Sport Football ‘They have too much quality’: Socceroos greats preview A-League season

‘They have too much quality’: Socceroos greats preview A-League season

Milos Ninkovic Sydney FC
Milos Ninkovic (left) was named the A-League's best player last season. Photo: Getty
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Sydney FC and Adelaide United are the sides to beat in the 13th edition of the A-League, Socceroos greats Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater believe.

The Sky Blues lost just once last season in a dominant campaign that saw them finish first and win the grand final on penalties against Melbourne Victory.

Slater said Sydney has “too much quality” this year and that Graham Arnold’s squad has only got better in the off-season.

“They look stronger than last season and the signing of Adrian Mierzejewski looks a fantastic one,” Slater told The New Daily.

“They will have him and [Milos] Ninkovic playing behind Bobo and [Alex] Brosque … I think they will become the first A-League side to win back-to-back titles.”

Bosnich, who, like Slater will headline Fox Sports’ A-League coverage, says “Adelaide United will finish first past the post”.

“They’ve signed some excellent players, like Johan Absalonsen, Nikola Mileusnic and the Algerian boy, Karim Matmour,” he told The New Daily.

Adelaide finished second-last in the 2016-17 season but Bosnich is convinced things will change, also tipping Newcastle to surge from last into the finals.

Bosnich and Slater both picked Sydney, Western Sydney, Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Adelaide to finish in the top six, only differing on Perth and Newcastle.

And that looks like bad news for Brisbane, Central Coast and Wellington.

See who moved where and comments on each side below.

Adelaide United
Coach: Marco Kurz
Key signings: Daniel Adlung, Ersan Gulum, Paul Izzo
Key outs: Marcelo Carrusca, Sergio Cirio, Eugene Galekovic
Last season: Ninth
This season: “The coach has a lot of experience, they’ve made great signings and have a lot to prove. My tip for first.” – Bosnich

Brisbane Roar
Coach: John Aloisi
Key signings: Massimo Maccarone, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Eric Bautheac
Key outs: Thomas Broich, Jamie Maclaren, Tommy Oar
Last season: Third (lost semi-final)
This season: “I feel very sorry for [coach] John Aloisi [with internal problems]. It’s a tough time. Behind the scenes, he makes sacrifices you wouldn’t at a club where everything was going fine.” – Bosnich

Thomas Broich Brisbane
Things will be very different for the Roar without Thomas Broich. Photo: Getty

Central Coast
Coach: Paul Okon
Key signings: Danny De Silva, Alan Baro, Wout Brama
Key outs: Roy O’Donovan, Nick Montgomery, Fabio Ferreira
Last season: Eighth
This season: “They’re a bit of a dark horse. I expect to see better things, particularly if they stay relatively injury free.” – Slater

Melbourne City
Coach: Warren Joyce
Key signings: Ross McCormack, Eugene Galekovic, Marcin Budzinski
Key outs: Ivan Franjic, Thomas Sorensen, Anthony Caceres
Last season: Fourth (lost elimination final)
This season: “Losing Bruno Fornaroli to injury is a massive blow. McCormack has obviously got issues but if he gets his head right, he could be an able replacement.” – Slater

Melbourne Victory
Coach: Kevin Muscat
Key signings: Mark Milligan, Kosta Barbarouses, Rhys Williams
Key outs: Marco Rojas, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Daniel Georgievski
Last season: Second (lost grand final)
This season: “The biggest club in the land. Milligan and Barbarouses are in the top bracket of players and know the system. Good signings.” – Bosnich

Newcastle Jets
Coach: Ernie Merrick
Key signings: Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Roy O’Donovan, Ronald Vargas
Key outs: Morten Nordstrand, Andrew Hoole, Mateo Poljak
Last season: 10th
This season: “I think they will improve. Vargas, the Venezuelan, looks a smart signing. And Ernie Merrick is experienced.” – Slater

Ernie Merrick Newcastle Jets
Ernie Merrick is back in the A-League following a stint with Wellington. Photo: Getty

Perth Glory
Coach: Kenny Lowe
Key signings: Xavi Torres, Andreu, Mitch Nichols
Key outs: Rhys Williams, Josh Risdon, Richard Garcia
Last season: Fifth (lost semi-final)
This season: “They are my wildcard. They can beat anyone on their day – but also lose to anyone. That will frustrate fans as much as it frustrates coach Kenny Lowe.” – Bosnich

Sydney FC
Coach: Graham Arnold
Key signings: Adrian Mierzejewski, Luke Wilkshire, Paulo Retre
Key outs: Danny Vukovic, Bernie Ibini, Filip Holosko
Last season: First (won grand final)
This season: “They’ve got too much quality. Mierzejewski will be right up there in the Johnny Warren Medal race. My tip.” – Slater

Wellington Phoenix
Coach: Darije Kalezic
Key signings: Dario Vidosic, Andrija Kaluderovic, Scott Galloway
Key outs: Kosta Barbarouses, Roly Bonevacia, Glen Moss
Last season: Seventh
This season: “They’ve got a lot to prove. I want to see them show their value to the A-League. They should be doing better with the big home advantage they have.” – Bosnich

Western Sydney Wanderers
Coach: Hayden Foxe
Key signings: Alvaro Cejudo, Oriol Riera, Michael Thwaite
Key outs: Mitch Nichols, Nicolas Martinez, Terry Antonis
Last season: Sixth (lost elimination final)
This season: “It [coach Tony Popovic leaving last week] was a real bombshell. It’s destabilising. Riera looks good and I’m hearing good things about Cejudo. I have them in the top four.” – Slater

FOX SPORTS will show every game of the Hyundai A-League live, with no ad-breaks during play and in HD.

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