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TRIBAL TALKING POINTS - A-League Round 11: Melb City face tough task; Jets fine without Donovan; Victory push for top-six;

Despite the controversy, innuendo and distractions off the field, their actually is a competition taking place at the moment, if you hadn't noticed. The A-League may be facing it's toughest period since it's inception, but that hasn't stopped clubs from focusing on what is directly ahead of them. As the season roars towards the midway point, teams have familiarised themselves with each other and hopefully, for the viewers sake, the trepidation that is usually accompanied with the unknown will be thrown out the window and free-flowing, attacking football with rein free.

Here is everything you need to know for Round 11 of the A-League is here in Tribal Football's Talking Points:



Can Melbourne City stop the rampaging Sky Blues?

Super Sydney has certainly asserted their superiority. After spending the better part of two seasons building on great team performances, last weeks game was certainly their masterpiece.

A 5-0 smashing of a helpless Western Sydney Wanderers had eyebrows raised from every fan across the country, and a couple of important questions now have to be asked.

Firstly, is this the greatest side the A-League has ever seen? Perhaps only rivalled by Ange Postecoglou's Championship winning Brisbane Roar side, Sydney have well and truly staked their claim as the best team to ever kick a ball in Australia's top flight division. They score goals with ease, and they can defend vigorously. They can decimate opponents, or grind out tough results. Their weaknesses are very difficult to identify, which leads to the next big question that must be asked.

How in the world do you stop them? Melbourne City are a side certainly capable of figuring that out. Perhaps rumours of a Graham Arnold departure have unsettled them? Could there be a kink in the Sydney armour? We'll wait and see.

It's also worth noting, Milos Ninkovic has been added to the squad for the game in Friday night. That's a bit unfair really.

Brodie Cowburn




Will Jets keep firing with their prolific Irishman?

This season's surprise packet Newcastle Jets continue to turn heads with their blistering form this season. Sitting nicely in 2nd behind last year's champions, the Jets success this campaign is made even more impressive considering the loss of their marquee man Ronny Vargas earlier this season.

This week, the Jets have been dealt yet another injury blow with the influential Roy O'Donovan ruled out for up to 3 months due to a groin strain.

As influential as he may be, however, the Jets seem to be flying with or without the Irishman. With the Jets in no rush to replace him, their young squad will continue to fill the void.

Given their form and brand of football, they're looking tough to get past regardless.

On the other side of the coin Adelaide are coming off a monumental away win over arch rivals Melbourne Victory, their first at Etihad stadium in years. The aspect of underdogs away from home won't faze them after shaking off that Victory hoodoo, but the ramifications of that game are worse than you'd hope.

The two red cards for Daniel Adlung and Ben Garrucio gives United a bit of a selection headache. Losing one player to a sending off is somewhat manageable for a club, but 2 starting XI players makes for an interesting mix.

On top of that, they'll be gunning for some revenge for their round 6 loss to the Jets. A tough ask with two key players out? Most likely, but that hasn't stopped anyone before.

Chris Sermeno




Wanderers looking to recover after embarrassing derby defeat

That got real ugly, real quick. The Wanderers were left to pick up the pieces on Saturday night, after being put to the sword to the tune of 5-0 by the cross town rivals.

It typifies what has been a tough period for the Western Sydney side, as they have struggled in their transition to life under manager Josep Gombau. Gombau's talent as a gaffer is unquestionable, but his start has been far from inspiring.

Their clearest and most obvious problem is they can't put the ball in the back of the net. The Wanderers have now gone over a month without scoring, which is a horribly painful stat. With the inclusion of Spanish import Oriol Riera, they will certainly be doing themselves some favours on this front.

Football can be a complicated game requiring intense analysing and debates at times, sometimes it can be simple. This problem is simple. You can't win if you can't score. Wanderers need to find their spark, and quickly.

Brodie Cowburn




Who will suffer from the distance derby?

It's distance derby time again. Only this time, it's Perth's time to host.

Perth Glory will be out for revenge this derby after being slaughtered 5-2 by the Wellington Phoenix in round six.

Both teams are desperate for another win this season, with the Phoenix's sole win being their previous win over Perth, while Perth have only had three wins so far this season.

With both teams struggling for wins this season it's no surprise that they sit at the bottom of the table with Glory and Phoenix, 8th and 10th, respectively. Both teams need a win this round or they will be left behind by the rest of the league and will be left with no hope of finals.

We can expect to see a lot of goals from the fixture, as 13 goals have been scored in their last two meetings, as well as both teams leading the most goals conceded count this season. Yet, Phoenix managed their first clean sheet for the season last week.

Will Phoenix manage to get their second clean sheet of the season, or will it be raining goals at nib stadium on Saturday night?

Mikaela Pratt




Can Victory break Roar's Suncorp strong hold?

It's time for a round six rematch!

Last time Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory played each other it ended in a one all draw.

Now, in round eleven things couldn't be tighter between these two teams, with a spot in the top six up for grabs. Both teams have won only two games this season, both teams have only 10 points to their names, and both teams need to prove themselves.

The Roar are unbeaten in their last three home games, and with the strong inclusion of Thomas Kristensen, for the first time this season, the Roar will be looking to take home all three points in front of their home crowd.

The Victory will be missing Mark Milligan, after a hamstring injury in last week's game, but will be looking to rebound after their shocking loss last week to a nine-man Adelaide United.

Will the Roar's strong home record be too hard for the Victory to overcome, or will the Victory replace the Roar in the top six?

Mikaela Pratt

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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