Where are we, what’s happened and how did we get here. Three quarters through the A-League season we’ve seen some brilliant football, boring football and downright awful football.
In our previous check-in Sydney FC was battling it out with Melbourne City FC for the top spot. Fast-forward to February and we see Sydney FC perched at the precipice of another A-league minor premiership. The Sky Blues have racked up 15 wins, 5 draws and a singular loss at the hands of their rivals the Wanderers.
How has Sydney done it though? League leading 44 goals, league leading 11 clean sheets and a league leading 11 total goals conceded ought to do it. Sydney FC have put together a good run and need to keep their composure and not wilt under the favorites tag.
Melbourne Victory is 8 points behind but still sit 11 points ahead of third. Victory has been a force in attack scoring an equally league leading 44 goals, 2nd best goals conceded margin of 25. Victory has seen a good run in recent weeks finishing with 3 wins form their last 6 cementing second place on the ladder and firmly positioning themselves for the run home.
Don’t look now but Perth Glory is coming home with a wet sail! The lads from the West coast have hit a rich vein of form securing 13 points from a possible 18 in their last 6 games. Their latest victory helped them jump Melbourne City who now sits in fourth after their loss to Sydney FC 3-1.
In our previous update we noticed that Perth was a team who loved to score but equally loved to concede. Their 2-0 win over the Wanderers was a good sign as they kept only their 3rd clean sheet of the season (not a good sign when you’re 21 rounds in). Either way, Perth can prove to be a surprise packet in the finals and those looking to take advantage of some value should have a look at Glory’s odds in the finals. They may surprise us.
Melbourne City and Brisbane have been dogging at the top 4 in recent weeks. Both teams suffered losses on the weekend and saw the Glory overtake them in the race to first place. Both teams have the potential to make some moves in the final few rounds but they will really need to get a move on. If either team gets hot in the next few rounds, they could prove to have some upset potential going into the business end of the season.
The Wanderers are that plucky team that just never goes away. If anyone can provide a good story over the final few rounds it’ll be the Wanderers. They have the potential to go on a winning streak and nab a spot in the finals or, equally as likely, crash and burn and have their fans set flares off left right and centre. Either way, we should get some entertainment from Sydney’s west.
Better luck next year Newcastle, Wellington, Central Coast and Adelaide.
By Nik Hatzi