The action is hotting-up for Fantasy A-League managers as the competition heads into the final six rounds of the season.
It was a high scoring affair across the board in Round 21, with at least three goals scored in every fixture and a staggering 22 goals across the weekend. The two Melbourne clubs were the only teams to keep shut-outs and we had new competition leaders after Wellington accounted for Perth.
Sydney FC marquee Marc Janko (24 points) has stolen the headlines in recent weeks with his goal-scoring exploits and it's no surprise that the big Austrian leads all comers in Fantasy. His hefty $759K price tag is tough for most managers to budget for however so he's paying dividends for those who have him up front.
Victory's international stars also scored big with Fahid Ben Khalfallah ($380,000) laying on all three goals for his side (15 points), two of which were for striker Besart Berisha ($388,000) who took his season scoring tally to 11 goals (14 points).
In the second top-of-the-table clash in as many weeks Roy Krisha ($354,000) stepped up in Nathan Burns' absence, with his brace banking 14 points and seeing the Phoenix usurp Glory at the summit. The new pace-setters will no doubt be out to repeat the dose this weekend to celebrate Ernie Merrick's 200th match as a Hyundai A-League coach.
Craig Goodwin ($223,000) showed coach Josep Gombau why he should be retained in the Reds' strongest XI, netting the winner at Coopers Stadium (10 points), albeit from a fortuitous deflection. Savy managers will be aware the defender has been deployed further afield of late which gives him a great chance to score points at both ends of the pitch.
This weekend's #EraseRacism Round could see any one of the top five teams lead the competition come Sunday night. The Wanderers and Roar will have to deal with backing up from their respective mid-week ACL clashes, while the Mariners will be hoping their players can grow wings at home as they celebrate their annual Superhero Sunday.
THE SCOUT'S XI
OUT > Safuwan Baharudin IN > Alex Gersbach
OUT > Matt Nash IN > Glen Moss
Hyundai A-League Round 21 standout performances
Star Man – Fahid Ben Khalfallah ($380,000): The Tunisian winger has been absolutely on fire in recent weeks and produced a stunning man-of-the-match performance against the Wanderers in Round 21. The former Bordeaux attacker provided all three assists in Victory’s 3-0 win and looks to be Kevin Muscat’s main man heading into the finals series. The 32-year-old is is a must have for your side.
Dud of the week – Jerome Polenz ($252,000): The German has been solid for the Roar since his arrival in January but he wasn’t at his best in his side’s 5-4 loss to Sydney FC. The 28-year-old was booked for a heavy challenge on Bernie Ibini and lacked his usual penetration down the right flank. Ended the weekend with -1 points next to his name.
Coach Killer – Josh Risdon ($162,000): The Glory defender had a moment to forget when he attempted a clearance against Wellington only to smack it straight into a charging Roy Krishna and rebounding into the back of the net.
Value Pick – Craig Goodwin ($223,000): The versatile wing-back has looked dangerous on the flank for the Reds in recent weeks and chimed in with the match winner against the Mariners in round 22. His crossing, free-kick ability and the occasional goal make him an attractive prospect for your side. Bargain.
Pick of the week – Aaron Mooy ($303,000): The City star was superb against the Jets notching two assists to rake in an impressive 11 points for the round. The 24-year-old is bossing the midfield for John van’t Schip’s side and looks to be their main threat as they push for a finals berth. Expect him to rack up the points in the final six rounds.