Adelaide United

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) Adelaide
Win 11 (5)
Draw 6 (3)
Loss 10 (4)
Goals For 36 (5)
Goals Against 38 (5)
Total Shots For p/match 14.2 (1)
Shots on Target For p/m 4.3 (4)
Total Shots Against p/m 11.1 (3)
Shots on Target Against p/m 4.4 (5)
Clean Sheets 5 (5)
Over 2.5 16 (8)
Under 2.5 11 (2)
Shots on Target Conversion 31% (7)
Shots On Target Concession 32% (4)

Adelaide United struggled into 5th position last season, taking time to gel under new coach Marco Kurz. Their total shots per match both for and against were highly ranked but they really need to focus on their finishing

They have signed 2 quality wide attacking players in Craig Goodwin and Ben Halloran and a new striker in Ken Ilso. They will be heavily reliant on those new players producing the goals they needed last year.

Against that they have lost Johan Absolonsen who was one of their best when fit. They have signed Michael Jakobsen to tighten up an already reasonable defence.

Predicted Finish: 3rd

Brisbane Roar

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) Bne
Win 10 (6)
Draw 5 (5)
Loss 12 (7)
Goals For 33 (8)
Goals Against 40 (6)
Total Shots For p/match 11.3 (9)
Shots on Target For p/m 4 (8)
Total Shots Against p/m 14.3 (9)
Shots on Target Against p/m 4.7 (8)
Clean Sheets 5 (5)
Over 2.5 17 (4)
Under 2.5 10 (3)
Shots on Target Conversion 31% (8)
Shots On Target Concession 31% (3)

Brisbane scraped into the top 6 last season and realistically, with very poor statistics in regard to average shots for and against, they were lucky to do that.

They didn’t have not a great deal of key activity in the transfer market so they will be looking to marquee man Eric Bautheac to stay fit and expand on the glimpses of class we saw from him last season.

Perhaps their biggest positive is the opening of an excellent new training facility as there has always been a high injury rate for Brisbane, a lot of which was put down to training on sub-standard pitches.

Predicted finishing position: 7th

Central Coast Mariners

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) CC
Win 4 (10)
Draw 8 (2)
Loss 15 (9)
Goals For 28 (10)
Goals Against 49 (9)
Total Shots For p/match 10.4 (10)
Shots on Target For p/m 3.4 (10)
Total Shots Against p/m 12.4 (4)
Shots on Target Against p/m 4.6 (7)
Clean Sheets 5 (5)
Over 2.5 13 (10)
Under 2.5 14 (1)
Shots on Target Conversion 31% (9)
Shots On Target Concession 39% (8)

Putting aside the Usain Bolt roadshow, it appears that the Mariners owners have decided to put a bit of intent behind their support.

The signing of Tommy Oar and Ross McCormack along with a host of other decent players have seriously outweighed the departures. Equally important could be the introduction of proven manager Mike Mulvey.

There is nothing particularly positive from last years stats so improvement is necessary across the field, and I think they will definitely find some.

For what it is worth I’m even a supporter of the Usain Bolt exercise, although I question whether he is ever likely to feature as more than a cameo.

Predicted finishing position: 8th

Melbourne City

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) City
Win 13 (3)
Draw 4 (8)
Loss 10 (4)
Goals For 41 (4)
Goals Against 33 (2)
Total Shots For p/match 12.8 (6)
Shots on Target For p/m 4.7 (3)
Total Shots Against p/m 11.1 (2)
Shots on Target Against p/m 3.7 (2)
Clean Sheets 9 (2)
Over 2.5 17 (4)
Under 2.5 10 (3)
Shots on Target Conversion 33% (6)
Shots On Target Concession 33% (6)

City finished 3rd last season and for a long time, looked the team to beat.

There modus operandi was clearly to build a solid base as we can see with their strong defensive statistic rankings.

They were hamstrung last season when marquee Marcin Budziński failed to fire and lost young gun Daniel Arzani. For a strong defensive team, they seem to have concentrated on bringing in more defensive players rather than some support for Bruno Fornaroli and if Scottish striker Michael O’Halloran, doesn’t work out they might be in trouble.

Predicted Finishing position: 4th

Melbourne Victory

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) Vic
Win 12 (4)
Draw 5 (5)
Loss 10 (4)
Goals For 43 (3)
Goals Against 37 (3)
Total Shots For p/match 12.3 (7)
Shots on Target For p/m 4.3 (4)
Total Shots Against p/m 13.8 (7)
Shots on Target Against p/m 4.1 (3)
Clean Sheets 4 (9)
Over 2.5 17 (4)
Under 2.5 10 (3)
Shots on Target Conversion 37% (2)
Shots On Target Concession 34% (7)

Victory were quite poor for the most part last season eventually finishing 4th, before going on to take out the Grand Final. We can see via their stats that they their total shots for and against and their shots on target conceded were ranked quite low. The scary thing for the opposition is that they can realistically only get better.

Recognising the need for improvement, they have signed Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen, who both performed well for their countries at the recent World Cup. Their departures are largely inconsequential as the Besart Berisha departure, as good as he had been for the Victory was a good piece of business for the club.

Predicted finishing position: 1st

Newcastle Jets

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) New
Win 15 (2)
Draw 5 (5)
Loss 7 (2)
Goals For 57 (2)
Goals Against 37 (3)
Total Shots For p/match 13.6 (4)
Shots on Target For p/m 5.8 (1)
Total Shots Against p/m 13.1 (6)
Shots on Target Against p/m 4.2 (4)
Clean Sheets 7 (3)
Over 2.5 20 (1)
Under 2.5 7 (10)
Shots on Target Conversion 37% (3)
Shots On Target Concession 32% (5)

A rejuvenated Jets took their season all the way to the Grand Final last season after finishing 2nd on the ladder, a position they occupied for most of the season.

Statistically they were good, albeit they rode their luck at time due to conceding too many shots to opponents.

It must be remembered that they missed marquee man Ronald Vargas for most of the season, so he comes into this season akin to a very good new signing. They are going to miss Roy O’Donovan who is suspended for the first 8 matches but if they can make their way through that period, another good season should be on the cards.

Predicted finishing position: 5th

Perth Glory

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) Per
Win 10 (6)
Draw 2 (10)
Loss 14 (8)
Goals For 35 (6)
Goals Against 47 (8)
Total Shots For p/match 11.8 (8)
Shots on Target For p/m 3.8 (9)
Total Shots Against p/m 13.1 (5)
Shots on Target Against p/m 4.5 (6)
Clean Sheets 5 (5)
Over 2.5 17 (4)
Under 2.5 9 (7)
Shots on Target Conversion 35% (4)
Shots On Target Concession 41% (10)

All change at the Glory with coach Kenny Lowe replaced by Tony Popovic, and his ability to sure up the defensive side of the park is vital for a team that at times were very poor defensively. That said, we can see that the Shots On Target Concession was very poor and it is more likely that the figure will revert to the mean and not be so bad this season.

Barring the departure of Xavi Torres, I’m largely impressed by their transfer dealings and the addition of Jason Davidson and Matt Spiranovic will sure up the defence. I also like the signing of Chris Ikonomidis from Western Sydney and he can give them strong attacking threat from the right hand side to complement Diego Castro from the left. Plenty will depend on striker Andy Keogh’s form.

Predicted Finishing position: 6th

Sydney FC

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) Syd
Win 20 (1)
Draw 4 (8)
Loss 3 (1)
Goals For 64 (1)
Goals Against 22 (1)
Total Shots For p/match 13.3 (5)
Shots on Target For p/m 5.6 (2)
Total Shots Against p/m 10.2 (1)
Shots on Target Against p/m 3 (1)
Clean Sheets 12 (1)
Over 2.5 19 (2)
Under 2.5 8 (9)
Shots on Target Conversion 42% (1)
Shots On Target Concession 42% (1)

Cruised to first position 14 points clear of the Jets and bar for one off night at home to the Victory in the preliminary final, they would have been celebrating back to back doubles.

Coach Graham Arnold’s known departure probably affected them towards the end of the season and I applaud the decision to give Steve Corica the head coach role as he has one of the sharpest football brains of any young Australian coach.

Doom and gloom surrounded the departure of Adrian and Bobo but Siem De Jong and Adam Le Fonde look to have seamlessly integrated into a team that has comfortably moved into the FFA Cup final to start the season.

They lose their home ground which is a concern, but they should be right there at the top of the table once more.

Predicted finishing position: 2nd

Western Sydney Wanderers

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) WSW
Win 8 (8)
Draw 9 (1)
Loss 8 (3)
Goals For 35 (6)
Goals Against 41 (7)
Total Shots For p/match 14 (2)
Shots on Target For p/m 4.2 (6)
Total Shots Against p/m 14.4 (10)
Shots on Target Against p/m 5.8 (10)
Clean Sheets 6 (4)
Over 2.5 15 (9)
Under 2.5 10 (3)
Shots on Target Conversion 33% (5)
Shots On Target Concession 29% (2)

A terrible season for the Wanderers where they finished 7th and could easily have finished last as borne out by the defensive statistics. They were lucky to only concede their low rate of shots on target, thanks largely to keeper Vedran Janjetovic.

Ineffective coach Josep Gombau is replaced by German legend Markus Babbel so we can expect a toughening up of defence.

Their season will likely hinge on foreign signings Alexander Baumjohann and Patrick Ziegler

They will be glad that this will be there last season before moving to the new stadium in Parramatta as they have been very poor at Homebush, winning just 9 of 27 over the last 2 seasons.

Predicted finishing position: 9th

Wellington Phoenix

2017/18 Stats (Rank in brackets) Wel
Win 5 (9)
Draw 6 (3)
Loss 16 (10)
Goals For 31 (9)
Goals Against 55 (10)
Total Shots For p/match 13.6 (3)
Shots on Target For p/m 4 (7)
Total Shots Against p/m 14 (8)
Shots on Target Against p/m 5.1 (9)
Clean Sheets 2 (10)
Over 2.5 18 (3)
Under 2.5 9 (7)
Shots on Target Conversion 29% (10)
Shots On Target Concession 40% (9)

Can only get better for the Phoenix who were dreadful last season. At least this season they won’t have to deal with World Cup Qualifying which most definitely had a negative impact on them.

New coach Mark Rudan is a terrific student to the game and did very well in his time with Sydney United which should provide a good grounding for the tough task ahead. One thing I do know about the man is that he will have his team primed ready for a battle and not put up with some of the questionable effort at times from under-performing players.

Largely he has the main core group still together and I like the addition of Englishman Steven Taylor who will harden up their midfield.

It is going to be a tough season but one that I think, or perhaps just hope to see improvement in.

Predicted finishing position: 10th

Betting Strategy

Expect the Victory to go back to back with their new recruits lifting them to a new level.

 BACK – Melbourne Victory to win the A-League.


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