The Newsroom previews the second round of the 2016/17 A-League season.
Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers
Just five months after these two teams faced off in the grand final, they meet again, still searching for their first three points of the season. The Wanderers are coming off a humiliating defeat at the hands of their cross-city rivals Sydney FC, having gone down 4-0 last weekend. With a poor start to the season, the Wanderers will be hoping to get over the current champions as a form of revenge for the grand final loss last season when they went down 3-1 at Adelaide Oval in May. The 20-year-old centre-back Jonathan Asproptamitis is likely to get his first start of the season courtesy of Artiz Borda’s suspension and club captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s proposed move to UAE club Hatta club.
Adelaide United kicked their season off with a 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets last Sunday and as the champions, they’ll certainly be hoping to put on a good performance at home. Despite the draw, there were positives to take out of their performance last week. The dynamic combination with Jesse Makouranas, Henrique and Sergio Cirio constantly showed the threat they pose on opposition defences.
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Sydney FC will be looking to continue their impressive form as they take on Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. The sky blues showed last week that they definitely won’t be a pushover this season, showing their class against Western Sydney Wanderers in the derby. Their defensive line is definitely something to keep an eye on in the match. The centre-back pairings of Matthew Jurman and Alex Wilkinson, with Danny Vukovic, in-goal, made it a tough task for the Wanderers to pose as a goal-scoring threat last week and they’ll certainly be wanting to continue the good form they’re in.
The Mariners’ emphatic 3-3 draw with Perth Glory will hopefully give Paul Okon’s men a momentum boost coming into this game. The side consisting of former Sydney FC players Jacques Faty, Mikael Tavares and Ivan Necevski has rejuvenated the side with an abundance of youth and experience which includes Connor Pain and Kwabena Appiah-Kubi.
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
The first Melbourne Derby of the season kicks off with a hint of added intensity. Not only will the match be the 20th Melbourne Derby but it will be the debut of arguably Australia’s greatest footballer, Tim Cahill, in Melbourne City colours. Melbourne Victory’s last-gasp draw in Brisbane last week will definitely give them the confidence to ensure that the defence is on its game for the whole 90 minutes. With the loss of James Troisi to injury, it allows new signing Mitch Austin to keep his starting position.
Melbourne City’s inclusion of Cahill in the side will definitely improve the quality in the side.With the likes of Bruno Fornaroli, Luke Brattan and Anthony Caceres, City have the ability to shift the tide in the derby which has largely seen Victory at the forefront of a derby that gets more fierce every time these teams take to the pitch.
Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
Photo of the Wanderers celebrating with fans from the WS Wanderers Twitter feed.