Two Melbourne teams sit atop the A-League table ahead of this weekend’s Round 6 which is a slightly shortened round due to the fact that three teams (Perth, Western Sydney and Phoenix) are having byes and there’s only four matches instead of the usual five.
The two Melbourne teams (Melbourne City and Western United) at the top, get the chance to consolidate their position at the head of the table. This week’s round sees a number of squads affected by players absent on international duty.
The round kicks off on the Central Coast on Saturday.
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United | Saturday 16 November, 5.00 pm | Central Coast Stadium
The Mariners are back at home this week after two weeks away, including the long trip to Perth. Their fans are hoping they can bounce back after their 3-1 loss to Melbourne City last week.They’ll be without midfielder Daniel DeSilva and defender Kye Rowles absent due to international duty this week. Striker Jordan Murray scored against City after coming on as a sub and may get a start this week. They’ll face an Adelaide side trying for a hat trick of wins. United’s young star Riley McGree scored a last gasp winner against the Roar last week and he’ll be present for the visit to the Mariners because he has been stood down from the Olyroos squad which is in China for a friendly warm up tournament. However the Reds will be without another talented youngster Al Hassan Toure who was included in the Olyroos squad. James Troisi starred for the Reds in last week’s match against the Roar.
Western United v Newcastle Jets | Saturday 16 November, 7.30 pm | GMHBA Stadium
Second placed United will be aiming to make it three wins in a row against the Jets later today. They unearthed another goal scoring option in striker Kwabena Appiah-Kubi who scored the match winner last week against the previously unbeaten Wanderers, during Beshart Berisha’s absence. Berisha returns to the squad this week, which will be missing Josh Risdon on Socceroos duty and a still injured Panagiotis Kone. Likewise the Jets will be missing Panamanian striker Abdiel Arroyo and Bobby Burns on international duty. On the plus side, the Jets welcome the return of skipper and central defender Nigel Boogaard. The Jets are one of three teams yet to open their account this season and it’s difficult to see them upsetting a United team high on confidence.
Prediction: United win
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City | Sunday 17 November, 4.00 pm | Dolphin Stadium
A winless Roar get the chance to score the upset of the round when it hosts top of the table and undefeated Melbourne City which has made its best ever start to an A-League season. The Roar has played 270 minutes without finding the back of the net despite Jay O’Shea creating more chances than any other player in the competition. Their fans may wish that former Roar favourite and now Melbourne City striker, Jamie MacLaren, was back at the club. Instead he’ll be returning back from injury to partner up with Craig Noon, to menace the Roar defence.
Prediction: Melbourne City win
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory Sun | 17 November, 6.30 pm | Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
The Big Blue derby normally produces a fiercely contested match, but Victory look vulnerable at the moment especially with a depleted defence facing a potent Sydney attack. Victory defenders Thomas Deng and Storm Roux will miss due to international duty as will forwards Kenny Athiu and Elvis Kamsoba. Forward Robbie Kruse has been rushed back into the squad and could make his first appearance of the season for Victory alongside skipper Ola Toivonen.
Sydney FC will be without marauding full back Rhyan Grant and keeper Andrew Redmayne away on Socceroo duty.
The last time these two met was in last year’s semi final, which resulted in a dismal 6-1 loss for Victory. One of the players Kosta Barbarouses was on the receiving end that day, but now with Sydney, he’ll no doubt be determined to put the memory of that heavy defeat to one side in his bid to secure the Sky Blues fourth win of the season and consolidate their place in the top four.
Prediction: Sydney win