Well, Statscrunch could be becoming a regular blog for the A-League this year, and we’re getting our first one out for the premier weekend of the season. (Premier is French for first! I’m really learning from my year 8 French class!)
Basically, each week will have a chart, predictions, a featured match and a little opinion mini-article.
Game of the Week – Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory’s form in the latter half of 2015-16 was far from convincing, whatever spin the Herald Sun puts on it. On paper, their squad is one of the best in the A-League, but they can’t seem to string together good performances, and with Gui Finkler moving to Wellington, they’ll have a little less attacking prowess. They have the always strong Brisbane Roar as opponents to start the season, and this will be the a good test of Victory’s ability.
Article – Expanding the A-League
Everyone’s gone near this already, but I feel I might have something to add.
Four expansion clubs have been added to the A-League (not counting Wellington, who replaced the New Zealand Knights). Two of them, Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury, failed miserably, while the other two, Melbourne City and Western Sydney, have gone well. However, much of Melbourne City’s current success is due to being taken over by Manchester City, and they were in trouble before it.
So, creating new teams doesn’t usually work. My thoughts on this are that, rather then building teams from scratch, they should bring teams up from lower divisions such as the NPL.
My suggestions are that two new teams are added to the A-League. One should be from Tasmania. This makes sense, because soccer has a higher rate of participation in Tasmania than other states, and Tasmania has few other sporting teams. The location of the twelfth team, I am unsure of, but it could be a second Adelaide team, or a regional city such as Geelong.
The 12 teams could then be split into two conferences, but this is mostly for fixturing reasons. Teams would play teams in their conference three times and teams in the other conference twice.
How about it, FFA?
Chart I – Sydney Derbies
This chart shows how Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers have gone in the three matches after derbies in the last two seasons. Based on the chart, Sydney perform worse than usual after a derby, and the Wanderers have a negligible positive difference.
Here are my tips for Week 1.
CORRECTION: The Western Sydney v Sydney game was played at Stadium Australia.