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Asian Champions League

Sydney FC v Shanghai Shenhua

  • So far, Sydney FC has won only one game in the first five of the group stage of the Asian Champions League, but a solid win tonight against a depleted and last placed Shanghai Shenhua, as well as a draw or loss or Suwon Bluewings v Kashima Antlers in the other group game will see Sydney FC through to the next stage. Our tip? They'll make it. 
  • Andrew Redmayne might be a 'late bloomer' career-wise but he's making the most of the opportunity ever since he was reunited with his mentor (goalkeeping coach) John Crawley, and plans to keep a clean sheet in tonight's match. 
  • Another version of the same story here with the point made that while many thought letting Danny Vukovic go to Belgium was a strange decision, Graham Arnold knew they had a more than adequate replacement in Redmayne. 

Melbourne Victory v Shanghai SIPG

  • On the other hand, it would take a miracle for Melbourne Victory to make the second stage. Even if they beat top-placed Shanghai SIPG (also with a depleted squad), and if second-placed Ulsan Hyundai also lost to Kawasaki Frontale, they could not make it. For this reason, Melbourne Victory is likely to give fringe players a chance to play, and rest others in preparation for the weekend's semi-final. 


Huh? "The main prize is already won"? Seriously? Isn't the 'main prize' winning the Women's Asian Cup - with World Cup qualification a nice little side benefit? What does it say about attitude to Asia that actually winning the tournament is a matter that requires special 'motivation'? The same AAP piece is repeated in Fairfax. 

A-League finals

  • Melbourne City has their best chance ever of making the grand final, writes David Davutovic, with Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets standing in the way. He looks at the finals permutations from a Melbourne perspective and says that a Saturday night grand final is "almost certain". 
  • Good news for Brisbane Roars fans with news that Brett Holman's knee shows no structural damage and he may be fit to play this weekend. 
  • A "swashbuckling victory" after a deflating loss the previous week was a confidence-booster to Adelaide United and shows that they could 'go all the way' according to Ben Garuccio. 


Western Sydney Wanderers

  • Josep Gombau tells Ray Gatt he isn't concerned about the 'pressure' of which the media keeps writing and says it's natural for clubs to go through cycles like this. He is focussed on building for next season. 
  • Brendon Santalab says "something has to change" after the club missed out on the finals who is still mourning the walkout of Tony Popovic, which is apparently viewed by Santalab as the "loss of Popa" - rather than a coach deciding to walk out on the club only days before the season started. 
  • Obviously, Santalab has been on the phone because here he is talking with Fairfax also saying much the same thing, and cited as "leading the charge" against Gombau.
  • Santalab also reveals that he missed the team talk after the match on Sunday evening as he was busy thanking supporters (picture). 

Melbourne City

  • It's club awards time with Melbourne City naming Dutchman Bart Schenkeveld and American Lauren Barnes as their players of the season. In case you're wondering, Daniel Arzani was named Supporters' Player of the Year. All the award winners here via Michael Lynch. 

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