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2011/12 A-League season Preview

Its less than ten days before the new 2011/12 A-League season starts and maybe a time to have a look at what the season can bring.

With North Queensland Fury folding, the A-League is back to ten teams like it was in the 2009/10 season and therefore no more byes.

This season is being touted as one of the most anticipated one because of the arrival of Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton at Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC respectively.

While those are the most high profile arrivals, there are other significant arrivals with Melbourne Heart getting former Victory player Fred and Newcastle Jets getting Jason Culina(although he is injured and will miss the season) and Bruce Djite going back to Adelaide.

There has been some departures as well notably Matt McKay leaving champions Brisbane Roar for Scottish champions Rangers and Marcos Flores leaving Adelaide United for Henan Jianye.

I think the Roar set the benchmark last season when they lost just one match and played some brilliant football throughout.

I think they will still be the team to beat and I expect them to be in the finals. The A-League final series will still involve the top six teams.

Last season saw the revival of Adelaide and though they finished to reach the final, they had a good team throughout the season. The question is how they will cope without Flores.

Whilst Victory got Kewell, I doubt they have a strong defence. For many seasons their defence has relied on Kevin Muscat at least in terms of organising it and now that he has retired it will be interesting how the team will embark on the first full season without him.

Going forward Sydney will have Emerton and also Nick Carle and so on paper they look like they will be dangerous.

The Central Coast Mariners almost won the grand final last season and I think they are going to be there and thereabouts.

Perth Glory always look like a better team than the season before but by season end they fizzle out. Hope this season will be different for them as they start the season without Robbie Fowler who left for Thailand.

The Wellington Phoenix was one of the solid teams last season especially at home. Now with new owners on board, they have to improve their away form and start racking wins away from Westpac Stadium.

Last but not least the youngest team in the league, Melbourne Heart. They Heart have brought in David Williams, Maycon, Fred, Curtis Good, Mate Dugandzic and they should have a better start than they had last season which I think ultimately cost them a place in the finals.

I was surprised that Victory let Dugandzic who was lively every time he played for Victory.

The A-League is one of the most difficult leagues to predict because any tea but I will see how I go on TipsChallenge this season.

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