The first two rounds of this season’s A-League have produced a string of close matches.
Last weekend’s Rd 2 of the A-League produced another round of three drawn games taking the tally this season to six out of 10 matches being drawn games.
Sydney FC heads the table following the biggest win of the season, a 2-0 win in the Sydney derby. Behind Sydney are another six undefeated teams. Only the reigning champions, Melbourne Victory, are yet to post a point, with two successive losses. Last Sunday, they suffered an agonising defeat, having clawed their way from 2-0 deficit against Perth Glory, only to lose to an injury time Chris Ikonomidis strike for Glory.
This Saturday sees a triple header of Rd 3 A-League matches.
Newcastle Jets V Melbourne Victory, Sat 3/11/18 at 7.50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Both teams go into this match looking for a first win of the season.
Victory goes into this evening’s grand final replay without either of its recognised strikers, Kenny Athiu and Ola Toivonen, facing hamstring and calf injuries, respectively, which leaves coach Kevin Muscat with a problem of whether to continue with the new formation of two up front, or revert to last season’s 4-2-3-1. Whichever the case, Victory can expect a hostile reception in the Hunter for the first meeting since the grand final.
Wellington Phoenix V Western Sydney Wanderers Sat 3/11/18 at 5.35pm, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Mark Rudan’s Phoenix has made a promising start to the season, and will look to build on that with another good result against a Wanderers side which will be without coach Markus Babel after his sideline protest regarding a refereeing decision in the Sydney derby loss. The Wanderers face a Phoenix team which proved tough to break down in last week’s scoreless away draw against the Roar. Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante is set to play his 250 th A-League match, whilst young ex Sydney Olympic defender Tass Mourdoukoutas is recalled to the Wanderers squad.
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar Sat 3/11/18 at 10pm, NIB Stadium Perth
Glory returns home this week after a confidence boosting away win at the champions Victory. Coach Tony Popovic’s new attacking formation this season has Glory’s new recruit Chris Ikonomidis partnering Andy Keogh and it has proved fruitful with the Glory leading the scoring charts at this early stage. John Aloisi’s Roar are also undefeated but have proved wasteful in attack. Former Glory forward Adam Taggart returns home to lead the Roar against his former team for the first time. Veteran Roar midfielder Matt McKay is set to play his 250th A-League match.
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United Sun 4/11/18 at 5.00pm, Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Fresh from its midweek FFA CUP final triumph against Sydney FC, Adelaide United hits the road for an away game against the Mariners, boosted by the return from injury of Ryan Kitto, Nikola Mileusnic and Mirko Boland, as well as forward Apostolos Stamatelopoulos from international duty.
Both teams are undefeated in the league although winless. On the back of the FFA Cup triumph and with Goodwin in fine goal scoring form, the Reds may be too hot for the Mariners to handle. Last week, new recruit Ross McCormack scored his maiden goal for the Mariners, against his former club Melbourne City, but the Marine’s could consider themselves fortunate to escape with a point.