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2010/11 A-League season preview

The 2010/11 A-League season starts in a few days time when the new club Melbourne Heart hosts the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park.

For the first time the A-League will have eleven teams which means that every weekend one team will have a bye.

The increased number of teams have meant that there is an increased number of matches that will be played midweek and some rounds will have six or seven matches meaning that some teams will play twice in one round.

An example will be round 6 where Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory will each play two matches even though the North Queensland Fury will have no match in that round.

I think a season like the 2010/11 one calls for squads with more options and depth and I think rotating players will become an important issue in the new season.

I think the defending champions Sydney will once again be the team to beat.

It looks like the champions have a stronger side this season especially having snared Nicky Carle into their team and they have also played some quality pre-season friendlies in the Sydney Festival of Football tournament.

There hasn't been much movement at Melbourne Victory in terms of players coming in but both last season's goalkeepers have left the club.

With Archie Thompson out for the start of the season I think last season's runners up will struggle for goals this season.

I expect the Wellington Phoenix to be better than last season and so I expect them to finish in the top four places.

Ricky Herbert is staying as coach and they have also acquired Jade North and I expect a stronger team compared to last season's which reached the team's maiden finals.

There will be three new foreign coaches in the A-League this season.

The North Queensland Fury, Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart have all acquired new foreign coaches and it will be interesting to see how these teams will approach their matches.

Also the Mariners have a new coach with Graham Arnold taking over the reigns as he moves from international football to club football.

There has been so many changes at Fury and I don't know what to expect from the team. I am hoping that they will be as competitive.

I would expect Perth Glory to be better this time especially now that they have Robbie Fowler in their ranks and they should have a reliable source of much needed goals.

Last season the Glory had a very good home record and if they can build on that I cannot see them failing to reach the finals again.

The introduction of Heart will see a true city derby for the first time in the A-League when Heart meets Victory in round 9.

One thing that makes the A-League interesting is how hard it is to predict the matches as any team can beat anyone and so I will continue with my A-League tipping on TipsChallenge.

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