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On a Friday night we have the Roar and Wanderers kicking us of in Brisbane. Both sides are desperate for a finals berth and only two points separate the two sides in 6th and 8th respectively. There’s a lot on the line for both sides.
Next up on a Saturday it’s Adelaide and Brisbane. Another two teams desperate to play Finals Football. In 5th and 7th respectively, only a win is splitting the two of them apart. This should be another great, entertaining clash, as both sides play to win. Then it’s the Big Blue Derby. Melbourne need a win to stay in finals contention and Sydney have lost 2 of their past 3 games in all competitions. Could there be a massive upset on the cards here?
On a Sunday it’s the Mariners playing the Nix. Diving into their recent history against each-other, it was the second-last game they played, where Wellington smashed them 8-2 in Gosford. What will happen in the repeat effort at Bluetongue Stadium. Then Perth play City. 2nd (City) vs 3rd (Perth) on the table. Both teams have a tendency to score goals, so we should see a thrilling, high-scoring affair in this one.
Some great encounters in there. Bring it on. Let’s goooooooooo!!!!!!
Friday, 6th of March, 2020
Brisbane Roar vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Start: 8:30PM
Brisbane – Brisbane currently have 7 wins from 19 match’s played, as they sit in 6th on the table, on 26 points. Their GD is -3, the worst of any side within the Top Six. Their last game was a 1-0 defeat to City in Melbourne. The sole goal of the game, was an OG to Keeper Young in the 55th minute. He is not to blame for the defeat however, as Melbourne could’ve won by around 3-4 or possibly more goals if he were not in-between the sticks for Brisbane. They owned 54% of the ball, yet shot just a timid 2/5 on target. They also completed a strong 82% of their passes. Something which was good for 451/550. They gave up 11 fouls during the match as well, but no yellows or reds.
Western Sydney – The Wanderers last round claimed a well deserved Derby victory over Sydney FC. At Jubilee Stadium, they eventually prevailed 1 goal to nil. Duke scored his 10th of the season and the winner, in the 81st minute of the game. Georgievski also saw red in the 92nd minute of the game as Sydney were pushing for a late equalizer. It was due to a foot to the face on Tilio, as he also attempted to move the hurt player after the incident. Shortly after in the tunnels, a verbal altercation between himself and Sydney head-coach Steve Corica occurred about the incident with both men ripping into it. Despite having just 33% possession, the Red & Black still shot 4/14 on target + they had a shot come of the woodwork. They also completed 71% of their passes, good for 204/287. This was their 7th win of the season and it leaves them sitting just 2 points outside of the Top Six.
Past History – 3 Of the past 5 games played between these two sides have been draws. Those scores have been 0-0, 2-2 and 2-2. However, in the most recent encounter played at Bankwest Stadium, Brisbane won 2-1. They scored through Nevile in the 20th minute and via Inman in the 61st minute. Western Sydney had previously opened the scoring through Duke in the 5th minute of the game. Both sides shot poorly, with the Roar going 5/12 on target and the Wanderers 3/18. The Wanderers also had a shot come of the woodwork. Before that, the 0-0 draw also contested in Parramatta, saw the home-side go just 4/11 on target. And the away went 7/20 on target.
Key Player – Jamie Young. The Wanderers have been on fire recently and a win here would put them above Brisbane and into a finals spot. Young is coming of a game where despite scoring an OG, he was still probably the best player on the field for Brisbane. With the two combined, you’ll have a Young hell-bent on keeping his Brisbane side inside the Top Six. He’s experienced, he’s motivated and he’s a great leader. He should play amazingly well in this one. And with 4 clean sheets this campaign and 46 total saves made (3.54 per match), why wouldn’t he?
Head to Head: Brisbane
Over/Under 2.5: Over
Both Teams Score: Yes
Saturday, 7th of March, 2020
Adelaide United vs Western United F.C
Venue: Hindmarsh | Start: 5:00PM
Adelaide – In Melbourne vs the Victory, a 91st minute Nabbout winner spoiled what would’ve otherwise have been a nice 1-1 draw in the A-League’s original rivalry. They opened the scoring at Marvel Stadium through Opseth in just the 7th minute of the match. The possession was split evenly at 50% each, as they shot 4/15 on target. They also very un-luckily had 2 shots hit the woodwork. They completed 70% of their passes, which was good for 262/376. Outside of that, they gave up 14 fouls, but no yellows or reds. They are currently 5th on the ladder with 9 wins and 10 losses on the season. On 27 points, they are 3 ahead of 7th placed Western United and the 8th placed Wanderers.
Western United – W.U FC absolutely killed it last round. They posted their biggest ever win as they simply destroyed the Mariners 6 goals to 2 at GMHBA Stadium. Burgess scored the 1st, 2nd and 3rd goals of his A-League career in the 25th, 30th and 43rd minutes of the game. Berisha also scored twice in the 9th and 89th minutes of the match. Those were his 11th and 12th goals of the season. And Durante bagged one in the 61st minute as well. The goals they conceded came in the 19th and 45th minutes of the game. They owned 50% possession and shot a massive 12/21 on target. They also had a shot hit the woodwork, as they completed a strong 82% of their passes. Those were good for 389/472. It has left them in 7th place on 24 points. And the result also improved their GD to +2. They have absolutely everything to play for in the world, in their next-up encounter vs Adelaide.
Past History – The only game these two sides have ever played against one another was earlier in the year on January the 26th at Whitten Oval. There in an extremely entertaining and closely contested affair, Adelaide prevailed 4-3. Their goals came via a double to Mileusnic (9th and 15th minutes), one to McGree (18th minute) and Konstandopoulos (79th minute). United’s goals came via a double to Berisha (17th and 43rd minutes) and one to Diamanti (54th minute). Adelaide owned 46% of the ball, shot 6/27 on target and completed 85% of their passes. Something which was good for 358/421. W.U owned 54% of the ball, went 4/10 on target and completed 84% of their passes. Something which was good for 399/475. Here’s hoping for more of that this time around please.
Key Player – Max Burgess. The former Nix-man made it rain in Geelong last round, as he scored 3 goals. Incredibly the first 3 of his A-League career. He absolutely tore into the Mariners in his sides commanding 6-2 win last round. And he should continue his momentum full-steam ahead into this clash. He also has 12 shot assists this season. As well as that he’s completed 393 accurate passes, good for 88%. He should be a major force in this hotly anticipated encounter as he attempts to push his side into a finals spot. Burgess gonna do some real damage in this one.
Head to Head: Western United FC
Half-time/Full-time: Western United FC/Western United FC
Over/Under 2.5: Over
Both Teams Score: Yes
Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC
Venue: Marvel Stadium | Start: 7:30PM
Melbourne – The Victory are currently 9th on the ladder, with 20 points. They’ve posted just 5 wins from 19 games so far this season. However despite all of this, they are just 2 wins (6 points) of gaining a finals berth. Last time out at Marvel Stadium, Nabbout banged in the 91st minute winner to keep their faint finals hopes alive. That was much to the delight of the home-crowd. That was only his 5th goal of the campaign. Their other goal came through Rojas in the 57th minute. With the possession split evenly at 50%, they fired away, going 8/26 on target shots-wise. They also made 74% of their passes, which was good for 281/378. Additionally they gave up a high 20 fouls and three yellows.
Sydney – Despite the Wanderers beating them 1-0 last round. Sydney are still good in 1st place, with 43 points, 10 clear of 2nd placed City and 13 clear of 3rd placed Perth. Their defeat to the Wanderers was highly contentious however, as Georgievski saw red late in the 92nd minute for a kick to the face on Sydney substitute Tilio. He then attempted to physically move him. After that things stayed heated in the tunnel as the red-cardee and Corica went at it verbally, with both men being restrained. It was a pretty poor act from a side that had pretty much sewn up the result. With 67% of the ball, the Sky Blues went a poor 5/16 on target. They also completed a great 88% of their passes, which was good for 516/588. And they gave up 7 fouls and 2 yellows during the match.
Past History – Sydney have a dominant history against the Victory. They have won 11 of the past 14 Big Blue Derbies contested hotly between the two sides. Sydney have also won 4 straight vs Melbourne, with the scores being 3-0, 2-1, 6-1 and 2-1. That 3-0 affair was played at AAMI Park. It saw Le Fondre score in the 27th minute, Barbarouses score in the 53rd minute against his ex-team mates and Baumjohann score in the 85th minute. Both Baumjohann and Broxham saw red in the 94th minute of the game. Broxham for a bad foul and the goal-scorer for his reaction. The 2-1 affair, played at Jubilee Stadium, saw Toivonen open the scoring for the away side in the 45th minute. But the home side pulled it back and won it thanks to goals from Le Fondre in the 61st minute and Barbarouses just 7 minutes later.
Key Player – Luke Brattan. The ex Melbourne City Midfield Magician has been a great signing for Sydney so far this season. He’s been incredibly durable, playing in 16 A-League games and averaging 89 minutes per match. He’s had 11 shot assists and made 907 passes. That’s good for an accuracy rate of 86%. Barbarouses struggled badly against the Wanderers, while ‘Alfie’ Le Fondre missed a few easy chances here and there at Jubilee Stadium. The veteran A-League play maker will have to step up big time in the Big Blue to give his side a chance of winning this one. Especially so because they have lost 2 of their last 3 games in all competitions.
Head to Head: Sydney
Over/Under 2.5: Over
Both Teams Score: Yes
Sunday, 8th of March, 2020
Central Coast Mariners vs Wellington Phoenix
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium | Start: 4:00PM
Central Coast– The Mariners are currently last and 11th on the A-League table. They’ve lost 14 of their 19 games played this season and their GD is by far and away the worst in the A-League at -24. The next worst in comparison is the Jets at -16. They were absolutely hammered against W.U FC last round at GMHBA Stadium, as they went down 6 goals to 2. Yep, 6-2. They conceded goals in the 9th, 25th, 30th, 43rd, 61st and 89th minutes of the match. Their 2 goals came through Harold in the 19th minute and a superb bicycle kick effort from Stensness in the 45th minute. With 50% of the ball, the Central Coast shot a terrible 3/16 on target. They also completed a very good 81% of their passes. That was good for 372/457. And they gave up 10 fouls and 1 yellow during the duration of the game.
Wellington – It was a bye for the Nix last round, but prior to that, they beat W.U FC with ease, 2-0. Their goals were from Cacace in the 29th minute and Ball in the 90th minute. This was an absolutely dominant performance from Wellington, as they had 55% possession of the ball. They shot 9/21 on target, as they also hit the woodwork twice. They completed 89% of their passes as well, which was good for 491/553. And they leaked 12 fouls and 2 yellows during the game as well. They are currently in 4th place, with 30 points. They are just 3 of 2nd placed City, as they continue to keep their hopes of a maiden GF win well and truly alive.
Past History – The Phoenix have beaten the Mariners in 7 of the past 10 clashes that they have played verses one another. Most recently, they won 2-1 at Westpac Stadium. They scored goals via Hooper in the 13th minute and then Ball in the 29th minute. The Central Coast brought it back a lil bit with an OG to DeVere in the 46th minute. The Nix completed 82% of their passes, 420/511. And the Mariners completed 78% of theirs, 353/451. Before that the Nix smashed them 8-2 up in Gosford. Wellington scored goals in the 8th, 12th, 21st, 46th, 51st, 57th, 59th and 88th minutes of the game. The Mariners scored in the 61st and 69th minutes of the match. Wellington that faithful day went 13/22 on target, with a shot of the woodwork. And the Central Coast went 7/13 on target.
Key Player – Jordan Murray. The 24 year old has featured in 15 games this season for the Central Coast, yet he only has a measly 2 goals to show for it. He’s shot more off-target 22, than on-target 10. He’s also given away 11 fouls as well. For a youngster who was touted as a great attacker, he hasn’t exactly displayed that killer-instinct and flair so far this season. And his side were just humiliated 6-2 by Western United. He needs to step up to the plate and thank the Mariners for giving him a chance in the big league. He will have an impact on this clash. Whether it’s good or bad, remains to be seen.
Head to Head: Wellington
Over/Under 2.5: Over
Both Teams Score: Yes
Perth Glory vs Melbourne City
Venue: NIB Stadium | Start: 6:00PM
Perth – An absolute rocket from Topor-Stanley outside the box undid Perth last round in their 2-1 defeat to Newcastle. Their sole goal of the game came through Kilkenny in the 29th minute. Despite having 47% possession of the ball, they could only manage to shoot 3/11 on target. They did however complete a good 83% of their passes, 384/463. And they gave up a high 16 fouls and three yellows during the game. Of the field for Perth, the potential rumored sale of the club is of. This came out around the same time as reports stating that one of the members of the group wanting to purchase the Glory, was an alleged fraudster. Popovic has also spoken out about the corona virus, saying he doesn’t want his men playing in these countries if there are any potential risks involved. And who could blame him for it? Perth are currently 3rd on the ladder and just 3 points of 2nd placed City.
Melbourne – City are currently in 2nd place on 33 points. From 19 games played this campaign, they have 10 wins, 3 draws and 6 defeats. Their GD which also currently sits at +6, is the 3rd best in the entirety of the A-League. Their latest efforts were a close 1-0 win over Brisbane at AAMI Park last round. The only goal of the game was an OG by Young in the 55th minute. With 46% of the ball, City shot 5/14 on target + very un-luckily had 2 shots come of the woodwork. They also completed a great 83% of their passes, something which was good for 373/452. They gave up a high 16 fouls and 1 yellow during the duration of the game as well.
Past History – 3 Of the past 4 games played between these two teams have been draws. Those draw scores have been 0-0, 2-2 and 0-0. They seemingly love a low scoring draw. In the 0-0 affair played at AAMI Park earlier this year, City owned 58% of the ball and Perth 42%. City went 3/17 on target, with a shot of the woodwork. While Perth went 3/6. Before that, also in Melbourne, Perth won 3-0. Fornaroli scored in the 27th minute, Delbridge in the 47th with an OG and Mrcela to finish things of in the 71st minute. Perth shot just 3/10 on target that game and Melbourne only 2/13.
Key Player – Liam Reddy. The 38 year old is ageing and has lost a bit of the spring in his step. But he will have to step up big time in this one, especially playing behind a recently struggling Perth defence. In 3 of their past 5 games, they’ve leaked 2 goals. He’s kept 6 clean sheets this year and made 40 saves. He’s also made 18 from outside the box. He’s averaging 2.2 saves per game as well. This is all good stuff. But he’ll have to bring it a notch or two higher, so his side don’t suffer the burn from City. And that’s exactly what he should do in this clash. No doubt about it.
Head to Head: Perth
Over/Under 2.5: Over
Both Teams Score: Yes