Last week’s A-League round continued the trend of close score lines with the exception of Sydney FC’s 4-1 home win over the Jets. It also produced a couple of surprises with the Mariners scoring their first win of the season away to Glory, with another talented teen Sam Silvera, emerging to grab the headlines. New kids on the block Western United also upset the Victory coming from behind to win their first ever derby.
This week’s round 5 is the Remembrance Round and honours service men and women who have lost their lives in conflict. The round kicks off on Friday evening in Melbourne when City hosts the Mariners. Sydney FC has the bye this round.
Saturday’s matches start in Newcastle.
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory, Saturday 9 November, 5.00 pm | McDonald Jones Stadium
Both teams lost last week, and between them have just one win all season. Jets coach Ernie Merrick will be keen to shore up his defence which was ruthlessly exposed by Sydney FC last week. Glory coach Tony Popovic felt his side made a lethargic start in last week’s home loss to the Mariners and made costly defensive errors. Defenders James Meredith and Tomislav Mrcela come back into the Glory squad. Perth was unlucky not to equalise against the Mariners last week and will be determined not to make the same errors against the Jets.
Prediction: Glory win
Western United v Western Sydney Wanderers, Saturday 9 November, 7.30 pm | GMHBA Stadium,
It’s fourth hosting second in what looms as the match of the round. Mark Rudan’s United staged an epic come from behind win against Victory with Scott McDonald’s maiden goal proving the match winner. They host an undefeated Wanderers team who retain key midfielder Pirmin Schweigler after an injury scare, but lose central defender and Socceroo Matt Jurman to a groin injury. United recalls pacey forward Apostolos Stamatelopoulos to the squad from injury.
Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix, Sunday 10 November, 4.00 pm | AAMI Park
Both teams are coming off losses in which they surrendered the lead to the opposition last week. They each conceded three goals after scoring first (twice in Victory’s case), a sign perhaps of a loss in confidence when they concede. Toivonen continues to lead well from the front for Victory, whilst for Phoenix, British import Gary Hooper scored his first A-League goal last week. One suspects Phoenix would be happy to return to Wellington with a point but that anything less than a win would be a disappointment for Victory fans.
Prediction: Victory win
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar, Sunday 10 November, 6.00 pm | Coopers Stadium
The Reds, fresh from a bye last round, host the Roar who picked up a valuable point in a scoreless draw away to the Wanderers last week. The Roar has yet to win a match and have scored just one goal in three matches this season. It’s hard to see them kicking a winning score against United and if they do decide to be a bit more adventurous, United have no shortage of scoring options and pace to launch quick counter attacks. In Riley McGree and James Troisi they have two attacking midfielders who can also score goals.
Prediction: Adelaide win.