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Mariners' clean sheets face test

Looking at this weekend's fixtures in the A-League one stand-out fixture would be the match between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets which as close to a derby as we can get but I think the match that I will follow closely is the one involving Adelaide and the Central Coast Mariners.

The Mariners have had an excellent start to the season and so far have scored six goals which is the highest number of goals scored by any team so far but more importantly they have kept clean sheets in all the five matches. On the other hand Adelaide began the season well by getting the pre-season cup but in the league proper they have done a Melbourne and that is get draw after draw.

Last week Adelaide had a good showing against Wellington Phoenix and I think this is their chance to notch their first win. A win for Adelaide would mean they would have been the first team to score against the Mariners and with the kind of strikers they have at their disposal they should be up to the task.

The match will also see the Vidmar brothers Tony and Aurelio face each other. Also Damien Mori will come back to Hindmarsh but playing for the Mariners. I don't understand why Mori cannot get a long-term contract with any of the A-League clubs especially in a league of so many misfiring strikers.

Elsewhere Victory welcome the Queensland Roar at the Dome still searching for their first win. Victory had a disastrous first half against the Jets last weekend but played better in the second half to come up with the fifth draw in as many games. I am hoping that if this match is a draw, then it wont be a goal-less draw.

What I don't understand about Victory are the substitutions. Against Newcastle Joseph Keenan was easily the best player on the park for Victory and yet he was substituted and players who were having a poor game like Kevin Muscat and Grant Brebner were left to finish the whole match with minimal contribution. The same thing happened the previous week against the Mariners when Adrian Caceras was taken off instead of taking off the said two central midfielders.

I also think Carlos Hernandez should be left to last whole match because he seemed to do very well against a tiring Jets defence. I just think that the more he plays he the more he gets used to the pace and conditions of the A-League.

For the two remaining matches, I think Sydney and Phoenix should be able to get their first home wins against Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory respectively. Perth still have problems with scoring and I cannot see them go past an impressive Phoenix outfit whilst for Sydney if Juninho plays that would be a big boost and help them win after their lucky win against the Roar last weekend.

Meanwhile on TipsChallenge there is no clear leader as predictions get harder with each passing week.

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