Sydney FC were convincing minor premiers in 2016/17, going undefeated in all but one A-League fixture. Sydney still did it the hard way in the Grand Final, coming back from being 1-goal down and securing the win via penalty shoot-out.
Sydney have lost the service of striker Filip Holosko for 2017/18, though more costly is the departure of goal-keeper Danny Vukovic and the ACL injury of the always energetic Ryhan Grant. With Vukovic at goal keeper, Sydney conceded only 12 regular season goals all last season. While Grant contributed heavily in attack, yet still defended strongly at left-back. Socceroo, Alex Wilkshire has been brought in to cover the injured Grant, while Andrew Redmayne and Alex Cisak will compete for the goal keeper jersey.
Sydney are short-prices favourites to again take out the premiership and championship double, and deservedly so.
Victory lost to Sydney four times last season, but surely can bridge the gap, and at least get closer this year. The two ‘big blue’ teams are the powerhouse clubs of the competition and will once again be the favourites for the season.
Boosting Victory’s 2017/18 claims is the return of Mark Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses, while Argentine Matias Sanchez will provide more options in midfield and attack. All-time A-League leading goal-scorer will once again lead Victory as striker, though should he get injured Victory don’t have much depth in the position.
Victory will no doubt be knocking on Sydney FC’s door this season and should comfortably find themselves in the top 2/3 of the table.
38-year-old Massimo Maccarone has arrived in Brisbane, having scored over 100 goals in the Serie A. As well as Maccarone, Brisbane have another eight players on their books over the age of 30. The Roar aren’t expected to have a great deal of speed in attack, though will have extra attacking options from young-gun Peter Skapetis and veteran Fahid Ben Khalfallah, both recent additions to the club.
The Roar are expected to be once again a competitive squad in 2017/18, though it’s hard to see them being real contenders for the premiership.
City have been one of the best performing clubs over the past couple of seasons; the highlight being winning last years’ FFA Cup. Despite this, City are still yet to finish above 4th place on the A-League ladder and will no doubt be looking to improve on this in 2018.
City will be without Star forward Bruno Fornaroli for much of the opening months of the season, after he sustained a serious ankle injury in an FFA Cup clash. In replacement, City have acquired the services of striker Ross McCormack on loan for 1-year from Aston Villa. McCormack will be needed as there only other real attacking option is veteran Socceroo Tim Cahill, who can be handy… when he turns up.
City should once again be one of the tougher teams in the competition. If they can start the season well, they will finish it even stronger with the return of Fornaroli.
Perth Glory have lost a host of experienced players for the 2017/18 season. Glory will look to fill these gaps with the signing of Spanish players Andreu Guerao and Xavi Torres. Torres and Guerao will look to link up with fellow Spanish compatriot Diego Castro in the midfield and together service strikers Adam Taggart and Andy Koegh. An exciting prospect for Glory is the return of Australian young-gun Jake Brimmer from the Liverpool youth academy.
Perth could be a bit of a dark horse in the 2017/18 A-League season though will have to dramatically improve their away form with only 2 of their 10 wins in 2016/17 coming from away fixtures.
The Wanderers have already had one of the worst possible starts to the 2017/18 season, losing their inaugural coach Tony Popovic only a week out from the beginning of the season.
The Wanderers will be looking to improve their attack for the 2017/18 season, scoring significantly less goals last season than the other top six teams. To do this the Wanderers have signed Spanish maestros Álvaro Cejudo and Oriol Riera. Cejudo shares the same FIFA 18 ranking (76) as Diego Castro and Bruno Fornaroli, placing him as one of the most talented players in the A-League. Australian talent Chris Herd will also look to make his mark the A-League having spent several years globetrotting following a long stint on Aston Villas books.
The Wanderers were set for a much-improved year, only to be derailed early by the loss of Coach Popovic. Like 2016/17, they may find their form late in the season and should have a run at the finals.
The Phoenix are coming off a tough 2017 season and haven’t shown a lot of promise in FFA Cup fixtures. They do have a new coach however, Darije Kalezic, who will be looking to mix things up for the struggling New Zealand side.
Attacking players Roly Bonevacia and Kosta Barbarouses have been lost to rival A-League sides, while experienced players Ali Abbas, Andrija Kaludjerovic and Goran Paracki have been brought in.
Wellington are $3.20 for the wooden spoon with William Hill; this probably represents the best futures betting option for the Phoenix.
Promising young Australian talent Danny De Silva has joined the Mariners for 2017/18 and will be looking to have his break-out year. Currently only 20-years old, De Silve made his A-League debut in 2013, before having multiple European loan deals stuffed-up and playing a short stint in the Netherlands.
Thomas Glover is another young Australian star added to the squad, the talented Goal Keeper Joins the mariners on a 1-year loan from Tottenham.
While we hope to see improvements from Central Coast this year, they are currently favourites for the wooden spoon at $2.85 (William Hill).
Coming off a disappointing 2016/17 season, Adelaide have shown strong form in the FFA Cup and are expected to bounce back in the A-League this season.
New coach, Marco Kurz has strengthened the team in both attack and defence with transfers. Midfielders Daniel Adlung and Karim Matmour join form 1860 Munich. Baba Diawara and George Blackwood will compete for the striker role. While highly rated defenders Mariner Paul Izzo and Ersan Gulum will cover the departures of Gelakovic and McGowan.
Adelaide have qualified for the FFA Semi-finals, beating 3 A-league opponents on their path to the finals, and are looking poised to be back in A-League finals contentions this season.
The Newcastle Jets finished the 2016/17 season in the bottom place on the ladder and at $5.50 for the 2017/18 wooden spoon, are one the favourites to do so again.
Veteran Venezualan Ronald Vargas has been added to the squad and be will looking to turn the Jets into an attacking force. He is joined by experienced forwards Roy O’Donovan and Dimitri Petratos, who together should give the Jets fans much more to cheer about in 2017/18.
The Jets look to have the talent to get themselves off the bottom of the table and can possibly push for a top-six finish.