Get your A-League tips for Week 8 of the the 2019-20 season, including a crucial showdown between out-of-sorts heavyweights Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory.
History: Played 43: Vicotry 18 V Perth 17 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: September 21, 2019 (friendly): Victory 2 d Perth 0 at Latrobe City Stadium
Final Thoughts: Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory both find themselves in the bottom half of the A-League table with just one win on the board.
The second-last Victory are especially under the pump after picking up just one point from their past four games. They were humbled 3-1 in Adelaide last weekend. Ola Toivonen scored for the fourth game in a row, but he is one of the few Victory players performing to expectations.
Seventh-placed Perth bagged their only win back in Week 3 in Wellington. Since then they have bookended a draw at Newcastle with losses to Central Coast (2-1) and Sydney FC (3-1). The Glory have struggled for goalscoring touch – mustering just seven from six games – and the defensive resolve that underpinned last year’s top-of-the-table finish appears to be absent.
The Glory have won three of their last four A-League clashes with the Victory, including two encounters in Melbourne last season. The Victory carved out a 2-0 pre-season win over the Glory in Gippsland.
With two painfully out-of-form big guns squaring off, the draw looms as the most attractive proposition.
17:00 (AEDT), Sat 30th Nov @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
History: Played 47: Brisbane 30 V Central Coast 7 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: February 22, 2019: Brisbane 5 d Central 3 at Central Coast Stadium
Final Thoughts: Brisbane came back to earth from their stunning 4-3 comeback against Melbourne City, crashing 2-1 to previously winless Wellington last week. They were thoroughly outplayed by the Phoenix, only getting on the scoreboard through Stefan Mauk in the 85th minute.
Central Coast, meanwhile, have signalled their intentions of offloading the wooden spoon. They climbed to sixth with their second win of the season last week – a 1-0 home victory over Western United. It was the Mariners’ first clean sheet since February 2018.
The Roar’s overwhelming dominance of their rivalry with the Mariners includes a current 16-match unbeaten streak. The teams played out a pair of 1-1 draws last season, before Brisbane won the third clash 5-3 in Gosford. Central Coast’s last win over Brisbane came in April 2014.
On the strength of last weeks’ respective performances, the Mariners look good value on the road.
19:30 (AEDT), Sat 30th Nov @ McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
History: Played 21: Western Sydney 8 V Newcastle 7 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: April 6, 2019: Newcastle 3 d Western Sydney 2 at McDonald Jones Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Newcastle Jets had the bye last week to revel in their breakthrough 1-0 win over Western United, while Western Sydney Wanderers are aiming to get back on track after consecutive losses.
Angus Thurgate struck the winner for ninth-placed Newcastle in Geelong, a solid follow-up performance from the Jets after drawing 1-1 with Perth. Fourth-placed Wanderers have gone winless in their last three, held to a scoreless draw by the Roar in Week 4 before going down to Western United (2-1) and Melbourne City (3-2).
Newcastle are on a six-match unbeaten run against Western Sydney, winning all three clashes last season. Four of the teams’ last five encounters produced four goals or more.
That bogey and both teams’ recent form swings is enough to lean towards the Jets in this NSW derby.
16:00 (AEDT), Sun 1st Dec @ GMHBA, Geelong
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Western United are clinging to fifth spot, despite going down to unfancied Newcastle and Central Coast in their last two by 1-0 scorelines. No one is questioning the grit of Mark Rudan’s side, but scoring goals is shaping as a bugbear – they have just eight from seven outings
Sydney FC have crafted a strong early-season run, sitting just one point behind leaders Melbourne City with a game in hand. They have won five of their six games, including successes against struggling heavyweights the Victory (2-1) and Glory (3-1) in the past fortnight.
Kosta Barbarouses and Adam le Fondre have both scored in each of the Sky Blues’ last three outings. Socceroo Rhyan Grant returns in his 200th game in a further boost for Sydney.
There’s little separating the sides in the head-to-head market, meaning Sydney FC are offering outstanding value to rack up a fourth straight win.
18:00 (AEDT), Sun 1st Dec @ Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
History: Played 37: Adelaide 19 V Wellington 8 (10 Draws)
Last meeting: April 7, 2019: Adelaide 3 d Wellington 1 at Hindmarsh Stadium
Final Thoughts: Adelaide United are making a case to be considered a genuine A-League contender, winning four straight games after dropping their first two. The Reds have notched consecutive 3-1 wins over the Mariners and Victory, Riley McGree taking his season tally to six goals with a brace in the latter.
Wellington still occupy last spot on the ladder, but they arrive in Adelaide confident after an away draw with the Victory in Week 7 and their first win of the season last weekend, a 2-1 home result against the Roar. Ulises Davila is emerging as a fantastic buy for the Phoenix, scoring his fourth goal of the season against Brisbane.
Adelaide are unbeaten in their last 11 matches against Wellington, winning seven. Last season United bagged 3-1 wins in Wellington and Adelaide either side of a scoreless draw at home. The Phoenix’s last win in Adelaide came on New Year’s Eve, 2014.
United’s hot attacking form should ensure they blunt the Phoenix’s recent momentum at home.