Hi! I’m on holiday as I write this, so the only thing you’re really missing at the halfway point of the A-League season (and the Adelaide v Victory game is exactly halfway) is my neatly-formatted predictions table.
Let’s get into it.
Game of the Round – Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers
I wanted to have a different game as game of the round, to avoid focusing entirely on John van ‘t Schip, but there was nothing else there.
Melbourne City has been having a little bit of a fadeaway since winning the FFA Cup. They have two wins from their last nine games, haven’t kept a clean sheet since Round 1, and haven’t beaten a top six team since October. The Wanderers have drawn seven of their last ten games, but have snuck into the top six and will rate their chances.
Mini-Article – John van ‘t Schip Resigns
John van ‘t Schip, the inaugural manager of Melbourne Heart/City, has resigned.
Van ‘t Schip told the board on January 1 and the players yesterday morning that he intended to resign and travel back to the Netherlands to take care of his father, who has terminal cancer.
According to Wednesday’s Herald Sun, Van ‘t Schip was privately under fire for City being winless since the FFA Cup victory, but family reasons were ultimately his cause for departure. His last game in charge was the 2-2 draw with Central Coast.
Van ‘t Schip managed Melbourne City for a total of 143 A-League games, with a 54.9% winning percentage in them. He left the club after the 2011-12 season, where it made the elimination finals, to manage Guadalajara in Mexico. He returned after John Aloisi, now Brisbane’s coach, was sacked in December 2013, and has managed City to the semi finals in the last two seasons.
Assistant coach Mike Valkanis will coach City on Friday, against Western Sydney.
Chart XIV – Confederations Cup
2017 brings with it the Confederations Cup, a tournament featuring the champions of each continental tournament, the reigning World Cup holders, and the host nation of the next World Cup (did you know this is the first time there’s been three teams from one confederation in it?). It starts early on the morning of June 18 (AEST), and will contain:
- Russia (2018 World Cup hosts)
- Germany (2014 World Cup winners)
- Australia (2015 Asian Cup winners)
- Chile (2015 Copa América winners)
- Mexico (2015 CONCACAF Cup winners)
- New Zealand (2016 OFC Nations Cup winners)
- Portugal (UEFA Euro 2016 winners)
- [African Team] (winners of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in a week)
Australia plays Germany, [African Team], and Chile, but that’s not related to my chart, which will attempt to answer this: is there a correlation between Confederations Cup results and World Cup results?
While I can’t see any higher-order patterns here, I can make a few comments:
- The host and South American teams always make the semi-finals.
- The African, Asian, and Oceanian teams never make it out of the group stage.
I got the three! I’m on 32 out of 64; now to keep up my halfway mark (and superiority over the tipsters in the Herald Sun. No offence guys!).
- Thu Jan 5: Perth 1:0 Wellington (Perth)
- Fri Jan 6: City 1:1 West Syd (Melbourne)
- Sat Jan 7: Brisbane 2:0 Newcastle (Brisbane)
- Sat Jan 7: Adelaide 1:3 Victory (Adelaide)
- Sun Jan 8: Cent. Coast 0:3 Sydney (Gosford)