The Hyundai A-League is back in full swing this weekend and it’s time for Fantasy A-League managers to reflect on their team heading into the second half of the season.
With just 12 rounds remaining time is fast running out to make a serious impact in this season’s competition.
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So whether you’re challenging for the overall title or just trying to gain some bragging rights over your mates, The Scout is here to give you a helping hand.
The competition returned a fortnight ago with a split round to accommodate for the Asian Cup and there was some eye-catching football on display despite a three-week hiatus.
Marcelo Carrusca was a standout for Adelaide United in their 7-0 thumping over the Newcastle Jets, while Marc Janko produced a timely double for the Sky Blues in their 5-1 rout of Central Coast Mariners.
Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory underlined their Championship qualities after playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw, with gun-strikers Andy Keogh and Besart Berisha both on the scoresheet.
The disappointment of missing the Socceroos’ Asian Cup squad has seemingly abated for Aaron Mooy, with the 24-year-old a standout in Melbourne City FC’s 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Wellington’s four-match winning streak ended at the hands of Brisbane Roar, though Roy Krishna continued his hot-from in front of the goal with a poacher's finish.
The Roar’s acquisition of former Wanderers utility Jerome Polenz has been a shrewd pick-up, punctuated with the German’s cross for Juan Carlos Solarzano’s winner against the Phoenix.
The Melbourne derby highlights the fixtures for round 16 and it promises to be a cracker with Victory talisman Besart Berisha claiming mid-week that the Big V are the number one team in Melbourne.
Sydney FC’s visit to the Glory on Saturday night also promises to be a hard-fought affair and the Sky Blues will be confident of knocking off the league-leaders after their dismantling of the Mariners.
Here are the Scout’s picks for this week – choose wisely and happy managing!
THE SCOUTS XI
OUT > David Carney IN > Thomas Broich
OUT > Manny Muscat IN > Sam Gallagher
Marcelo Carrusca ($401,000) – The Argentinian is in rare form for Josep Gombau’s side and notched an impressive 17-points last round, albeit against a terrible Jets outfit. The midfielder netted a brace against Newcastle and looked threatening whenever on the ball. The Reds travel to Gosford to tackle the lowly Mariners this week and you’d fancy Carrusca could have a day out against Phil Moss’s men.
Dud of the week
Mariners defence – The Gosford-based club were humbled by Sydney FC and questions must be asked of the Mariners’ back-four after conceding five times on home soil. The side has lacked continuity in their defensive unit all-season and with a red-hot Adelaide United coming to town on Saturday afternoon, it could get worse before it gets better.
Iain Ramsay ($136,000) - The 26-year-old has been in-and-out of Melbourne City FC’s line-up for much of the season and didn’t do himself any favours after missing an absolute sitter against the Wanderers. With the scores locked at 1-1, the ball found its way to Ramsay at the back post but the winger skewed his shot wide with the goal-gaping. Luckily for City, Aaron Mooy produced a thunderous strike with less than 20 minutes remaining to get them across the line.
Marc Janko ($286,000) – Sydney FC’s marquee man has been much-maligned this season but is slowly starting to show the quality which Graham Arnold paid the money for. The big Austrian scored a round-high 17 points against the Mariners after bagging a brace and picking up an assist. At just $286,000 – Janko is a good option to have as a second or third choice striker.
Pick of the week
Jacob Melling ($141,000) – The 19-year-old is becoming an integral part of Melbourne City FC’s midfield and showed his attacking instincts with a well-taken goal against the Wanderers last week. Melling is forming a strong partnership in midfield with Aaron Mooy and is superb value for managers at $141,000.