Friday, 2 January 2015

A-League Round 14 Preview

Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Saturday, January 03, 6.30 PM (AEST)

Normally you’d back Sydney FC against the Jets, but without a win in six starts, no goals from their past two games and conceding five, confidence is a little thin. Graham Arnold is desperate for a win before the A-League takes a break for the upcoming Asian Cup tournament. The Jets are coming off an embarrassing display after Melbourne City notched their first win at Hunter Stadium. I’m thinking Sydney will take the three points and help ease some pressure. It would also keep them in the hunt for the top four. The match is being hosted at the “neutral’ venue of WIN Stadium in the ‘Gong. #SYDvNEW
Pick: Sydney FC H2H

Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Sunday, January 04, 2.00 PM (AEST)

Wellington are flying high at the moment after an impressive NYE win away to Adelaide United. Despite the Reds scoring an equaliser on the back of a darting run and assist by Awer Mabil to Sergio Cirio, the Phoenix dug deep and scored within five minutes, and again in added time, to hand Adelaide only their second loss at home this season. The Nix continue to shorten from $21.00 at the start of the season and sit fourth in betting to take out the title. The Roar are without a win in two rounds and need to find the net after a scoreless draw against Sydney mid-week. #WELvBRI
Pick: Wellington Phonix Roar H2H

Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Sunday, January 04, 4.00 PM (AEST)

The Mariners broke their long goal scoring duck at home against the Roar, but were unable to secure the three points after an exciting five goal second half. City has no trouble scoring goals after punishing the Jets on the back of a Robbie Koren hat trick. With Aaron Mooy considered unlucky by many at missing Ange Postecoglou’s Asian Cup squad, City will be strengthened across the park with he, Koren and Damien Duff all combining well. On the back of another flat performance against the Wanderers, I’m be sticking with the in-form City to take the maximum points on offer. #CCMvMCY
Pick: Melbourne City H2H

 Perth Glory v Adelaide United
nib Stadium, Perth 
Monday, January 7.00 PM (AEST)

This Monday night football clash takes us back a few weeks to the scene of the FFA Cup Final, although the home ground advantage will be with Perth this time. The Glory, despite their comfortable four-point lead at top of the ladder, surprisingly are tagged as the underdog in almost all of their games. On this occasion, they will enjoy slight favouritism but a deep source of revenge over Josep Gombau’s Reds. I’m predicting the Glory to bring up their 7th win of the season at nib Stadium. #PERvADL
Pick: Perth Glory H2H

Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Tuesday, January 06, 6.30 PM (AEST)

The Wanderers look set to retain Tony Popovic as coach for the time being, but are still wallowing and winless at the bottom of the A-League ladder. The task doesn’t get any easier when they host Kevin Muscat’s second-placed Melbourne Victory. The Wanderers will again struggle without Socceroos stars Tommy Juric and Matthew Spiranovic. It is a strange position for the young and successful club, with every team in the A-League keen to see the losing trend continue. Victory’s balance is always a little off kilter when captain Mark Milligan is out of the XI, so they will need to continue their strong attacking mindset, if they’re to retain that all important second spot. Keep an eye on the ‘To Score a Goal' market for the Wanderers' young winger Jaushua Sotirio, who has impressed with his speed and skill when called upon this season. #WSWvMVC
Pick: Melbourne Victory H2H

I’ll be on @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire A-league season with my previews and reviews of every game.







Sunday, 28 December 2014

A-League Round 13 Preview

Newcastle United v Melbourne City Jets
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Tuesday, December 30
4.00 PM (AEST)

The Jets return to Hunter Stadium this week, the scene of their first win of the season against Adelaide. Melbourne City will travel with plenty of confidence after sharing the points with league leaders Perth Glory in a match they probably thought they could have won. This is a difficult game to pick the winner given both the patchy form of both sides. I think Newcastle at home may just get the result given City have just one draw from six trips to the Hunter. #NEWvMCY
Pick: Newcastle Jets (Draw No Bet)

Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Tuesday, December 30
7.00 PM (AEST)

The Roar are back home at Suncorp Stadium for the first time since late November and will be up against an injury and form ravaged Sydney FC. New coach Frans Thijssen will be pleased with the fighting spirit and improved attack after an exciting 3-all draw with the Mariners, which saw Jean Carlos Solórzano net an impressive brace. Sydney FC are winless since the 22nd of November and have been kept scoreless in their past two encounters against Wellington and Adelaide at home. Coach Graham Arnold is feeling the pressure and will be hoping some reinforcements in the January transfer window will help change their fortunes. #BRIvSYD
Pick: Brisbane Roar H2H

Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Wednesday, December 31
6.30 PM (AEST)

Some pundits were beginning to think inaugural FFA Cup champions Adelaide United had reached a plateau in form after their loss to the Jets. How wrong they were! Resolute Reds scored three late goals to bury Sydney FC at home. They possess a wonderful team approach to their football, with many willing to stand up and contibute to their on-field success this year. Awer Mabil is always a great option to score, as in Sergio Cirio for first goal scorer. This promises to be an entertaining game between the two form teams in the competition. Adelaide narrowly beat the Nix 2-1 back in November with an added-time Cirio winner, but this will closer if Wellington can match their form. #ADLvWEL
Pick: Draw

Western Sydney Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Thursday, January 01
6.30 PM (AEST)

The Wanderers’ poor record this season can be talked about and attributed to many things, but at the end of the day victory is the only thing that will appease their loyal fans and supporters. Speculation over whether popular coach Tony Popovic will head to EPL club Crystal Palace will only destabilise an already shaky playing group, but with quality on and off the pitch, other clubs hope their woes continue. The Mariners showed plenty of heart against the Roar and finally netted some goals. They’ve only won once at Parramatta in five trips, but have never had a better chance against a struggling Wanderers outfit. #WSWvCCM
Pick: Wanderers (Draw No Bet)

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
Simonds Stadium, Geelong
Friday, January 02
6.40 PM (AEST)

The Victory grafted out an impressive win against a gallant Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on the back of a Gui Finkler set piece master class. Perth will be a different kettle of fish however, as they play their second match in Victoria in the space of a week. Simonds Stadium, Geelong, is the venue, so the change to the normally parochial home advantage enjoyed by the Victory at Etihad and AAMI may lift the spirits in the Glory, who have lost only one match away from nib Stadium all season. The top of the table clash should deliver on many levels, and the contrasting sideline style of the coaches will also be a highlight. Victory will be keen to claw back the four-point lead, but with Ben Khalfallah missing due to his 5th yellow card of the season, I’m tipping the Glory to continue their impressive away form. #MVCvPER
Pick: Perth Glory FC H2H

I’ll be on @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire A-league season with my previews and reviews of every game.

Monday, 22 December 2014

A-League Round 12 Preview

Melbourne City v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Friday, December 26
4.30 PM (AEST)

Melbourne City will still have a swagger and bragging rights after their late Derby win on the weekend, but the task ahead doesn’t get any easier as they host the current league leaders. The Glory’s record at AAMI Park is mixed, with only four wins from ten matches. They have recorded only one loss this season (Adelaide United) and their four goals against the Mariners has them just two goals adrift of Melbourne Victory as the best attacking team in the A-League. City are searching for their third consecutive win, which would help them, remain in the all-important top six. Based on form, I can’t split the teams and think the points will be shared in this Boxing Day battle. #MCYvPER
Pick: Draw

Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Allianz Stadium, Melbourne
Friday, December 26
6.45 PM (AEST)

The Sky Blues were extremely disappointing against a committed Phoenix outfit and will require plenty of improvement if they’re to challenge an Adelaide side keen to make a mends for their road trip loss to the Jets. Sydney’s defensive record has been the foundation of their season thus far, but was far from impressive as the side battles a growing injury list with veteran defender Sasa Ognenovski ruled out for the rest of the season. Graham Arnold’s team is without a win in over a month, but I have a feeling it may get worse before it gets better, given the alarming number of key “outs”. #SYDvADL
Pick: Adelaide United H2H

Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Saturday, December 27
4.00 PM (AEST)

The Mariners are a shadow of their former selves that saw them gain an Asian Champions League play-off qualification birth last season. With only one win this season, and a woeful goal differential of -12; things really need a hurry on. With the second worst attack in the league, they host Brisbane Roar, fresh from becoming the first team to leave Coopers Stadium with three points this season. For the Roar, it is a case of everything old is new again as Matt McKay was announced as the new club Captain following the untimely exit of Matt Smith to Bangkok Glass. Barring a massive form reversal, I think the Roar can get the job done in Gosford, where they have only suffered defeat twice in sixteen outings in the shadow of the famous ‘sauce bottles’. #CCMvBRI
Pick: Brisbane Roar H2H

Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday, December 27
6.30 PM (AEST)

The Victory are in unfamiliar territory this weekend after suffering their first loss of the season to cross-town Derby rivals Melbourne City. Kevin Muscat was seething following the late winner by Erik Paartalu and will be hoping the empty space on the score sheet will be distant memory. The Jets in contrast enjoyed their first win of the season against Adelaide, courtesy of a late goal by popular off-season signing Jeronimo Neumann. The Jets' record at AAMI isn’t too flash with only three wins from 12 starts at the venue. The last three meetings between the sides have ended in draws and they also shared the points when they met Melbourne City there back in round two. #MVCvNEW
Pick: Draw

Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Sunday, December 28
4.00 PM (AEST)

The Wanderers return home from Morocco still searching for that illusive win since the Asian Champions League final in early November. More travel awaits Tony Popovic’s side as fly across the ditch to face a Phoenix team enjoying a positive season earning them equal second on the most goals scored this season chart (21). Star signing Nathan Burns has chalked up 10 of those, which has him comfortably leading the ‘Golden Boot’ stats by three over Andy Keogh (Perth Glory) and Henrique (Brisbane Roar). The Nix have lost only one game from four starts at home this season (against Perth Glory in Round 1) and deserve their favoritism ahead of Sunday’s match. Incidentally, Wellington defeated the Wanderers 1-0 at the Cake Tin back in Round 5 on the Friday following their historic ACL Final win in Saudi Arabia. I think the Wanderers can finally break their duck and get a much-needed three points to tick the empty column on the stats sheet. #WELvWSW
Pick: Wanderers FC H2H

I’ll be on @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire A-league season with my previews and reviews of every game.

TattsBet.com Link:

 


Saturday, 20 December 2014

A-League Round 11 Preview

Newcastle United Jets v Adelaide United
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Friday, December 19
6.40 PM (AEST)

The newly crowned FFA Cup Champions didn’t have too much time to celebrate before hitting the road to take on a Jets team still struggling for their maiden win of the season. Newcastle have had the full week to prepare following a disappointing loss to a Perth Glory club in the midst of a salary cap scandal that could threaten to derail their most successful start to an A-League season. I feel Adelaide could suffer a Cup hangover and wouldn’t at all be surprised if a spirited Jets outfit chalk ups three points or at least a draw. #NEWvADL
Pick: Newcastle Jets (Draw No Bet)

Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, December 20
6.30 PM (AEST)

Melbourne City are a team that have promised plenty but are yet to deliver the consistent form that had them in the mix for the top four at last season. The first Melbourne Derby in October saw the Victory dominate on the back of a Berisha hat-trick and an Archie Thompson brace. It would be easy to say this game will gift the Victory maximum points, but a Derby always has a habit of wiping the slate clean in terms of current form lines. I have a feeling this one could end with both teams sharing the points. #MelbDerby
Pick: Draw
Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday, December 20
8.30 PM (AEST)

Perth return home following the bitter disappointment of Tuesday night’s FFA Cup final loss still fresh in their minds. The big question is can they turn their disappointment around and focus on maintaining their top position on the League ladder. There is little to get excited over with the Mariners and despite losing only five games from fourteen at nib stadium their form and price indicates the Glory should and will get the job done easily on Saturday night. #PERvCCM
Pick: Perth Glory H2H
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, December 21
4 PM (AEST)

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold will still be a little disappointed with the 3-3 draw on the road against the undefeated Victory. Both teams had chances in an intense and physical contest in front of a healthy Etihad crowd. The Phoenix struggled to convert plenty of chances against the Mariners in Auckland and will need to be on their game against the Sky Blues, who boast the best defence in the competition. With a record of only three wins, no draws and nine losses at Allianz it's hard to tip Wellington, even though they're already half way to equalling their total away wins from last season (4). #SYDvWEL
Pick: Sydney FC H2H


I’ll be on The TattsBet Brekky show @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire @Aleague season with my previews and reviews of every game.

James ‘Hamez’ Clark



Monday, 15 December 2014

FFA Cup Final (Adelaide United v Perth Glory)

Adelaide United v Perth Glory
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Tuesday December 16 
6:30pm (AEST) 2014

631 clubs from across the A-League and 22 qualified Federation members began the journey in April into the inaugural FFA Cup competition but only two remain.  Fans have embraced the romantic nature of the mid-week Cup concept ensuring the competition has a very bright future.

Adelaide United’s path to the final has been challenging since the A-League clubs entered the competition in the Round of 32.  Victories over Wellington Phoenix, Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Central Mariners has them as clear favourites as they host the final at Coopers Stadium. Perth Glory are flying high atop the A-League ladder and put aside the huge travel burden to qualify for the final after disposing of the Newcastle Jets, St Albans Saints SC, Melbourne Victory and the very popular Bentleigh Greens in suburban Melbourne in November.

Despite the advantage of a home ground sell-out, I give Perth Glory a realistic chance of taking the Cup back across the Nullarbor at good odds. Match winners Andy Keogh and set piece specialist Nebojsa Marinkovic will be hoping they can help find the net first over the “Red” hot Adelaide striker Sergio Cirio. Cup football often throws up classic finishes so the ‘Method Of Victory’ (Extra time and Penalty Shoot-out) is always good value as the game moves beyond the 90min mark.
My Tip: Perth Glory H2H

I’ll be on The TattsBet Brekky show @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire @Aleague season with my previews and reviews of every game.

James ‘Hamez’ Clark



Thursday, 11 December 2014

A-League Round 10 Preview

Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Friday, December 12
6.45 PM (AEST)

This is the Roar’s third game on the road in 10 days and they will be looking to bounce back following a disappointing effort against the struggling Melbourne City. This will be Matt Smith's last appearance in orange before he leaves the club for Thailand in what is the first player movement since the recent Mike Mulvey sacking debacle. The playing group will want to send the skipper out a winner, but the assignment could be a tall order against an Adelaide fresh from beating a Wanderers team which is now in Morocco for the World Club Cup match against Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul. Roar will need to be on song for every single minute against the Reds, who so far are undefeated at the cosy and crowded Coopers Stadium. #ADLvBRI
Pick: Adelaide United (H2H)

Perth Glory v Newcastle United Jets
nib Stadium, Perth
Friday, December 12
8.45 PM (AEST)

Perth Glory are going from strength to strength this season and return home after derailing Sydney FC’s unbeaten record. A Friday night game should suit the boys from the west as they prepare for next Wednesday night’s inaugural FFA Cup Final against Adelaide. Very difficult to see the winless Jets troubling the league leaders in this one, and if Irish import Andy Keogh has his way, then the Jets could be preparing for a long lonely red-eye flight home back to Hunter Stadium. #PERvNEW
Pick: Perth Glory (H2H). Andy Keogh (Glory) to score the first goal is good value ($5.00)

Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, December 13
2.00 PM (AEST)

Wellington Phoenix are a side relishing their football, particularly away from the comforts of the ‘Cake Tin’ in Wellington. Coach Ernie Merrick has instilled loads of self-belief in his playing group and it shows as they punch well above their weight on the A-League ladder (5th). Often labelled as pre-season wooden spoon favourites, the Nix are now a feared commodity at home and away, with players such as Nathan Burns, Roy Krishna and Roly Bonevacia all making an impact. The Mariners have already lost to Phoenix in Gosford this season in Round 2 and should find the task of stealing the three points at Eden Park in Auckland a very tough road assignment. #WELvCCM
Pick: Wellington Phoenix (H2H)

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC A-League
AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, December 13
6.30 PM (AEST)

This match-up promises to be another arm wrestle that sadly delivered a 0-0 draw last time they met in Round 6. The Victory are the only undefeated team remaining in the A-League and Kevin Muscat will be hoping that continues. Graham Arnold is the ultimate in preparing a team for big occasions and will be engaging his softly spoken, smiling assassin approach to pre-game media opportunities in a bid to derail the confidence of the Victory. This should be a classic clash and expect plenty of feeling between two very competitive outfits.
Pick: Melbourne Victory (Draw No Bet). Red Card ($3.80) or a Penalty ($3.15)
is always worth a look in these games with plenty of feeling.


I’ll be on @tattsbetbrekky every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire A-league season with my previews and reviews of every game.