Each round self-proclaimed prediction powerhouse Robbie Striker will share his ‘expert’ opinion on each match in the A-League. Confident his predictions will stack up against any other alter-ego in the game Robbie lays down the following challenge, “If you think your tips are better? Prove it!” You can do exactly that by joining his Unofficial A-League Tipping Competition at www.robbiestriker.com.au/tipping.
Due to the Thursday match this week and the squad announcements for the other four matches coming later the Round 1 preview will be over two parts.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS v BRISBANE ROAR
The stats: The first goal could prove to be critical in this match, last season Brisbane scored first 14 times and went on to win 9 of those games, drawing 1 and losing 4. In stark contrast the Wanderers managed only 2 wins from the 10 games they scored first in with 4 draws and 4 losses – the worst record in the league. Neither side fared well after conceding the first goal either – Brisbane 1 win and 2 draws from 13, Wanderers 2 wins from 15.
The clash: In what is looking like being a full house at Pirtek Stadium, this game should be a cracker on the pitch as both sides look to get off to a flying start and wipe the memories of their below par seasons last time around.
The two sides met recently in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup with the Wanderers coming out on top with a Gol Gol Mehbratu proving the difference. Incidentally the Wanderers will be without Gol Gol due to injury, along with Shannon Cole, Brendon Santalab and Mark Bridge.
Brisbane have their share of players missing with Shane Stefanutto, Solorzano, James Donachie, Henrique and Luke DeVere on the injured list while Matt McKay is away with Socceroos duties.
The prediction: Until A-League sides meet during the season for FFA Cup clashes those results should be considered akin to pre-season matches. Brisbane to win this one 2-1 – Maclaren the difference.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1. Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 3. Scott JAMIESON, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 5. Brendan HAMILL, 6. Mitch NICHOLS, 7. Romeo CASTELEN, 8. Dimas, 9. Federico PIOVACCARI, 10. Dario VIDOSIC, 12. Scott NEVILLE, 15. Kearyn BACCUS, 16. Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18. Andreu, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 21. Jacob PEPPER, 22. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 33. Josh MACDONALD
Unavailable: 2.Shannon COLE (Groin – 1 week), 10.Brendon SANTALAB (thigh – 2 weeks), 14.Gol Gol MEHBRATU (Hamstring – 2 weeks), 19.Mark BRIDGE (Groin – 1 week)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Jerome POLENZ, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 14.Daniel BOWLES, 16.Devante CLUT, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 32.George LAMBADARIDIS.
Unavailable: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (calf – 4 weeks ), 10.HENRIQUE (knee – 2 months ), 11.Jean Carlos SOLOR ZANO (foot – 2 weeks), 15.James DONACHIE (quad – 3 weeks), 17.Matt McKAY (international duty – 1 week), 33.Luke DE VERE (quad – two months)
Thursday, 8 October 2015 - Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-Off: 8:00 PM (Local) – 8:00 PM (AEDT)
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Lucas
Fourth Official: James Tesoriero