Why the A-League needs a two horse race
The only real winners in round 13 of the A-League were the competition’s two biggest teams to set up the most intriguing battle.
Fans from the other eight clubs might disagree, but a battle for top spot between the two interstate rivals is just what the code needs right now.
Forget the negative press surrounding Gold Coast for a moment and instead consider the positive effect of a title battle between the two biggest cities and their clubs.
Both sets of fans reserve a special dislike for the other, while all other fans can’t stand either one. It may seem counterintuitive but a two-horse race is just what the competition needs.
With the salary cap and player restrictions, it’s hard for any A-League club to get too far ahead, but Melbourne have perhaps the most impressive set-up on and off the field, and with two titles to their name are undoubtedly the league leaders. After a rocky start, the reigning champions have won six of their last seven games – the only loss, a 3-0 turnover by Sydney.
Sydney are yet to add to their inaugural championship, but this season have worked hard to shake off the “Bling FC” tag – a marketing play that eventually backfired. Czech coach Viteslav Lavicka has turned Sydney from a basket case into a team that works for each other, strong at the back and fluid and creative up front.
Nothing gets the emotions stirred like two great rivals going head-to-head, and if these two can keep it up for the rest of the season, it will be to football’s benefit. Everyone will pick a side. And a quick scan of the fixture list shows the last game of the season - Sydney v Melbourne at SFS on February 14… Excited?
Goal of the week: Robbie Fowler’s clipped finish against Gold Coast. It looks so easy.
Talking point of the week: The 2616 fans at Skilled Park. Clive Palmer’s got a revolt on his hands.
What to say to sound like you know something about the A-League: If Bridge and Brosque can keep this partnership up, they could fire Sydney to the title.
Game to watch this week: Gold Coast United v Sydney FC. Table-toppers against a wounded animal?
The EPL in a sentence: As all their rivals won, Liverpool crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Fulham. After the high of beating Man Utd, Rafa Benitez’s title hopes are over.
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