The Roar’s A-League Men tips and predictions: Round 8

It was my turn to make a move in the tipping and four successful selections have seen me roar to the top of the pops alongside the voice of the people.

Matchday 8 of the A-League Men’s looks a potential tipping disaster, though.

Saturday night’s Big Blue headlines the weekend, Western United are on the brink of disaster without a better performance against the impressive Roar on Friday night and last start losers Western Sydney and Adelaide do battle in the second of the Friday matches that begin the four days of football.

Elsewhere, the Jets and Perth will scrap for some much needed points in the Hunter, Macarthur will look to continue their golden run against the Phoenix and Melbourne City can make Central Coast’s path to the finals a long and arduous one with a win on home soil.

Good luck with your tips for the round and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to have a say in the well-performing voice of the crowd. Here’s the way the panel sees all the action unfolding across Round 8.

Newcastle’s Apostolos Stamatelopoulos (L) celebrates a goal with Lucas Mauragis. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Texi Smith

United, Adelaide, Newcastle, Sydney, City, Wellington

Finally, the Western United losing streak comes to an end this Friday night as they return to AAMI Park to take on high-flying Brisbane Roar. The Aloisi Derby will be thrown on its head by an early send-off for the visitors after they start strongly. Tom Heward-Belle will still be the busier of the two keepers, but a change in formation and style after the break will see Michael Ruhs and Nikita Rukavytsya combine to score a breakaway goal and the home team then hang on for an unconvincing but precious victory.

Western Sydney Wanderers will be worried at how easily Bruno Fornaroli found the net last weekend, but they were unfortunate to leave their comeback too late to snatch a point. Adelaide United were surprisingly impotent against a fizzy Brisbane Roar team, but they will not make the same mistake again.

The game will be headed for a stalemate when Musa Toure miskicks a cross that floats over Lawrence Thomas and under the bar for a freak winning goal. Neither team coming out of the game with any glory; a sparse crowd at Commbank Stadium that is announced as 10,000 to gasps, and Adelaide back to winning ways.

Following a freak win in Wellington on the weekend, the belief has flooded back into the Jets team. The simplicity of their play, picking their moments to push forward, will continue against Perth Glory on Saturday, the Western Australians unlucky to lose to Melbourne City at home last week.

Wellington’s Kosta Barbarouses. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The crowds are back at McDonald Jones stadium, the Jets are looking hungry, and with Trent Buhagiar recalled, they will terrorise the Perth defence. A sublime finish from Reno Piscopo will have the Jets in the lead and a strong second half will see them add further goals on the break, to leave Glory in tatters despite a string of spurned chances for the visitors.

If Sydney FC play as though they have ten men, this could be a famous victory at Melbourne Victory. Adam Pavlesic will continue in goal, and we will finally see the power of Fabio Gomes as he scores two headed goals in a frantic first half to divert eyes away from Victory’s own goal scoring machine.

Zinedine Machach will blast home a goal with ten minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish, but it will be Sydney who close out the game, Joe Lolley scoring with his right foot, as the Sky Blues snatch the points in this traditionally bitter interstate rivalry.

Melbourne City are simply not the team they were two years ago. That doesn’t mean that they can’t turn it around this season as their players get back to their best, and last week’s away win in Perth was another step in the right direction.

The Mariners come into Sunday’s game on song after demolishing the hapless Western United last weekend, but City are a much tougher proposition. In the end, Steven Ugarkovic will score from long range to finally break the deadlock on the hour, Jacob Farrell will score his own searing effort from outside the box to level and just as the Mariners think they’ve turned the game in their favour, up steps Jamie Maclaren to score two quick-fire poacher’s goals to secure another win in the City revival.

Macarthur FC’s Matthew Millar celebrates a goal. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

We’re approaching the Christmas season and the scheduling takes on a world of its own. This time it’s Wellington Phoenix in Campbelltown to face the impressive Macarthur FC on Monday night, and what a game we have, 1st v 3rd and the Phoenix smarting after a pasting at home last time out.

Macarthur were second best with a man advantage last weekend, but got the job done, and Wellington will take full advantage to get back to winning ways and soar to the top of the A-League ladder. The three-goal margin of last week will be matched here, Oskar Zawada scoring early on, and David Ball running riot at the end to nullify that freak result against the Jets and bring a sense of reality back to Macarthur after a terrific start to the season.

Stuart Thomas

Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle, Victory, City, Macarthur

After a cracking four from six last week, this should be a walk in the park. How on earth could anyone tip Western United against the second placed Brisbane Roar? It is simply not logical to do so, yet John Aloisi knows time is running out for his team and he will have them primed for this clash. Surely the Roar don’t muck this one up?

Neither Western Sydney nor Adelaide will be looking forward to consecutive losses. The Reds are on the road and will pinch the points as the Wanderers stumble again. Newcastle and Perth do battle in a desperate fixture and something of a toss of the coin, despite the Jets shock win over the Phoenix last time out. Home ground advantage to the Jets swings it in their favour.

Melbourne Victory will beat Sydney FC in the Big Blue……with ease. However Bruno Fornaroli will score just once in a tight affair.

Four more for Melbourne Victory’s Bruno Fornaroli? (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Melbourne City are beginning to show signs of life and the Mariners aren’t far behind them. This could be a beauty in Melbourne and the home side will likely have a weapon or two too many.

Macarthur tackles Wellington in the final match of the round and after a poor loss last time out, the visitors will be looking for a far better performance. Macarthur lead the league and are yet to lose. Another three points will be heading their way in front of their biggest ever crowd at Campbelltown.

Andrew Prentice

Brisbane, Western Sydney, Newcastle, Victory, City, Macarthur

Last week, I confidently predicted a virtual round of home bankers. One home team won. But I’m stubbornly sticking with logic in this most illogical of leagues. It’s always darkest before the dawn, so the saying goes. In Western United’s case, that dawn looks as far away as a purpose-built stadium at Tarneit.

John Aloisi’s team has been beaten 6 times in a row, and while redemption stories are the stuff of sport, it’s hard to see where a victory is going to come from. This weekend’s added spice is that he is facing his brother Ross as a coaching adversary. Could it possibly happen that a Ross-led Roar win might spell the end of his brother’s coaching tenure at Western? I hope not, but feel a Brisbane win is on the cards.

The Wanderers let Melbourne Victory off the leash in the first half at Parramatta last week. I’d say Marko Rudan has spent all week emphasising the importance of solid starts. Adelaide have run into trouble of their own, and there is some sense of disquiet with Carl Veart’s exciting young charges, two of whom ended their games in tears against the Roar.

Sydney FC’s Anthony Caceres. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

If the Wanderers defensive midfield can keep Zac Clough shackled, a return to the winners circle could follow. Rudan will be aware of the Reds wide threats though, so its no sure thing.

The biggest form turnaround of Round 7 had to be the Jets 3-0 win over Wellington in New Zealand’s capital. If you saw that coming, please replace me at the tipping desk! This time around, they face a Perth side whose form slide has got to be a worry for coach Alen Stajcic. And they’re on the road again, a place they have much less enthusiasm for than Willie Nelson.

The Jets though haven’t won at home yet this season, but that’s a stat skewed by dirt bikes and Paul McCartney. They should put that right this weekend.

The Victory were superb for 60 minutes against the Wanderers last week. Bruno Fornaroli bagged 4 goals in a game for the second time this season to top the scoring charts. Significantly, he started the scoring spree in Round 1 against Sydney.

The lighter shade of the Big Blue were unlucky last week, outplaying Macarthur despite being reduced to 10 players after the ludicrous 15th minute send-off of Andrew Redmayne. To get nothing from the game after such an effort may be deflating in the face of the Victory, who still haven’t lost this season.

Hopefully, one of the marquee fixtures in the A League calendar can deliver the goods in prime time. The home side should win this.

Western Sydney Wanderers players celebrate with the crowd. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

The last time the Mariners and City crossed paths, tens of thousands of Coasties celebrated a 6-1 Grand Final thumping. However, things don’t stay still in the football world. Both clubs have changed coaches, both have lost significant playing personnel, and both have made uncertain starts in the league.

City have secured a place in the knockout phase of the AFC Champions League after their result on Tuesday night. At time of typing, the Mariners were travelling to the Philippines to try to achieve a similar feat in the AFC Cup.

The A League champions have had an uptick in form, but seem to struggle backing up from midweek duties. They’ll have a day’s less rest and about 14,000km more flying time to cope with. City may gain some GF revenge on Sunday.

Macarthur did enough to beat a short-staffed Sydney last week and top the table on merit. Ironically, they do that at the expense of their opponents, who inexplicably dropped their bundle at home against the Jets.

Ulises Davila will relish a match-up with his old team mates, and is showing the kind of form that made him a huge favourite with the Phoenix. Away from home, Wellington’s modus operandi has been defend and hit on the counter, a similar strategy to that employed by Mile Sterjovski’s side.

Macarthur have their own Philippines trip to deal with on Thursday night but they have so far not shown ill-effects from midweek travel. It could be the great Campbelltown stand-off, but the home side deserve to be favourites.

Here’s the latest scores and as always, get involved as part of The Crowd and take on The Roar’s expert tipsters using the form below.



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