A-League preview – Round 25

Round 25 of A-League action kicks off tonight with the match of the round between Gold Coast United and Melbourne Victory.

Round 25 of A-League action kicks off tonight with the match of the round between Gold Coast United and Melbourne Victory.

Third-placed United will be looking to get one back on their likely finals rivals who have beaten them in both encounters and push for a top-two finish to better their chances of clinching the title in just their first season.

But they come up against a rampant Victory side who have scored 12 goals in their past three outings and hold down top spot by two points.

The visitors are definitely good enough to win this one and I’m tipping them to get up narrowly over Gold Coast.

Gold Coast United v Melbourne Victory
Date: Friday 29 January 2010
Venue: Skilled Park, Robina
Local Kick-Off: 7.30pm (8.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Chris Beath
Head-to-Head: Played 2: Gold Coast United wins 0, Melbourne Victory wins 2

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 3. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

Gold Coast United squad: 1.Jess VANSTRATTAN (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 11.Charlie MILLER, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 17.Matt OSMAN, 18.James BROWN, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.ANDERSON, 36.Dino DJULBIC, *three to be omitted*
In: James BROWN (promoted), Andrew BARISIC (promoted), Steve FITZSIMMONS (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Adama TRAORE (ankle injury – 1 week), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury – indefinite), JEFFERSON (knee injury – indefinite)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Nathan ELASI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19. Evan BERGER, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 21.Robbie KRUSE, 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 25.Aziz BEHICH, 26.Marvin ANGULO, *three to be omitted*
In: Aziz BEHICH (promoted), Nathan ELASI (promoted), Matthew FOSCHINI (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Billy CELESKI (knee - season), Mate DUGANDZIC (calf - 1 week), Steven PACE (abdomen - indefinite), Surat SUKHA (hamstring - 1 week)

Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United kick of the first of a Saturday triple header when they clash at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium.

Both sides take mediocre form into the match highlighted by Wellington’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Victory on Tuesday whilst the Reds find themselves three points behind on the bottom of the table after losing 2-0 to Melbourne last Saturday.

Home advantage, although it is not Wellington’s usual ground, should be enough to keep them in the top six and I think the Phoenix will salute.

Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
Date: Saturday 30 January 2010
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Local Kick-Off: 7:00pm (5.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Peter O'Leary
Head-to-Head: Played 8: Wellington Phoenix wins 0, Adelaide United wins 4 (4 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is The Radio Network 1035 AM (Wellington) and 107.9 Life FM (Adelaide). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.co.nz

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 15. Eugene DADI, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 40. Liam REDDY (gk), *one to be omitted*
In: DANIEL (promoted)
Out: Costa BARBAROUSES (omitted)
Unavailable: Mark PASTON (gk) (leg – season), Vince LIA (suspended – 1 week)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 7. Lucas PANTELIS, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 10.Adam HUGHES, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15.Francesco MONTEROSSO, 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Michael MARRONE, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 25. Evan KOSTOPOULOS, 40.Nick MUNRO (gk), *one to be omitted*
In: Lucas PANTELIS (returns from suspension), Kristian SARKIES (promoted), Francesco MONTEROSSO (promoted), Evan KOSTOPOULOS (promoted from youth team), Nick MUNRO (gk) (promoted from youth team)
Out: Mark RUDAN (quad – 1 week), ALEMAO (hip – 1 week), CRISTIANO (knee – 1 week), Lloyd OWUSU (on trial in China), Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) (groin – 1 week)
Unavailable: Paul REID (groin – 2 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee – long term injury list), CASSIO (calf – 2 weeks)

In a clash of two rival states, Brisbane Roar hosts Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Roar are determined to grab all three points here and push for a finals berth so will likely go with an attacking formation to break down a Sydney defence that has conceded the least amount of goals in the competition.
Brisbane have failed to win in their past four outings so they may have forgotten what to do to get themselves over the line, especially against a team sitting second on the table.

The Sky Blues have mixed their form with a win, a draw and a loss in the last three matches but their 3-1 away win over the Newcastle Jets last week bodes well for this challenge.

However, I feel the Roar have a little more to play for and could cause an upset here.

Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Date: Saturday 30 January 2010
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Local Kick-Off: 6.00pm (7.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Michael Hester
Head-to-Head: Played 16: Brisbane Roar wins 4, Sydney FC wins 5 (7 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 1. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Matt HAM (gk), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Pieter COLLEN, 6. David DODD, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Steven BRYCE, 11. REINALDO, 13. HENRIQUE, 14. Adam SAROTA, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk), 21. Tommy OAR, 22. Ivan FRANJIC, *two to be omitted*
In: Adam SAROTA (promoted), HENRIQUE (returns from injury)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Josh McCLOUGHAN (hip flexor - 1 week)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 3.Stephan KELLER, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 6.Karol KISEL, 7.Brendan GAN, 8.Stuart MUSIALIK, 9.John ALOISI, 10.Steve CORICA (c), 12.Shannon COLE, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 15.Terry MCFLYNN, 16.Chris PAYNE, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22.Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26 Hayden FOXE, *one to be omitted*
In: Nil
Out: Mark BRIDGE (Toe – 4 weeks)
Unavailable: Kofi DANNING (knee – season), Matthew JURMAN (foot – season), Sebastian RYALL (knee – 3 weeks)

The final Saturday night match features North Queensland Fury at home to the Newcastle Jets.

The Fury still have a mathematical chance of pushing for a top-six finish so will pulling out all the necessary tricks to gain three points here and the much-publicised dispute involving coach Ian Ferguson and marquee striker Robbie Fowler is sure to fire them up.

In the Jets camp, things were running smoothly until a home loss to Sydney last week stopped their solid form but a win here would almost ensure them finals football and I expect them to come out all guns blazing and win in a tight contest.

North Queensland Fury v Newcastle Jets
Date: Saturday 30 January 2010
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Local Kick-Off: 8.00pm (9.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Head-to-Head: Played 2: North Queensland Fury wins 0, Newcastle Jets wins 2 (0 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 1. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

North Queensland Fury squad: 1.Paul HENDERSON (gk), 2.Robbie MIDDLEBY, 3. Chris TADROSSE, 6. Ufuk TALAY, 7.Jason SPAGNUOLO, 9.Robbie FOWLER (c), 11. David WILLIAMS, 12.Jack HINGERT, 13.Beau BUSCH, 14.Chris GROSSMAN, 16. Paul KOHLER, 17. Osama MALIK, 19. James DOWNEY, 20. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 24 Dyron DAAL, 26 Matt SMITH, 21. John TAMBOURAS, *three to be omitted*
In: Jack HINGERT (promoted), Osama MALIK (promoted), John TAMBOURAS (promoted), Robbie FOWLER (returns to squad), Chris GROSSMAN (promoted)
Out: Jeremy BROCKIE (Broken Leg – 8/10 weeks), Grant SMITH (not selected)
Unavailable: Jacob TIMPANO (hamstring 2 - 4 weeks), Scott WILSON (knee – indefinite), Shane STEFANUTTO (knee – indefinite), James ROBINSON (knee- indefinite), Karl DODD (knee – indefinite), Terry COOKE (not selected), Fred AGIUS (not selected)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Michael BRIDGES, 15. Sean ROONEY, 16. Jason HOFFMAN, 22. Kaz PATAFTA, 25. Labinot HALITI, 26. Ali ABBAS, 30. Dion SHAW (gk), *one to be omitted*
In: Jason HOFFMAN (promoted), Kaz PATAFTA (promoted)
Out: Angelo COSTANZO (not selected)
Unavailable: Shaun ONTONG (Achilles – indefinite), Fabio VIGNAROLI (knee – indefinite), Marko JESIC (knee – indefinite), Neil YOUNG (gk) (face – 2/3 weeks)

And finally, fifth-placed Perth Glory take on seventh-placed Central Coast Mariners in a match that could help shape the top six.

The Glory notched up an important win at home against Wellington last week and a repeat performance here would see them keep clear of any sides trying to knock them out of the finals.

The Mariners have not won in eight matches and have slowly fallen down the table after a brilliant start to the season and I cannot see them recording a 10th head-to-head win against the Glory who find something extra when playing at home.

Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
Date: Sunday 31 January 2010
Venue ME Bank Stadium, Perth
Local Kick-Off: 4.00pm (7.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Gerard Parsons
Head-to-Head: Played 14: Perth Glory wins 1, Central Coast Mariners wins 9 (4 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 6PR (Perth) 882AM and 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Danny McBreen, 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Chris COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 11. Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Scott BULLOCH, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC, 28. Tommy AMPHLETT, *three to be omitted*
In: Branko JELIC (promoted), Scott NEVILLE (promoted), Tommy AMPHLETT (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Wayne SRHOJ (knee – 1 week), Viktor SIKORA (thigh – 1 week)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Nik MRDJA, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK.
In: Nicky TRAVIS (promoted)
Out: Nigel BOOGAARD (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: Nigel BOOGAARD (suspended), Ahmad ELRICH (ankle – indefinite)

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