cling all their hopes onto is that they are unbeaten against Sydney in their last 5 matches and have only lost once in 11 attempts, with Sydney's last victory coming in a 4-1 drubbing in mid 2015. Michael Marrone also returns for Adelaide after a 3 month stint on the sidelines with injury and his inclusion can only be seen as a positive.
One player who I'm interested in seeing more is Bernie Ibini. His appearance from the substitute bench last week was huge and If he starts then I can definitely see him getting on the scoresheet. The boy is an absolute engine and his touch has somehow improved even after breaking his leg in Belgium. Take notice if he gets the nod.
MELBOURNE CITY VS PERTH GLORY
Morale must be slipping slightly in the City dressing room at the moment. Winless in the league since a slight victory against Perth in late November, you'd be forgiven if you thought that they must be still celebrating the FFA Cup victory that came only days later. Winless in December and coming off the back of a derby loss at home, things are suddenly looking a bit shaky for the FFA's favourite team.
Cahill scored a peach of a header in the derby and once again A-league marketers and promoters are cheering that they now have more footage to air in every A-league ad for the next 5 years. The one part they wouldn't be to happy with was the comeback of Victory and that Albanian maestro Berisha.
This week they've got Perth and I'll be expecting goals and a close match.
We'll have a small play on the draw at HT into Melbourne City winning.
MELBOURNE VICTORY V CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
April 2014 is the last time Central Coast managed a victory over the Melbourne Victory and i'm more than certain that after this match, it'll still be at 2014. The victory and especially Berisha are riding high and have found themselves well and truly in the title hunt after not losing since round 5. All the talk has been of Sydney going undefeated but Victory have only lost 2 matches themselves and are finding a lot more wins than draws.
This match looks extremely straight forward as it's impossible to have a positive opinion on the Central Coast chances and it's next to impossible to see anything but a Victory win.
Christmas will come and go but there'll be nothing for Mariners fans to cheer this year im afraid as Berisha and Rojas will tear apart that weak defence.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Grand Final -5 5 -100% Finals Week Two +23 10 230% Finals Week One -10 10 -100% Week Twenty-Six -6.65 15 -44% Week Twenty-Five +12.9 22 59% Week Twenty-Four -2.5 14 -18% Week Twenty-Three +15.83 19 83% Week Twenty-Two -11.25 18 -63% Week Twenty-One -1.79 16 -11% Week Twenty +2.24 16 14% Week Nineteen +20 11 182% Week Eighteen +12.16 11 111% Week Seventeen -5.88 15 -39% Week Sixteen -2.5 11 -23% Week Fifteen -15 15 -100% Week Fourteen +0.93 17 4% Week Thirteen +5.5 13 42% Week Twelve +3.05 18 17% Week Eleven -7.18 13 -55% Week Ten -2.07 18 -12% Week Nine +0.51 15 3% Week Eight -20 20 -100% Week Seven -3.22 16 -20% Week Six +10.2 14 73% Week Five -16 16 -100% Week Four -0.27 15 -2% Week Three -4.6 13 -35% Week Two -0.70 12 -6% Week One +1.05 12 9% Total -7.24 420 -2%