Melbourne Heart v. Adelaide FC
Great game for the opening of Week 15, which will mark the halfway point in the A-League. The Heart dominated Brisbane Roar last weekend in the first half, and were unlucky to lose the match. John van’t Schip’s side have really started to hit their strides recently, and should have a strong second half of the season. Adelaide however, have lost three of their last four matches and will want to keep up with league leaders Brisbane. Rini Coolen will be pumping his side up for a win here, yet with Leckie still out and Joe Costa also ruled out for the season it will be a tough ask.
Newcastle Jets v. Wellington Phoenix
Wellington visit Newcastle as the team who’s financial future is now in question following their owner being investigated by the New Zealand tax department. The Jets will be high on confidence after a win and a draw against the top two and will be determined to continue their resurgence in their 3rd consecutive game at home. If the attacking players can put away their chances a big win is on the cards. With Ljubo out due to suspension young Regan will come in, and I’m confident he’ll handle the responsibility. While replacing Zadkovich, also due to suspension, may be a bit trickier. It will be interesting to see what Branko does, but to be honest I hope he brings in Kaz, drops Abbas and also starts either Fiorentini or Jobe Wheelhouse, who could make his return from a knee injury.
Brisbane Roar v. Queensland Fury
The Queensland derby should bring an entertaining match, with Brisbane top yet coming off a hectic schedule of 5 away games. The Fury, despite playing some decent football, have failed to register wins and have lost their last three. They’ve been on the end of three 3-2 losses and will hope for luck to fall their way in the derby. Brisbane welcome back Matt McKay into the team and the team has proven hard to beat, constantly fighting for results and playing some silky stuff along the way. However, due to their tough recent schedule I think the Fury will take out the first derby of this season.
North Queensland 2-3
Sydney FC v. Perth Glory
Should also be an interesting match as both teams need to start picking up points if they are to have any hope of making the finals. Perth won their first match in 10 games against a poor Melbourne Victory, while Sydney had started a resurgence before being brought back down to earth by Gold Coast United. Mark Bridge could make his return from injury and his presence up front will be essential, Sydney having only scored more than one goal in a game twice this season. Everyone knows Perth have been struggling, yet their strong start to the season means they are still in touch of a finals spot. Last weeks win against the Victory was more due to Melbourne’s deficiencies, yet the return to goalscoring form for Robbie Fowler is a massive boost. Can’t pick a winner..
central coast v. Gold Coast
The mariners haven’t lost at home, while Gold Coast are undefeated on their travels, making this game the pick of the week. Both teams are on fire coming into this match and lie in 3rd and 4th spot respectively. The mariners played midweek and were perhaps fortunate to grab a draw against Melbourne Victory, yet their ability to dig out a result will bode well against an organised Gold Coast side. The Gold Coast are undefeated in 10 games and have won their last three, and have also started to prove the doubters wrong about the style of football they play. With the mariners playing their first game at home for 5 matches and the Gold Coast becoming a tough side to beat, I’m tipping Miron Beliberg’s side to take three points.
Gold Coast 0-2
Two games midweek…
Wellington Phoenix v. Melbourne Heart
Newcastle Jets v. central coast