A-League preview - Round 6
A-League Round 6 kicks off tonight with Adelaide United home to the underrated Central Coast Mariners. The Reds are in desperate need of a home win and welcome back skipper Travis Dodd against a Mariners outfit that have taken all before them and currently sit in third place.
Like most, I have written off the Mariners recently but their fighting qualities may be enough to get them over the line at Hindmarsh but Aurelio Vidmar's boys really need a win. Verdict: 1-1 draw.
Branko Culina will have young trio Ben Kanatrovski, Sean Rooney and Jason Hoffman for one last match before they ship off to Egypt with the Australia U20 squad for the World Cup for the best part of a month but should welcome back marquee man Fabio Vignaroli.
In the Roar camp, Brazilian striker Reinaldo will join forces with Sergio van Dijk to form a potent and powerful attacking duo which may have enough firepower to edge past the Jets, but only if the team can maintain their discipline. Verdict: 2-1 Roar.
Saturday night has the potential to be a blockbuster in Sydney.
The ex-Liverpool star scored an absolute bottler last week and if he is given any slack against the Sky Blues, is capable of producing the same all over again.
Coach Vitezslav Lavicka is confident of a win and in front of home fans should achieve that result. Verdict: 2-1 Sydney.
Wellington Phoenix travel to Melbourne on Sunday and find the Victory at their most vulnerable with departures and injuries ravaging their side.
However, Costa Rican Carlos Hernandez is due back from international duty whilst inspirational skipper Kevin Muscat is a 50-50 chance to play.
That duo will go a long way to replacing Danny Allsopp who has left the club for Qatar and Billy Celeski who will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
The Phoenix will be without former Victory man Adrian Caceres and may come up short against Ernie Merrick's men. Verdict: 2-0 Victory.
Glory coach Dave Mitchell has strengthened his side with experience, bringing in veteran Jamie Harnwell, former skipper Jamie Coyne and recalling striker Eugene Dadi.
In the Gold Coast camp, arguably the A-League's best player, Jason Culina, is back from international duty to bolster the midfield but striker Joel Porter will miss.
Brazilian Milson looks an apt replacement for Porter who has been a brilliant foil for Shane Smeltz.
It appears a very attacking contest with United just coming out on top. Verdict: Gold Cost 3-2.