Fantasy A-League managers are beginning to find out what being the boss of a football team is all about.
Selection dilemmas, under-performing players and the sheer unpredictability of the Hyundai A-League have made life difficult in the opening five rounds for both experienced and rookie fantasy managers alike.
But don’t fret – The Scout is here once again to give you a helping hand as we look to Round 6 of the Hyundai A-League.
First though, if you haven't already put pen to paper on your contract, get on board the Fantasy A-League bandwagon by signing up here. With weekly prizes and new leagues starting every week it’s never too late to start playing!
Round 5 of the competition saw a seismic shift in the balance between attack and defence – with goalkeepers keeping four clean sheets across five matches on the weekend.
2013/14 Grand Finalists Brisbane Roar FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC continue to struggle with both yet to register a point after again suffering defeats on the weekend.
Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory all remain undefeated while surprise packets Perth Glory lead the competition after a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Mariners on Sunday.
Melbourne City FC recorded their first win of the season against the Roar on Saturday night while Newcastle Jets are still searching for their first three points after blowing a two-goal advantage against the Victory.
Round 6 promises to be the toughest yet with a host of teams decimated through international commitments and injury – so pick your team wisely.
Fahid Ben Khalfallah ($251,000) – The Tunisian international has taken time to adjust to life in the Hyundai A-League with coach Kevin Muscat easing him in off the bench in the opening three rounds. But the midfielder exploded to life against the Newcastle Jets in round 5 with a well-taken goal and a sublime assist for Besart Berisha’s equaliser to reel in a round-high 13 points. Expect the former Bordeaux winger to get better as the season progresses and at just $251,000 – he could be one to nab while the iron is hot!
Dud of the week
Marc Janko ($296,000) – Save for his spectacular goal against Brisbane Roar in Round 3, the big Austrian has been the big disappointment of Graham Arnold’s revamped Sky Blues outfit. The target-man was largely ineffective in the 0-0 draw with Adelaide United despite playing 90 minutes and he picked up a yellow card to boot – rewarding managers with a solitary point for his efforts. At $296,000 and on international duty this week – he’s one to trade in.
Michael McGlinchey ($363,000) – The Kiwi has been outstanding for the Phoenix so far this season but he would have had Ernie Merrick tearing his hair out on Friday night after missing a penalty to put the game to bed against the Wanderers. The Phoenix have missed both penalties so far this season (Jeremy Brockie fluffed the other) – don’t expect McGlinchey to take the next one. He’s away with the All-Whites this week so park him on your bench.
Nebojsa Marinkovic ($207,000) – The Serbian midfielder has been the toast of the football world this week after netting two stunning free kicks in both the Hyundai A-League and Westfield FFA Cup. His goal against the Mariners was absolute world-class, beating Liam Reddy from 30 yards and sending Glory to the top of the ladder in the process. Clearly one of Kenny Lowe’s favourite players and at the bargain price of just $207,000 – get him in your team.
Pick of the week
Kew Jaliens ($185,000) – The Newcastle Jets skipper was immense against Melbourne Victory and showed a poacher’s instinct to give his side the lead with a classy volley. The former Dutch international is forging a reputation as one of the most consistent defenders in the competition and is proving difficult to handle from set pieces. $185,000 – tempting.
The Scout has gone for a reshuffle this week with a shift from last week’s 4-3-3 formation to his preferred attacking shape of 3-4-3.
Corey Gameiro is away with the Olyroos so he’s up on the chopping block this week along with under-performing Roar star Thomas Broich.
Nathan Burns is on fire up-front for the Phoenix and with McGlinchey away this week – expect Burnsy to step up. He jumps into the front three alongside Besart Berisha and Andy Keogh.
OUT – Corey Gameiro > IN – Nathan Burns
Jets winger David Carney has looked sharp in recent weeks so he jumps straight into the starting XI to replace the reigning Johnny Warren medalist.
OUT – Thomas Broich > IN – David Carney
Don’t forget to pick your team for the official Hyundai A-League Fantasy game at https://fantasy.a-league.com.au/landing/index.html#/landing
With weekly prizes and new leagues starting every week it’s never too late to start playing!