Whether you’re in a tipping or fantasy comp, having a bet, or trying to impress your mates with some knowledge at the game, let Ando & Bez give you their last minute tips to help you find a winner this weekend.
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar – #PERvBRI
Ando says: This one has become a tricky one to pick after last week’s results. The Glory returned to home to winning ways with a thumping of the Heart. Shane Smeltz was back on the sheet with normality resumed. This could be the confidence to start a real winning streak to commence. The Roar were surprisingly defeated at fortress Suncorp by Adelaide United. Possible complacency may have set in the Roar and it is time to return from cloud nine. They are travelling the scorching west for this one on Friday night, and like any week at nib Stadium it is a difficult task. Roar won’t lose two in a row but the Glory have the confidence to take something from this fixture.
Bez says: Along with Sydney FC’s clash with the Mariners, I believe this will be one of the games of the round and will a match not to be missed on Friday night. Perth Glory were impressive in their 3-0 win over the Heart last week, with all the goals coming in the second half. In his 50th appearance for the club, Kiwi Shane Smeltz celebrated his return from injury with a double, and will be looking to continue that form against the league leaders. Brisbane were upset last week at home, defeated 2-1 by Adelaide and will be looking to make amends for that disappointing result. In the last 8 games played in Perth, Brisbane have won 4 with two draws, and won the earlier match up this season 1-0. If Perth are serious about being contenders this year, defeating the Roar is a prized scalp they need to claim. I can’t see it happening though, i’m tipping an entertaining draw.
Melbourne Heart v Newcastle Jets – #MHTvNEW
Ando says: The Heart at present couldn’t beat themselves. I know it sounds harsh but it doesn’t look like changing anytime soon does it? They were wiped off the park in the second half of last week’s match against the Glory and they are facing a Jets side that have looked more and more positive throughout the last month or so. The Jets were able to claim a valuable point against the Victory last week and can use the knowledge that they have beaten the Victory already this season down in Melbourne to show they have the capability of winning this time round. I think the Heart are on the verge of breaking the New Zealand Knights losing streak record. Sorry Heart fans, Jets for mine.
Bez says: Can Melbourne Heart complete the trifecta of losing teams that have celebrated victories this week? The Sydney Thunder won their first BBL match in two years, the English cricket side finally enjoyed victory in a win over the PM’s XI, now just the Heart remain. If they lose they surpass the New Zealand Knights with the worst run of consecutive losses. They face a Newcastle side that took on Melbourne Victory last week, earning a point at home in a 1-1 draw. Heart themselves were disappointing in a 3-0 loss in Perth, a defeat confounded by the fact striker Dylan McAllistair was sent out for two yellows within 10 minutes of being brought on as a substitute. Newcastle haven’t beaten the Heart in their last three trips to AAMI Park, however I see that changing on Friday night. Newcastle to get the win.
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory -#WELvMVC
Ando says: Both sides were involved in 1-1 draws last weekend so this one could be no different in my opinion. The Phoenix haven’t lost in over a month and it is funny how quickly football can change, as the Phoenix make a serge for the finals. They played pretty compactly against the Mariners and didn’t allow them to do much in the second half of that match. The Victory secured a 1-1 draw with the Jets in the Hunter last weekend, but midweek gave the WSW a thumping at AAMI Park 3-1. They are far better on home soil than they were on the road as they generally are. Their issue is their away form and they lack the vigour to want a match like they do at home. Can they use the WSW win for momentum across the ditch. I’m not sure, especially with former Victory colleagues Carlos Hernandez and Ernie Merrick in the opposite corner. I think the Phoenix to surprise in this one.
Bez says: Wellington’s streak of three consecutive wins came to an end on Sunday as they drew 1-1 with the Mariners. With back to back games at home, and with the Victory coming off a shirt turn-around in between games, this match looms as a perfect opportunity for the Phoenix to claim another three points this season. However they haven’t beaten the blue side of Melbourne in the last seven games between the two clubs. It seems likely that will be Mitch Nichols last match for the Victory before he heads to Japan to join Cerezo Osaka. Despite sitting second last, Wellington are an improving side, and a win over the Victory keeps them in contention for finals football granted they can stay close with the teams just above them on the ladder. This match provides the Phoenix with a great opportunity to get back to winning ways, and I believe they can do it.
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners – #SYDvCCM
Ando says: Always a highlight on the A-League schedule, these two sides generally provide entertaining contest for the respective fans as well as the neutral. The Mariners struggled to break down the Phoenix despite taking the lead against the boys from Wellington last week. They will need to find a new avenue to initiate their attack with Michael McGlinchy now in Japan and Marcos Flores injured for the season. The Sky Blues on the other hand will be disappointed not to have taken something out of the Sydney derby last weekend especially since they dominated proceedings in the second half. It was only when ADP was removed from the crunch match, that the match changed favourably into the Wanderers’ hands. Sydney have the potential to beat the Mariners, but this match will be more about mind than matter for the boys from Sydney.
Bez says: This fixture is always a highlight on the calendar, and Saturday night looms as no different between these rival sides. The Mariners defeated Sydney 1-0 in Gosford earlier in the season, and since then have enjoyed a mix bag of results. While that loss for Sydney ended their run of consecutive wins at four, and has since seem them drop down to seventh on the ladder. Frank Farina’s side are coming off a 1-0 defeat to cross town rivals the Wanderers, while the Mariners earned a hard fought point in Wellington, despite having numerous chances to leave New Zealand with a win. A win for the Mariners could see them in third, while a Sky Blue victory could cause them to leap frog NSW counterparts Central Coast and Newcastle in to fourth. Brett Emerton will not line up in this match due to his immediate retirement, in what is big loss for the home side due to Emerton’s apparent leadership abilities. Both sides always step up for this fixture, and it’s hard to split them, however I will.
Central Coast 2-1.
Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers -#ADLvWSW
Ando says: Both these sides produced impressive wins last weekend. The Reds probably achieved the more surprisingly and bigger of the scoops, with a 2-1 win in Brisbane against the Roar. Many had picked the Reds to get touched up by the rampant Roar, but it was the Reds who entered the Suncorp colosseum and rattled the home side. IT will be a massive confidence booster for the boys from the city of churches and they will want to use it to continue their unbeaten run. The Wanderers scrapped to a 1-0 win against Sydney out west and relied on super sub Brendan Satanlab to break the deadlock. They have been uninspiring in their last two matches, especially with them being at home. This one is away and they will really need to be switched from the word ‘go’ against Josep Gombau’s men. Adelaide 2-0.
Bez says: Round 15 comes to a conclusion in the City of Churches when Adelaide host Western Sydney at Coopers Stadium. The Reds are coming off a gutsy, second half injury time win over the Roar in Brisbane, while the Wanderers left it late to defeat the cross town rivals at home last week. The side’s first clash of season 9 went the way of Wanderers back in November, with the Wanderers maintaining the form which has seen them remain top 3 for most of the season so far. While Adelaide started the season slowly, and are now playing catch up, they have enjoyed a run of five matches without loss, and are looking like a side they are finally coming to grips with the way Josep Gombau wants them to play. Western Sydney face as a tough task for the home side, but after defeating the ladder leaders away confidence will be high that they can put in a repeat performance against the second placed side at home. However I can’t split them on this occasion.