Both Melbourne teams have experienced fluctuating seasons, but it is the away side that are the more settled heading into Saturday’s derby. They have a predictable starting XI and a very defined way of playing, meaning the tactical battle will rest on John Aloisi’s gameplan.
Brisbane Roar are the defending champions of the A-League, yet they sit ninth on the table, one point above cellar dwellers Sydney FC. Now Rado Vidosic has been replaced as head coach by Mike Mulvey, who has only ever been in charge of four A-League matches. It’s an astonishing turnaround for a side that was the pinnacle of the competition for two consecutive years, so what has gone wrong this season for the Roar?Continue reading
In a rare Friday night double header, back-to-back games featured a battle between two sides playing identical 4-2-3-1 formations. Then, the weekend’s marquee fixture, the Sydney derby, featured a similar match-up, with the preceding match, Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar, featuring two sides that could also be described as 4-2-3-1, although the Victory might be better described as a 4-4-2.
It would be easy to point to Shinji Ono’s first goal for the Wanderers – a late penalty against Brisbane to steal the win – as the moment in which he asserted himself in Australian football.
But the reality is that his performance a week later in the second ever Sydney derby was far more impressive. Ono didn’t tangibly affect the result with a goal – although he played in a fine cross for Michael Beauchamp’s goal – but he was the game’s key player, demonstrating outstanding vision and supreme awareness of space to allow the Wanderers to dominate the midfield. Given both sides were actively trying to compete in that zone, this proved crucial.
- A comfortable win for the competition’s form side.
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Travis Dodd scored a double as Perth ended a six game winless streak.
The second Sydney derby, the weekend’s marquee fixture, will be a fascinating gauge of either side’s season to date.
In the ten weeks that have passed between the two derbies, it is Sydney FC that has been through the more tumultuous period, with a change in coach and the introduction of some new personnel disrupting any logical tactical strategy.
By contrast, the Wanderers have enjoyed a relatively low-key start to life in the A-League, with Popovic electing for a settled side to execute a simple system, making for an intriguing contrast in this contest.
The Newcastle Jets have not won a match this season where Heskey hasn’t scored. It’s a curious statistic, and one that becomes alarming when you consider that the Jets haven’t won in since the 2-1 victory over the Wanderers exactly a month ago. The numbers suggest that Heskey is out of form and is the team’s key player, but the truth runs deeper.
As it were in the reverse fixture, a 1-0 win for the Wanderers over the defending champions.
Two goals were enough for Sydney to secure a rare win.