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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 November 2016
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2016 SPORT DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 Sydney FC defender Jacques Faty and Victory forward Besart Berisha in last year’s derby. PHOTO: MELBOURNE VICTORY. Big Blue derby headlines Rd 5 A-League action GEORGE STOGIANNOU And then there was one. After four rounds of the A-League season, just one team remains undefeated at the head of the table. Sydney FC has made a perfect start, winning four matches straight without conceding a single goal. Just below Sydney are the two Melbourne teams, which both picked up impressive wins last week featuring goals from their spearheads. City's Fornaroli scored a brace in the win over Adelaide, while Besart Berisha scored a hattrick in the crushing win over Phoenix, which allowed Victory to jump ahead of Glory and Roar into third spot behind Melbourne City. At the other end of the table, Phoenix is yet to win a point, while Adelaide and Central Coast Mariners are both looking for their first wins of the campaign. A number of eye-catching matches feature this round, which began last night with Brisbane Roar hosting Melbourne City and continues today with the Big Blue derby between Sydney and Melbourne Victory. Sunday’s action features an- other match between fancied finals contenders Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers. Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets Saturday 5 Nov, 5.35 pm Westpac Stadium Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick must be wondering where all the goals have gone given the firepower at his disposal. Striker Roy Krishna scored the Phoenix's solitary goal this season, in last week's 6-1 loss against Melbourne Victory, which also exposed Phoenix's defensive weaknesses. The return from injury of Italian defender Marco Rossi is timely for Wellington as it hosts the Jets. Jets coach Mark Jones has his own defensive concerns, after injury robbed him of defensive utility Ben Kantarovski, sustained in last week's loss to Sydney. Kantarovski joins injured defenders Mullen and Lachlan Jackson on the sidelines. On the plus side, the Jets welcome back speedy winger Andrew Nabbout from injury and will include Labinot Halili in the squad against the Nix. Playing in front of their own fans, the Phoenix will want to make amends for the result against Victory. Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory Saturday 5 Nov, 7.50 pm Allianz Stadium It's first versus third as two of the league heavyweights go head to head, resuming an intense rivalry. After a lean start to the season, Victory striker Berisha showed last week he's lost little of his hunger for goals, bagging three against the Phoenix. He was ably assisted by Kiwi winger Marco Rojas. The big win against Phoenix was tempered, however, by the loss of full back Daniel Georgevski to a collarbone injury, and defensive midfielder Carl Valeri to soreness. On the plus side, Victory coach Kevin Muscat can expect creative midfielder James Troisi to be better for his run against the Phoenix after returning from a broken collarbone injury. In Sydney, Victory faces the best performing attack in the league, and with question marks still remaining about the centre of Victory's defence following the departure of Matthieu Delpierre, Muscat can expect a stern examination. Sydney FC's attacking depth is enhanced by the inclusion of Bernie Ibini for the derby. A key match-up could be the duel between Sydney full back Michael Zullo and Victory's flying winger Rojas. Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners Sunday 6 Nov, 5.00 pm Coopers Stadium Both teams are in search of a first win for the season. The reigning champion, Adelaide, has lost its last three matches, but most people are still expecting them to compete for finals football, particularly as it regains injured players. Spanish import Sergi Guardiola scored his maiden ALeague goal last week against Melbourne City and has impressed observers with the quality of his play. Central Coast Mariners has tightened its defence considerably in its past two outings after conceding seven goals in its opening two matches. The team conceded early in the 1-1 draw last week against the Wanderers but did well to keep its opponents from scoring a sec- ond. Experienced midfielder Nick Montgomery returns from injury this week, while coach Paul Okon has also included Kwabena Appiah in the Mariners' squad. Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers Sun 6 Nov, 7.00 pm NIB Stadium This looms as another exciting match-up between two teams many tip for finals football. The Glory lost its first match of the season last week away to Brisbane Roar, while the Wanderers have gone undefeated in their last three matches without getting the points their play probably deserved. Wanderers coach Tony Popovic reinstates striker Kerem Bulut into his squad after he was omitted for last week's match against the Mariners. Glory coach Ken Lowe must watch the game from the stands as he serves the second game of his two match ban from the sidelines. Expect the Glory at home to have more possession than it did against the Roar last week. However, the side will also continue to be a threat on the counter-attack, particularly with the return of forward Adam Taggart.
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