Socceroos abroad, A-League preview, and Ange’s big test: Australian football round-up

On Matchday 14 Pep Guardiola’s table-topping Manchester City take on Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur. With an extensive injury list of up to eight first-team players injured, Spurs have lost three in a row and have slipped to fifth after being undefeated for their first seven games. Critics have brought back the “Spursy” moniker, but the fans are still backing big Ange.

In last week’s 2-1 loss to Aston Villa, Son Heung-min had three goals disallowed. On a different day, one or more of those goals might have been allowed and the result could have been a draw or victory. This week will also see the return of Argentine star centre-back Cristian Romero from suspension which will be a big boost. While you can never write off teams that are coached by Ange, Man City are in imperious form and it’s unlikely Spurs will come away with any points from Etihad Stadium.

Ollie Watkins with an ???????????????????? finish for his 7th goal in his last 8 league games ????

Youri Tielemans and Villa’s leading scorer link up to put the away side ahead at Tottenham! ????

Stream LIVE, or on-demand after, here ???? #PL

— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 26, 2023

The pick of the upcoming Premier League fixtures sees Newcastle play Manchester United at home in a battle between sixth and seventh. Man United struggled to a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray midweek and are close to elimination from the Champions League.

Although they currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, they are flattering to deceive as they have already lost five times and their goal difference is zero.

Newcastle felt justifiably robbed after having a penalty awarded against them in the 98th minute of their Champions League match against PSG, which resulted in UEFA suspending the VAR official responsible for the decision.

A number of Socceroos have been making names for themselves in Europe, and this week saw some of them add to their growing reputations.

Manchester City’s Alex Robertson, on loan at League One’s Portsmouth and who has been starring in midfield and has been awarded multiple man of the match awards, scored his first goal earlier in the week against Burton.

In the Championship, Ipswich are second and are on track for promotion largely because of the fine form of midfielder Massimo Luongo, recalled to the Socceroos of late after almost a five year absence. He scored in a 3-1 win over Millwall, and defender Cameron Burgess who recently made his debut for the Socceroos, has also been playing well.

Total football. #itfc

— Ipswich Town (@IpswichTown) November 30, 2023

Over in Scotland, Lewis Miller scored his first goal and the winning goal for Hibernian but was later sent off. After securing a record A-League transfer from Melbourne City to Celtic earlier this year and racking up minutes for Celtic’s U-23 side, Marco Tilio made his debut for Celtic’s senior team.

In Holland, AZ Alkmaar’s Socceroo captain Maty Ryan and former A-League sensation Garang Kuol – currently on loan from Newcastle at Volendam – faced off, with Ryan keeping a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory.

In Germany, Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe helped St Pauli stay top of the Bundesliga 2 table, beating Hansa Rostock 3-2.

In Belgium, Westerlo’s Jordy Bos played the full 90 minutes in a loss to Charleroi to remain bottom of the table, and another Melbourne City transferee Aiden O’Neill also played the full match as Standard Leige beat Genk 1-0 to be eighth on the table.

The exciting and unpredictable A-League Men’s saw Brisbane Roar at home to table-topping Western Sydney Wanderers to kick off Round 6 with a 2-2 draw.

Bottom-of-the-table Western United play Wellington Phoenix, and Sydney FC play Perth Glory in the later televised match. Phoenix should be too strong despite playing away from home (their home record is much better than their away record), and Sydney should be too strong at home for Perth, who also usually don’t travel well.

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Central Coast Mariners against Melbourne Victory proves to be an interesting contest with the reigning champs getting their first win of the season last week, and Newcastle Jets play Melbourne City. In-form Victory should be too strong for a tired Mariners who also played a 1-1 draw at home midweek against Terengganu FC in the AFC Cup to stay top of their group. Newcastle should overcome City who travelled to Japan and back midweek for their Asian Champions League 3-3 draw with Ventforet Kofu to stay second on goal difference.

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Later, Macarthur play Adelaide United in a match that was moved because Macarthur’s earlier AFC Cup match was switched from Campbelltown to Thailand after their opponent Myanmar’s Shan United were refused visas by the Australian government. Macarthur won 4-0 to stay top of their group. Adelaide, with newly-signed Bayern Munich player Nestory Irankunda, should be too powerful for a travel-weary Macarthur.

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