Producer - Radio TAB TattsBet Brekky Program @RadioTABAus
Hosted by John McCoy, Peter Psaltis @peterp79 Paul Sawtell
(5am-8am Mon-Fri AEST)
(5am-7am Sat & Sun AEST)
Football writer/contributor for:
telegraph.co.uk "World Cup Nation"
ABC Grandstand Online
Proud member of Football Media Association Australia @FMA_AUS
Last week an impressive 14 goals were scored across four
games, which will still have many of the goalkeepers waking up in a cold sweat.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the clubs most likely to join the
Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Adelaide City and Bentleigh Greens
in the pot for the all-important quarterfinal draw.
St Albans Saints (Vic) v Perth Glory (WA)
Kenny Lowe’s Perth Glory side have experienced a massive
changing of the guard over the off-season, and so far the form has been mixed
in pre-season results. The big question is how long before new combinations
take to gel and will the heavy burden of away days again impact on a squad
filled with promise? In the meantime a victory over the Saints will be the sole
focus of the group charged with building a new culture of success following on
from the disappointment of no finals football last season.
Tip: Perth Glory H2H (Pick the score; 2-1 for value)
Sydney United (NSW) v Sydney FC (NSW)
This will be the battle of 'Harbour City' and has the
makings of a great Sydney stoush. There is plenty of expectation on Sydney FC,
with experienced manager Graham Arnold installed at the helm. Arnold will
square off against an impressive Mark Rudan coached Sydney United side, and
plenty of passionate fans will ensure a great atmosphere for the FoxSports LIVE
telecast game. As Sydney FC’s short price indicates, they should win and win
well, but Arnold knows that simply turning up won’t guarantee their survival in
Tip: Sydney FC H2H
Adelaide United (SA) v Brisbane Roar (Qld)
This is probably the most anticipated clash of the Round
with current A-League Premiers and Champions Brisbane Roar looking to add
another trophy to their impressive record. Both sides will be keen to flex
their muscle ahead of their Round 1 A-League fixture at Suncorp Stadium on
October 12. Pocket rocket Henrique has been in startling pre-season form and is
a handy option if you’re looking to invest in the first goal scorer market.
Tip: Brisbane Roar H2H
Palm Beach Sharks (Qld) v South Springvale (Vic)
The recently crowned NPL (Qld) Premiers, Palm Beach Sharks,
have been the consistent performers all season and should have too much “Prince
Charming” class for the “Cinderella” third tier amateur Victorian outfit of
South Springvale. The impossible is always possible in ‘Cup’ football, but
based on current form, the Sharks might smell the blood in the water and call
‘last drinks’ on the only true Pub team left in the FFA Cup competition.
Of the 631 clubs competing in the inaugural FFA Cup, six of
the 10 A-League teams remain in contention. The FFA Cup concept is largely
based on the English FA Cup and gives an opportunity to smaller grass roots
minnow clubs in Australian football to be pitted against their professional and
more fancied A-League outfits.
The potential for the aptly named “banana-skin” upset in the
often talent mismatched encounters are what adds to the romance, as well as to
the value for the punter in us all.
Here’s a brief look at the four games on the radar this
week, with two A-League clubs (Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners)
both looking to avoid that ‘slippery’ path and progress to the quarterfinal
stage in October/November.
Sydney Olympic (NSW) ($2.35) v Bentleigh Greens (Vic)
This should be an entertaining and mouth-watering clash
between two teams given their rich Greek history and a distinct smell of BBQ
Souvlaki in the springtime air. I’m thinking Olympic could sneak home in this
one, but given what’s at stake, don’t be surprised if they require extra-time
to get the job done. The home ground advantage has been lessened with the
fixture moved from the Belmore Sports Ground to Lambert Park in Leichardt.
Tip: Sydney Olympic (Goal Margin by 1 goal)
Tuggeranong United (ACT) ($29.00) v Melbourne Victory (Vic)
Melbourne Victory will be raging favourites as they make the
long trip north to take on Tuggeranong United in the nation’s capital. Socceroo
Carl Valeri makes a long awaited return to his junior club for the ‘David &
Goliath’ battle that will ultimately see his classy professional Victory outfit
progress past the passion-filled ‘Tuggies’ team littered with plumbers,
accountants and hard working students.
Tip: Melbourne Victory Margin 2+ goals
Adelaide City (SA) ($2.15) v Brisbane Strikers (Qld) ($2.75)
This is the game that could throw up a surprise draw after
90mins. The Brisbane Strikers were National Premier League (Qld) Semi finalists
after finishing the season in fourth place. They will look to their in-form
striker Matthew Thurtell, who has scored 18 goals this season. In contrast,
Adelaide City finished sixth in the SA league dominated by MetroStars, but will
still be brimming with confidence after knocking off the highly fancied Asian
Cup semi-finalists, the Western Sydney Wanderers, back in August.
Tip: Draw after 90 mins
Olympic FC (Qld) ($8.50) v Central Coast Mariners (NSW)
Olympic FC will be hoping they can turn around their Grand
Final loss disappointment to Palm Beach on Friday night as they host Phil Moss’
Central Coast Mariners at QSAC in Brisbane. The Mariners are fresh from a 1-1
draw at Ballymore against A League Champions and Premiers Brisbane Roar. I
think fitness will decide this one, and despite my heart going with Olympic,
the head suggests the Mariners will come home strong and sail into the quarter
finals on the back of superior fitness.