It hasn’t quite worked out for young Adelaide number two John Hall. To be fair, he hasn’t been helped by whats in front of him, but Hall isn’t even racking up the accumulative save points you might expect given Adelaide’s shoddiness at the back: averaging just 2.3 saves per game.
Wiser Fantasy managers would have given Hall the flick weeks ago, but on the basis of this weekend Adelaide have their best shot at a clean sheet all season when they host the Jets – who register the second least shots per game (8.6). Make no mistake, this is the last hurrah for the Reds’ stand-in custodian.
We’re doubling up on the Sydney defence again this week when the Sky Blues travel to a meagre Perth side. Looking to continue their exceptional away form, Graham Arnold’s men come up against the worst team in the league for chances created and shots (6.2/90 & 7.1/90). Sydney have restricted their opponents to just 2.1 shots on target per 90 this season, so Matt Jurman and the returning Alex Gersbach look a solid bet to keep their sheet clean on Saturday.
Elsewhere in defence, we’ve plumped for Daniel Georgievski with the Victory’s home game against the Mariners looking like another potential clean sheet this weekend. In addition, the fullback supplied his first assist of the season against Sydney last weekend, and his ability to get near the box is well documented – he’s created over a chance per game this season.
Whilst Mitch Nichols has returned the most points out of the Wanderers’ dazzling new-look midfield, Dario Vidosic has been plodding along nicely. The Nix haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last nine and the former Adelaide and Brisbane man netted the winner in his last home fixture. In addition, Vidosic has somewhat surprisingly taken the second most shots per 90 minutes (3.1/90), with only Newcastle’s Milos Trifunovic boasting a superior record (3.3/90).
Michael McGlinchey returns for the Nix this weekend to go head to head with Vidosic in Saturday’s clash. Only Aaron Mooy has created more chances (4.3/90) than the Kiwi international (3.6/90), and with Roly Bonevacia hitting peak form against Adelaide, McGlinchey’s prospects of scoring highly should improve.
Speaking of the devil, we just can’t afford to exclude Aaron Mooy, despite the Melbourne City talisman playing 45 minutes for the Socceroos on Tuesday night (producing a couple of assists). Who knows how many minutes he’ll get, but if he does play he’s almost certain to return some kind of respectable score. His numbers are frightening – with a better shots on target rate (1.3/90) than some of the league’s better strikers and the league’s best chance creation rate by a country mile. You’ve got to have him.
We’re hoping the possible return of Mooy will spark Stefan Mauk back into action. The youngster is now an established starter in John van’t Schip’s side, and with Mooy in the side he’s picked up 23 points in three starts (7.6ppg). Surely Brisbane’s excellent defensive record can’t last much longer, and the league’s top scorers should have enough firepower to dent John Aloisi’s rearguard come Friday.
Besart Berisha was at his brilliant best in Victory’s 4-2 win over Sydney last weekend. It was a performance that saw the Albanian return to equal first on the top scorers list, and he’s currently averaging a the best goals per 90 minutes ratio in the league (1.04). A home game against a carefree Mariners, who concede more shots on target (6) than any other team in the league, is the perfect platform to extend on this excellent run of form.
Is this the week Jeffrey Sarpong gets off the mark? Possibly. The Phoenix have never failed to score at Pirtek Stadium, and their match against the Wanderers promises to be an open-ended affair. The Wanderers fullbacks love to get forward but the threat offered in behind by the likes of Krishna and Sarpong present a very dangerous threat to Tony Popovic’s side. The Dutch international hit the post last weekend – you feel it’s coming for the Phoenix flyer.
Finally, Brandon Borrello rounds out the squad this week for Brisbane’s home fixture against City. The Citizens have been shockingly wayward at the back, conceding the second most goals and the second most shots on target per game (5.6/90). Meanwhile, the Roar forward has hit two 15-point hauls in his last three home games.