Sunday, 22 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets


Adelaide United have started the season in miserable form and sit lowly at bottom of the league as a result. On the other hand, Newcastle began the new season in superb form but they've seen that slip away in recent weeks. Frustrating late goals against the Wanderers and Mariners cost them points and Scott Miller had strong words for his side's performance during the week.

The corresponding game last season saw the Jets plummet to a 7-0 loss so anything would be an improvement. It's not going to be easy to defeat an Adelaide side that are desperate for their first win of the campaign so a draw wouldn't be a surprise result between these sides.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Draw 1-1
Alex Evans: Newcastle 1-0
Keegan Pulik: Draw 2-2

Saturday, 21 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Perth Glory v Sydney FC


It's currently a scorcher in the Western Australian capital and it could very well play into Perth Glory's favour. Sydney FC's 4-2 loss to Melbourne Victory last weekend was a thriller for the neutral but a real worry for Graham Arnold and his team. They need to build some form and a trip to Perth probably isn't the most prefered fixture this week for the Sky Blues.

Glory's start to the season has been far from what Kenny Lowe would have been aiming for and with five losses from six starts, they too need a win to regain both confidence and build some form. It's a crucial game for both sides but with searing heat, defending will be key in what will most likely be a low-scoring affair.

The Sky Blues have a splendid away record and they'll be looking to continue that at nib Stadium. 

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Sydney 2-1
Alex Evans: Perth 3-1
Keegan Pulik: Sydney 2-0





MATCH PREVIEW: Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix


People thought Wellington's licence troubles could play a part on their team and the on-field performance but the Nix are keeping things together and would no doubt be delighted after drawing their biggest ever regular-season crowd (excluding their debut A-League match) last Friday night against Adelaide United. Away form is something they need to work on and it could start at Parramatta this afternoon.

The Wanderers took 16 weeks to win a domestic game last season and it came at home to Wellington Phoenix. The game, played at Penrith was the first of only a few wins in the A-League last season for Tony Popovic's side. Wellington come to Pirtek Stadium with confidence after last week's win over Adelaide.

The Wanderers deserve to be the favourites. They've won three on the trot and it wouldn't come as a surprise to many to see them continue that form in front of their passionate home fans.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Western Sydney 2-1
Alex Evans: Draw 1-1
Keegan Pulik: Western Sydney 1-0

Friday, 20 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City


Tonight is going to revolve around one man and it's not one on the pitch. John Aloisi returned to top-level coaching this season and has proven his doubters wrong. Brisbane Roar are flying high and now the former Socceroo will take on his former side Melbourne City at Suncorp Stadium. It's a chance for Aloisi's men to jump Melbourne Victory into top spot with a win.

Melbourne City's season has been a topsy-turvy one so far and has also revolved around one man and one man only, Aaron Mooy. The Socceroo was out last week and City's midfield lacked as a result. Their defending was average in a 3-0 loss to Western Sydney at AAMI Park. Mooy returns this week but after starring for the national team on Tuesday night, will he have enough fitness to get through tonight's game.

Roar have won four from six this season but more importantly, they are three from three at Suncorp Stadium. It's crucial for teams to build their home ground into a fortress and it wouldn't be a surprise for many to see Brisbane do just that. City will bring the fight but Brisbane's confidence is up at the moment and the likes of Broich, Corona and Borrello will be looking to fire home for another win.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Brisbane 3-1
Alex Evans: Draw 1-1
Keegan Pulik: Brisbane 2-1

Thursday, 19 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners


It seems like a bit of a mismatch as a slightly out-of-form Mariners outfit travel to a hostile AAMI Park to take on the unstoppable defending champions Melbourne Victory. Kevin Muscat's men were superb against Sydney FC last week, winning 4-2 at Allianz Stadium and with the Mariners' defence being one of their weaker points this season it could be yet another high-scoring game.

Central Coast were hindered by the sending-off of Jake McGing for his brainsnap sliding challenge on Newcastle's Leonardo. The youngster is out, suspended, for this game and it was due to his sending off that the Mariners didn't leave Hunter Stadium with all three points. The home side were average on the night and it was a game neither side deserved to win.

The Mariners will likely play a high-attacking brand of football once again which will leave them open to the counter-attacking football that Victory is known for. This will be a topsy-turvy game; an attacking game and it should be a win for a quality Melbourne Victory side.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Victory 3-1
Alex Evans: Draw 0-0
Keegan Pulik: Victory 3-0

Saturday, 14 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners


The F3 Derby returns this weekend and the pre match banter has begun with the Mariners posting on their website 12 reasons Central Coast is better than Newcastle, which was a great laugh because everyone knows that they will and already are struggling this season, their stadium’s tiny and their jab at the Pasha Bulker beaching on Nobbys was quite unoriginal, the only point they made was “Spoon City” referencing the Knights and Jets both current spoon holders, to which Novocastrians can only respond at least we have a side in the NRL. With Newcastle fan favourite John ‘Hutcho’ Hutchinson coming out to say that the only thing the Jets have won that they haven’t is the Spoon, the banter is alive and well heading into the weekend’s clash. Needless to say the way the Mariners have started they could get the spoon this year.

Anyway to the football, last week the Jets suffered their second loss of the season to the hands of Western Sydney the Jets have equalled their best ever start to a season after 5 rounds with 9 points from a possible 15. Last week was an unimpressive performance from both sides, with the Jets left ruing missed opportunities and very poor decision making on the field especially from Enver Alivodic who eventually scored, set the tone of the match of both sides sparring but no one was really willing to force a Knock Out blow. 

73rd minutes in and the match final began to kick into life when Enver Alivodic got on the end of a rebound from the cross bar that was struck by Lee Ki Ji from a free kick, and despite the confusion from the referees the goal was eventually awarded. 7 minutes later the 15,000 or so people in the stands were made aware of why Milos Trifunovic is not a defender as he seemed to have lined up Brendan Santalab before shoving him to the ground in which the referee didn’t hesitate in awarding the penalty. 

Yes I know, all the fox pundits are saying that Santalab made the most of it and it was a harsh call but from Bay 51 where I was seated it was clear in sight seeing Trifunovic lining him up before making contact was utterly pathetic defending. From the spot Andreu didn’t need a second chance sending Birighitti the wrong way. In the 86th the killer blow was served by Mitch Nicholls who found himself in acres of space with a clear shot on goal from distant, an invitation that he took full advantage of firing the ball past Birighitti. The Jets will have to play a lot better if they are to beat their arch rivals who of recent times have had the Jets number.

Central Coast have had a shocking start having lost 3 and drawn 1 since their opening day victory over Perth Glory. Last week was another unconvincing performance from the palm tree wearing Mariners. Going behind early in the match the Mariners were forced to try get their way back into a match that could’ve proven to have been a blowout. Luckily for the Mariners, Wellington were not able to put their hold on the match, and eventually Roy O’Donovan equalised for the Central Coast. A win this week would kick start the Mariners season and would possibly push them on to get back towards the top of the table. Banter and club favouritism beside, footballing wise Newcastle have been a lot more impressive this season and I expect them to continue their good start this week.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 1-0 Jets
Alex's Tip: 3-1 Jets
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Jets

Friday, 13 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers


Written by Keegan Pulik

Melbourne City bounced back in impressive fashion last week defeating a struggling Adelaide side 4-2 in convincing manner at Hindmarsh Stadium. Erik Paartalu opened the scoring early in the match before Aaron Mooy scored a cracker to double the league 10 minutes before half time. The lead was extended further when “El Tuna” Bruno Fornaroli scored City’s 3rd before Adelaide got one back on them. El Tuna completed his brace in the 71st minute when he scored Melbourne’s 4 of the evening, and despite Adelaide getting a late penalty which they converted, City were never troubled in this match, with another dominating performance by Aaron Mooy. This week sees the return of Corey Gameiro who returns from injury but also sees the omission of Mooy due to international duty.

Western Sydney may have got the win last week but it was by no means convincing. In a match at Hunter Stadium that was very scrappy game with both teams left ruing missed opportunities. The match sprung to life in the 73rd when Enver Alivodic opened the score line in what was a confusion between both the referee and his main assistant trying to determine who was offside and whether the ball crossed the line. In which case Alivodic was offside but the linesman did not rule it that way. Was only a matter of minutes later when Milos Trifunovic pushed over Brendan Santalab in the penalty area, and despite Santalab making a meal of it there was no doubt in the referee's mind when he pointed towards the penalty area. With the scores equalised after Andreu converted the penalty it took a poor defensive error of not closing the man with the ball down to allow Mitch Nicholls to unleash a shot from range to have it dip under the outstretched arms of Birighitti giving Western Sydney a late lead that they wouldn’t lose from there. 

With only Shannon Cole missing this week from the Wanderers due to injury, they go into the match full strength on the back of two straight wins, although win Gameiro back, Novillo back, Sorensen who can produce magic when called upon, Paartalu and El Tuna Fornaroli in good form I think City will be too good this week.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 2-0 City
Ty’s Tip: 2-1 City
Alex’s Tip: 3-2 Wanderers


MATCH PREVIEW: Wellington v Adelaide


Written by Keegan Pulik

Throughout the entire saga involving the Wellington Phoenix over the past 3 weeks, Wellington would have been desperate to put in a good performance against a lowly rated Central Coast side. The match started positively for the Kiwi’s when Michael McGlinchey opened the scoring only 8 minutes into the game, but Wellington were not able to maintain the lead as Roy O’Donovan equalised in the 76th. Despite not being able to hold the lead for the remaining 82 minutes, Phoenix didn’t look too bad in this match, obviously not the result they would have wanted but given the circumstances and having to travel to Melbourne and Gosford without knowing how where their futures lie. 

With the future of the Phoenix entirely in hands of the FFA, Wellington will need to get behind their squad with huge attendances and TV ratings improving. Reportedly since the news broke of Wellington’s possible exit from the league the memberships having rapidly increased in order to show the interest in the club, it is also being said that the Nix group have reached out to the NZFA for support. Also reports that a meeting with Frank Lowy, Chairman of the FFA, came to a conclusion that the club needs to increase a fan base around New Zealand, which could lead to a possible rebranding of the club. Watch this space over the coming months it will be and interesting saga.

Adelaide’s poor start to the season continued last week being hammered 4-2 by a resurgent City side who were keen to bounce back after the shock loss to the Jets the week before. It took for United to fall 3-0 behind before they posted their first goal of the season, not including the two own goals that were scored for them, and the honour fell to their Spanish maestro Sergio Cirio. But even though Cirio’s goal brought the match slightly within reach it was quickly extended back to 3 when Bruno Fornaroli scored 5 minutes later. Adelaide received a consolation penalty which was converted in the final stages of the match by Pablo Sanchez but by then it was too little too late with Adelaide being easily beat.

Wellington having the odd Friday match at home in front of an anticipated huge crowd to boost the Save the Nix campaign. Adelaide have been woeful and Wellington having everything to play for.

Newysports' Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 3-1 Wellington
Ty’s Tip: 1-1 Draw

Alex’s Tip: 2-1 Wellington

Sunday, 8 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Central Coast v Wellington


The entertainers will be at it again today as the Central Coast Mariners host the Wellington Phoenix at Central Coast Stadium. With rain abouts and no doubt a damp Gosford pitch, it could very well be a game where one goal decides it. Both teams are known for their attacking flair and it promises to be a crucial match for both as they look to return to the winners' circle.

Tony Walmsley's side have lived up to their promise of delivering entertaining matches but they'll want improvement and they'll want to beat a Wellington side that aren't in the greatest of form at the moment. The Phoenix will be depleted with the thought of possible A-League exit constantly hanging over their heads and they'll no doubt want to let the football do the talking.

As mentioned, both sides have a strong attacking style but it's the Wellington defensive unit that may very well get them over the line. It's a cold and wet day on the coast and there's no better conditions in the eyes of the Wellington players.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Wellington 2-1
Alex Evans: Wellington 2-1
Keegan Pulik: Wellington 1-0

Saturday, 7 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory (FFA Cup Final 2015)


Melbourne Victory are searching for an unprecedented treble in Australian football and are heavy favourites at home against a Perth Glory side that are in irregular form to say the least. Glory's start to the A-League season includes one win and three losses; not the start Kenny Lowe would have been hoping for. Their FFA Cup form is quite the opposite and the men from the West have reached a second-straight final.

Glory are seeking their first piece of silverware in the A-League era but it will be an incredibly tough ask against a Victory side that are known for winning trophies. Kevin Muscat's side are in-form and at AAMI Park are very hard to beat. If this game was in Perth it would be a different story but controversially in the eyes of Western Australia, the FFA have scheduled the game in Melbourne.

Long story short, this is a game that neither side will want to lose (it's a cup final after all), but it should be Melbourne Victory who'll come out on top. At home in front of a big crowd, the Victory should be too strong for an out-of-sorts Glory outfit.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Melbourne Victory 2-1
Alex Evans: Melbourne Victory 2-1 after Extra Time
Keegan Pulik: Melbourne Victory 3-1

PREVIEW: EPL Matchday 12

Written By Keegan Pulik


It’s been a month and a bit since the cherries last tasted victory which was a penalty shootout win over Preston North End in the League Cup. Since then it has been a tough run, having a draw against Watford and losing to Stoke, Liverpool (League Cup), Southampton, as well as suffering back to back 5-1 destruction handed to them by Manchester City and Tottenham. Last week saw another disappointing loss to Southampton with a 5 minute slip cost Bournemouth 2 two goals conceding in both the 31st and the 36th. Bournemouth were by no means out played in this match as they created 12 chances of which 10 were off target, but still managed to retain a slight majority of possession, and looked decent. There are always positives to take out of games and the Cherries will be confident in their ability to create chances which will be a key element coming up against a struggling Newcastle side.

How Steve Maclaren still has a job is a question many football pundits and Newcastle fans have been asking for weeks now. The toon’s record this season has been abysmal, recording 1 win, 4 draws and 6 losses (Same amount of losses as Chelsea) but it’s not only the poor record, it’s the fact that Newcastle have been playing terrible football. The only possible reason I can think of that Maclaren still has a job is because he refuses to sack himself (he is on the committee so he has the power to sack himself, which in itself would be strange to see). Last week Newcastle were held to a 0-0 by Stoke in a match that was disappointing to watch. Newcastle created more opportunities at goal but like the rest of this season it just didn’t happen for them.  Don’t expect anything different from Newcastle this week, it’ll be another dull and unimpressive performance and a general let down for all Newcastle fans. Sorry to say but they will be in the Championship next season, the only positive for them is that their arch rivals Sunderland will join them.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 1-0 Bournemouth
Alex’s Tip: 2-1 Bournemouth (McLaren sacked after the match)
Ty’s Tip: 2-1 Bournemouth

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Leicester have been the surprise package of the season and have been a joy to watch as a neutral supporter. Currently sitting in 3rd place and have taken 10 points from a possible 15 in their last 5 matches the foxes are on top of the world and only 3 points off the top of the league. Leicester are making a name for themselves as the comeback kings having twice coming back from 2-0 down to either draw level or win. Like many times this season Leicester fell behind in the first half as Salomon Rondon netted West Brom’s first. Although the second half was all Leicester with Riyad Mahrez finding the back of the net in the 57th and the 64th minutes putting the Foxes ahead but what  is a Leicester match without Jamie Vardy scoring at the moment and he did just that in the 77th all but sealing the victory. Despite a late West Brom penalty converted by Rickie Lambert, Leicester looked very comfortable in this match.  This season has seen the unlikely rise of Leicester which has been great to see one of the great football clubs in England returning to the top end of the table but this season has also seen the rise of the Jamie Vardy. Vardy is currently the league’s top goal scorer, which is a remarkable story, considering 4 or 5 years ago he was playing in the conference leagues on the verge of giving up playing before being picked up by Leicester and the rest is history. The longer he stays with Leicester at the moment the better he will become before the time is right and he is ready for a move to a bigger club.

Watford have found themselves sitting 11th after 11 games in their return to the Premier League. Last week saw Watford capitalise on a poor defensive West Ham side. The first goal of Ighalo’s brace was handed to him on a platter after Andy Carroll failed to clear the ball allowing Nathan Ake to square the ball up for Ighalo to tap the ball home. Ighalo’s second was almost as easy as his first after Anya broke free down the left hand side to cross the ball to Ighalo who comfortably forced the ball back past Adrian. Watford have had an up and down season playing very well some weeks but also playing very poor on other occasions, so it is hard to say what side we will see of Watford this weekend.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 2-1 Leicester
Alex’s Tip: 3-1 Leicester
Ty’s Tip: 3-1 Leicester

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It’s been 3 weeks since United have scored in the Premier League having been held to consecutive 0-0 draws against both Manchester City and Crystal Palace. Last week United travelled to Selhurst Park to face the Eagles of Crystal Palace, and for the most part of the match were out played by Pardew’s men. Louis Van Gaal will be very concerned with the lack of opportunities that the red devil’s created only having 3 opportunities at goal, 2 of which were off target. This stat in itself is a great testament to Palace’s defence but concerning that United a looking slightly lost going forward. Wednesday morning United welcome CSKA Moscow to Old Trafford. Whilst it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Mancs, they were able to get the victory courtesy of a Wayne Rooney header in the 79th minute after a good cross from Jesse Lingard. 

West Brom fell last week to Leicester City, and will have done a bit of soul searching after throwing away a 1-0 lead to concede 3 in the second half. West Brom opened the scoring through Salomon Rondon who has been very consistent throughout the season and proving that he was worth bringing into the club, and after his goal West Brom looked as if they may be able to go on and cause an upset, although this was not the case as Leicester came out in the second half and run rampant scoring three through a Mahrez brace and Jamie Vardy’s 11th of the season. A late penalty converted by Rickie Lambert was nothing but a consolation goal in the end. 

This game should be very straight forward for United and I can’t see them struggling at any stage.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 3-0 United
Alex’s Tip: 4-1 United
Ty’s Tip: 2-0 United

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Norwich almost caused the upset of last week almost scraping a draw out of nothing against league leaders Manchester City. After going behind in the 64th minute to an Otamendi header but 20 minutes later Norwich had seemed to have used a get out of jail free card as Joe Hart made a crucial and devastating error for City allowing Cameron Jerome to touch home the equaliser. The equaliser was short lived though as City were awarded a penalty after Russell Martin threw his arm out to stop the ball going into an otherwise unguarded net. And from the spot Yaya Toure makes no mistake putting the final nail in the coffin for Norwich. As for Norwich, that was their 5th straight league defeat, a streak that they will be desperate to snap this weekend going up against a Swansea side who were rolled last week.

Swansea faced a in form Arsenal side last week and it was clear from the get go that Arsenal were going to dominate the match. It took for the second half for Arsenal to break through the determined Swansea defence but when Giroud scored in the 49th minute it was the beginning of the end for Swansea. Swansea concede another 2 goals in the second half capping off the 3-0 defeat. Going up against an out of form Norwich side, Swansea will want to capitalise and get in their face early and push on, because the way I see it if they can get on top early Norwich will put up no fight and it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the match.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 0-0 Draw
Alex’s Tip: 0-0 Draw
Ty’s Tip: 1-1 Draw

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Big Sam has had little to no immediate impact on Sunderland having been badly beaten after the convincing win against Newcastle the week before. Positives are hard to come by when talking about Sunderland at the moment and last week was no exception being on the wrong end of a 6-2 thumping at the hands of Everton. Going into the half time break at 2-1 there was a sense of hope for all Black Cat supporters and after half time when they equalised it seemed as if it wasn’t going to be as bad as it threatened to be. That equaliser was a catalyst was for Everton to push on and score 4 within 21 minutes (55th to the 76th) to round out the thumping. 

Southampton are coming off the back of a decent performance in their 2-0 victory over Bournemouth. Their goals was one after another in a sense that in the 31st minute Steven Davies goal was the first before Graziano Pelle scored the saints second in the 36th. Southampton are currently sitting 7th just 4 points outside of the top 4, which is a positive sign for the Saints having made decent starts to the last couple of seasons before dropping off considerably, but if they can hold on and play like they have been the last couple of weeks they could very well challenge for a Europa League position.

Newysports Panel Tips:
 Keegan’s Tip: 2-0 Southampton
Alex’s Tip: 2-2 Draw
Ty’s Tip: 2-0 Southampton

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West Ham have had a decent start to the season although they are showing signs of inconsistency. They are showing a tendency to play brilliant against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, City and Chelsea having beaten them all, but then they will lose to the likes of Bournemouth and Watford and have a draw against Sunderland. This inconsistency was evident once again last week as the Hammers were touched up by a good Watford side, in what was a 2-0 loss which West Ham really did shoot themselves in the foot so to speak. The first goal came off a poor defensive mistake made by Andy Carroll, as he took two swings to try clear the ball but he never got the ball away before Nathan Ake pinched the ball and squared it to Ighalo who was waiting in an unguarded net to comfortably place it home. The second goal was again a defensive error this time by Tomkins who failed to clear a poor cross by Anya which ended up at Ighalo’s feet before he easily put it past Adrian. West Ham will have to show up to play all guns blazing this week if they are to get anything from an inform Everton.

Everton were superb last week, although it was against a pretty useless Sunderland side. Everton raced to a quick 2-0 by the 31st minute as Gerard Deulofeu and Arouna Kone getting on the score sheet. By the 50th minute though Sunderland were level and things were looking pear shaped for Everton. In the 55th Everton’s rampage begun when Sebastian Coates scored an own goal, and 5 minutes later Lukaku had gotten in on the scoring. And 2 minutes later in the 62nd Arouna Kone had his second before he topped off his hat trick in the 76th with a header from a perfect cross from Lukaku. Whilst it was a very impressive result, as is any result when you score 6 in any match but it was against a Sunderland side that is a barely at a Championship standard this season. They will have to go onto another level to get up against West Ham this week.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 2-2 Draw
Alex’s Tip: 2-1 West Ham
Ty’s Tip: 2-1 West Ham

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Stoke are the mid table side that everyone expected them to be this season, although mid table probably should have beaten last placed Newcastle. Stoke were held to a 0-0 against a Newcastle side who is desperately clinging to any hope that they may have of staying up. Stoke played Chelsea little over a week ago in the League Cup where the Potters won on penalty shootout. Stoke led for a large part of the match before Chelsea netted a very late equaliser. This sent the match into extra time and eventually penalties. Stoke will want to go one better this week and finish off Chelsea in normal time. 

Chelsea were poor again last weekend against a resurgent Liverpool side. Despite hitting the lead very early through a Ramires, but from that point on it was one way traffic. Liverpool dominated the match for the large majorities, with individual pieces of brilliance from Oscar really being one of very few highlights for the blues. Liverpool equalised on the stroke of half time and took the lead soon after the half time break through another Coutinho goal. Benteke came on and fired home Liverpool’s third for the night. Mourinho had a very basic post-match press conference due to possible sanctions from the FA. His one line for the night was “I have nothing to say”. Whilst Mourinho may have had a case when it came to the non-sending off of Lucas Leiva, Liverpool would have also had a case against Diego Costa kicking Martin Skrtel in the chest if they had wished to pursue it. Mourinho may have a job for now but for how much longer is yet to be seen. His stakes would have improved when Chelsea beat Kyiv in the Champions League but it will be the league form that will be his down fall. 

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 4-1 Chelsea
Alex’s Tip: 1-1 Draw
Ty’s Tip: 1-1 Draw

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Since their opening day win against newcomers Bournemouth, Villa have drawn one game and lost the other 9 and are deservedly sitting at the bottom of the Premier League. Last week they saw another heavy defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur going out 3-1 losers on the night. After going behind by two by half time the game looked all but gone for Villa but a Jordan Ayew goal looked to have kicked them into gear. They then stalled in the 90th minute when Harry Kane put the final nail in Villa’s coffin sealing the 3-1 loss for Aston Villa. Villa will struggle this week, there really is no way to avoid it the way they are playing so don’t expect too much in terms of entertainment if you are a Villa supporter.

City faced a late scare last week as Norwich capitalised on a Joe Hart howler. City hit the lead through a Nicholas Otamendi header and looked to have the game in the bag from there on, until in the 84th minute Joe Hart dropped a cross onto Cameron Jerome’s foot who had no issue in slotting home the equaliser. City were saved 5 minutes later when Russell Martin threw himself in front of a Navas shot which struck his arm on its way into the back of the net. This saw Martin sent off and Yaya Toure making now mistake from the spot. City were award another penalty when Raheem Sterling was brought down although Kolarov decided he’d take this one off of Sterling and missed as it was saved by John Ruddy. City had no such problems against Sevilla in the Champions League midweek as they touched up the Spanish powerhouses. 11 minutes in and Sterling and Fernandinho had both scored for City and despite Sevilla getting one back in the 25th, Wilfred Bony finished off Sevilla in the 36th adding City’s 3rd ending the game 3-1. City all in all should have no issues this week. They could probably play their under 21 squad and still win comfortably.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 5-1 City
Alex’s Tip: 2-0 City
Ty’s Tip: 3-0 City 

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The North London Derby, one of the fiercest derbies in English football has its next instalment this Sunday morning as Spurs travel to the Emirates. With a rivalry dating back to 1909 where Arsenal were victorious 1-0, the two clubs have been a part of classic matches, having met 181 times since the first official match almost 106 years ago to the day. Of these 181 matches, Arsenal have won 78, Spurs 55 and 48 draws have been played out. Of the last 13 matches between the sides dating back to the 22nd September 2010 Arsenal have had the advantage winning 7 of these meetings, with Spurs having only 4 victories to their name. The most recent fixture was played out just over a month ago in the League Cup, where Arsenal flexed their guns walking out of White Hart Lane moving into the next round of the cup, where they lost to Sheffield Wednesday. 

Arsenal have found themselves basking in outstanding league form having won their past 5 games, the last of which was a second half 3-0 demolition of Swansea. Olivier Giroud continued his goal scoring ways just after half time scoring what was Arsenal’s 2000th goal under manager Arsene Wenger. From that point on the match was all Arsenal, with a controversial second goal from Laurent Koscielny but with all the protests waved away by referee Kevin Friend, Arsenal had doubled their lead, and 5 minutes later Joel Campbell had added a third in what was his first goal for Arsenal in the Premier League. The Gunners were full of confidence heading into this week’s must win Champions League match against Bayern Munich. And that confidence was quickly squashed out of them, as the German champions demolished Arsenal in every aspect of play. 10 minutes in and in form striker Robert Lewandowski had beaten the Gunners offside trap and headed home what was to be Bayern’s first of many on the night. By half time Muller and Alaba had put another two past Petr Cech all but sealing Arsenal’s fate. The second half started the same as the first as 10 minutes in Arjen Robben hammered home the German’s 4th before Olivier Giroud showed everyone how to score a consolation goal in style with a bicycle after receiving a cross from Sanchez and popping it up for himself on his chest for the finish. Unfortunately for the Londoners, it was Munich who would have the final laugh with Muller scoring his 2nd and Bayern’s 5th for the night running out dominate 5-1 winners. Arsenal will have a lot of soul searching to do, although being a derby it shouldn’t be too hard for them to show up and play the quality football everyone knows that they are capable of producing. 

Tottenham Hotspur having flown under the radar this season are clawing their way back from 3 draws and a loss from their opening 4 games. With arguably one of the most impressive runs this season, Spurs haven’t been beaten since the opening day where they ironically beat themselves when Kyle Walker netted an own goal. Since then Spurs having produced 5 wins (Sunderland, Palace, City, Bournemouth and Villa) and 5 draws (Stoke, Leicester, Everton, Swansea and Liverpool) from the past 10 matches, Spurs have proven to be very hard to beat, even when they haven’t played at their best. In the last two matches Spurs have netted a massive 8 goals, in which Harry Kane has scored 4, and have only conceded 2. Last week, Spurs played host to a struggling Aston Villa side who proved to not put up much of a fight. Dembele handed Spurs the lead in the 3rd and they pushed on from there, netting their second on the stroke of half time. They received a late scare as Jordan Ayew threatened a Villa revival ten minutes before the end of the match but any hope of a comeback was squandered by Harry Kane as he finished the 3rd goal into the top back corner of the net, leaving Guzan helpless. Spurs play Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa League early Friday morning, a team who they have already lost to in this campaign, but with this match being played in front of the Tottenham faithful I wouldn’t go past a Spurs win. 

With both sides holding great league form going into this instalment of the North London Derby, picking a winner is hard, Spurs haven’t lost in 10 and their only loss was self-inflicted but Arsenal have won their past 5 in convincing fashion. The key in this match will be the impact players, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud, Carzola, Cech, Eriksen, Kane, Dembele and Lloris, which side has the better impact players who can change a game from any situation. Don’t get me wrong Spurs have been good but purely based on who I think will have the biggest impact, I can’t go past Arsenal this week.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 2-1 Arsenal
Alex’s Tip: 3-2 Arsenal
Ty’s Tip: 2-1 Arsenal 

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Author Note:
*Please note I wrote this on Thursday night so I don’t have review or opinion on the Europa League match.

The first 5 games of the Klopp era have been relatively successful from a Liverpool fan point of view. Sure holding the lead against Southampton would have been nice, but for the first time in 2 years when Liverpool got within a whiskers length of winning the league, Liverpool have looked to have gone onto the park with a direct style of play and with the objective of giving absolutely everything for the team, and from the looks of things the players are enjoying their football again. Last week was the best performance to date under Klopp, and despite going behind early, Liverpool from about the 15th minute onwards when they had settled in dominated the game completely. With the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Lucas, Can, Milner and Lallana all in firing hot form again the starting line-up was one that should be feared if they are on their game. 

Coutinho has overcome his out of character form slump and returned with a magic performance netting Liverpool’s first two goals, whilst some Chelsea supporters will call for Martin Atkinson’s head after he allowed play to continue an extra minute than the MINIMUM added time leading into half time in which Coutinho scored his first, there is no taking away that the finish was top class as he left defenders for dead and forced the ball home with his “weaker” left foot. 

With the game seemingly slipping away from Chelsea’s grip, Mourinho made a move many managers worldwide would not think of doing, bringing off Eden Hazard in the 59th minute for younger Brazilian Kenedy. Although with Liverpool’s domination settling in for the second half there was no stopping Coutinho’s second as it deflected off of John Terry past Begovic giving the reds the lead for the first time. And when Christian Benteke scored his 3rd Liverpool goal and Liverpool’s 3rd of the night it was curtains for Chelsea and many thought curtains for Mourinho. Chelsea will feel hard done by when Lucas really should have been sent off for a second bookable offence although Martin Atkinson decided against it, like he also decided against possibly sending off Diego Costa for a subtle kick at Martin Skrtel as they both came crashing down. 

Many have criticised Roberto Firmino for not living up to the hype that he came to the club with, but that was in my opinion put to rest the last couple of weeks, especially last week. Playing at the top of the tree formation as I call it, 4-3-2-1, Firmino added along with Coutinho and Milner an attacking flare that had previously been lacking. Whilst Firmino is by no means the aerial or physical threat that Benteke is, he added a flare that along with Coutinho that created opportunities and tore apart Chelsea’s defence. Milner was added to the list purely because his hard work that he does every week was there which allowed Coutinho and Firmino to work their magic.

And finally before I move on to Palace, Liverpool is set to play Ruben Kazan in the Europa League. Klopp will take a full strength squad to Russia with only injured players (Sturridge…) and ineligible players left on Merseyside, one of the ineligible players Joao Teixeria has rumoured to have frustrated Klopp by being ineligible as he was not named in the Europa squad by Brendan Rodgers at the beginning of the campaign. After impressing in the League Cup match against Bournemouth, don’t be surprised if Teixeria is a featured young player for the rest of the season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to feature this weekend against Palace.

Palace have had a shaky run as of late losing 3 of their past 5 matches, although one of which was a 5-1 demolition at the hands of Manchester City in the League Cup. Just days after being torn apart by City, Palace came up against City’s fierce rivals Manchester United. Going into this match, you would’ve been forgiven for picturing Palace being severely beaten. But as with Palace when they play the “bigger” clubs, they out perform themselves. Last week was no different, for the large majority of the match Palace were on top and thoroughly out playing United. Despite being held to a 0-0 draw Palace created opportunities which maybe on another day, would have gone in. Keeping United goalless is a feat in itself after the form they have shown this season. Alan Pardew’s men will be confident going into this weekend’s match, knowing that of the Liverpool have struggled to handle the Eagles, with the last 5 games winning 2 each and the infamous 3-3 draw of the 2013-14 season that all but cost Liverpool the title. This fixture will produce goals, 3 of the last 5 matches have finish 3-1, the others being that 3-3 draw and a 2-1 Liverpool FA Cup win. 
Expect goals in this match, history has a way of repeating itself particularly in this fixture. Although Palace have dropped off after their amazing start to the season, whilst Liverpool are only getting better under Klopp. 
Keegan’s Tip: 3-0 Liverpool (Benteke, Coutinho, Firmino)
Alex’s Tip: 1-0 Liverpool
Ty’s Tip: 3-1 Liverpool
Ty’s Tip: 3-1 Liverpool

MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers


It's a big game tonight for the Newcastle Jets as a draw will see them break their 5-round points record and a win will see them move back to the top of the table for at least the next week.

Not many predicted the Newcastle Jets to start the season in the style they have. Scott Miller's men have been superb in the opening month of the season and a draw would be enough to secure their greatest ever start to an A-League season. The last time the Jets started the season in this form they won the whole thing. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though.

Last week's 3-2 comeback win over Melbourne City was a far cry from the Jets of old. Last season the team would no doubt have gone back out and got smashed for four or five. It's been a long time since the pride and passion and effort has been this high at Newcastle.

It's quite the opposite at the Western Sydney Wanderers. Dramas off the field with their active supporters and the media has been a distraction from the on-field results. Last week's 1-0 win over Perth Glory was a timely win and a long-awaited clean sheet for Tony Popovic's side. Truth is though, the Wanderers need to be better if they're to threaten for silverware this season.

The Jets are boosted by the return of Brazilian playmaker Leonardo. The number 10 missed the City game last week and his replacement Mitch Cooper had a poor game by his standards and was rightfully replaced at half-time. It changed the game and the rest is history. This isn't a put down to Cooper; he's got a lot of potential and last week just wasn't his week. Leonardo returning will boost the Jets' attacking formation and could be a catalyst for a big win.

Defender Daniel Mullen will miss out on the chance to play his former side but it opens the door for Lachlan Jackson to play in the centre of defence. Off-season signing Andy Brennan is avaliable this week and the former South Melbourne striker could be a solid back-up for Milos Trifunovic.

Talking about Trifunovic; the Serbian found some goalscoring form in Melbourne last week and will no doubt have a confidence boost as a result. He's shown glimpses of quality and if he can start finding the back of the net more regularly, there's no reason he can't be the signing of the season like Scott Miller wants him to be.

Romeo Castelen is back for the visitors and will cause some trouble down the wing. It's a near full-strength squad for Tony Popovic with only Shannon Cole remaining on the injury list (he's expected back within the next week or two). With no ACL commiments this season; there's no excuses for the Wanderers and it's crucial they start finding some form sooner rather than later.

At home and in front of a big crowd, the Jets will be looking to make it four wins from five starts and continue their impressive start to the season. It's games like this that the Jets really should be winning if they want to be taken seriously as a contender.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Newcastle 2-0
Alex Evans: Newcastle 1-0
Keegan Pulik: Newcastle 2-1



Friday, 6 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar


It's a top of the table clash at Allianz Stadium tonight as the undefeated ladder-leaders Sydney FC host second-placed Brisbane Roar. Graham Arnold's men were lucky to avoid disaster last week at Gosford. Goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic should have conceded a penalty and should have been sent off. It could have been a much different story from the 3-1 victory that eventuated thanks to a brace from Matt Simon.

Brisbane Roar on the other hand beat Adelaide 3-0 at Suncorp Stadium in what was another convincing display from John Aloisi's men. Apart from a 3-2 loss in Wellington, Brisbane have started the season in some style and have scored a fair few goals already.

Brisbane's Brandon Borrello is leading the A-League goalscorers chart after four rounds and was the NAB Young Footballer of the Month in October. The 20-year old has been one of the A-League's best so far this season and no doubt will continue to trouble opposition sides if he can match his early-season form.

Jean Carlos Solorzano makes a timely return to the Brisbane squad and will add more depth to what is starting to become a potent attacking group. Defender James Donachie is also back from injury for tonight's game against the Sky Blues.

Sydney FC are boosted this week by the inclusion of import Milos Ninkovic. With the evergreen Matt Simon finding his scoring boots last weekend, Shane Smeltz will be someone feeling the pressure and the Kiwi needs to start firing in goals more regularly or face seeing his spot slip to Simon or even young gun George Blackwood; who is back in the squad this week.

The weather in Sydney this afternoon has been wet and wild and may very well play a big part in tonight's game. Neither side can afford to make a mistake in what could be a scrappy affair on a wet Allianz Stadium pitch. Graham Arnold demands a lot from his side and they will be looking to deliver with a big win on Friday Night Football.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Sydney FC 2-1
Alex Evans: Draw 0-0
Keegan Pulik: Draw 1-1

Thursday, 5 November 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Adelaide United v Melbourne City


A lot of talk in the A-League is about the early-season form of both Brisbane and the Newcastle Jets. One talking point that is starting to become a serious issue is Adelaide United's form. The Reds are dead last after the opening month; they've scored just two goals in four outings (both of them own goals) and new coach Guillermo Amor is being criticised and doesn't seem to be matching the lofty standards fellow Spaniard Josep Gombau set. Long story short, it's not looking good for Adelaide at this moment.

Melbourne City on the other hand are back into their routine inconsistency. As a Novocastrian, I was delighted to see the Jets pull off a shock comeback win last week but honestly, a team like Melbourne City shouldn't be giving away two goal leads. John van't Schip's men can score goals but their defending leaves a bit to be desired. Both teams would love a crucial win in tonight's game.

van't Schip has told media that striker Harry Novillo and defensive recruit Aaron Hughes will both be available. Hughes, 35, is a former English Premier League player and will bring a bucketload of experience to the City backline and Novillo is an excitement machine that could add something extra to what is already a potent attacking lineup.

Being at Hindmarsh Stadium, one could feel this game is slightly more important for Adelaide United. Under Gombau, the Reds turned their ground into a fortress but a lack of form, added with costly changes to ticket prices have both combined to see crowd numbers and indeed excitement drop in the South Australian capital. There's frustration growing amongst fans of both teams and whichever coach loses tonight will have to deal with more criticism; it's part and parcel of the job.

As mentioned above, Adelaide need to turn Hindmarsh into a fortress and they need to start scoring some goals before their season begins to slip away. It's a long season and there's ample time to turn things around. Tonight could very well be the catalyst for change at Adelaide.

Newysports Panel Tips:
Ty Stedman: Adelaide 2-1
Alex Evans: Draw 1-1
Keegan Pulik: City 2-0

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