Mark Bosnich's predictions for the 2019/20 A-League season.
Mark Bosnich's predictions for the 2019/20 A-League season.

Bozza’s bold predictions for A-League 2019/20

This season is a little bit unexpected for a number of reasons. The strength of all the teams makes it tough to pick a winner, plus we've got new and untested coaches and players and others more familiar but with much to prove.

So far the signs from new Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts and new Adelaide United manager Gertjan Verbeek are good - who can deny that when both their sides are in the FFA Cup final?

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City are my favourites, and I view the Reds as this season's dark horses. I'm also interested to see how Robbie Fowler fares at Brisbane Roar. Can the Liverpool legend coach?

Then there are the well-known names. Alen Stajcic has a fresh start after his controversial Matildas sacking but A-League credentials to prove at a minnow club, and let's see if Mark Rudan can repeat his Wellington Phoenix exploits with new boys Western United.

Can Steve Corica and Tony Popovic replicate their success with Sydney FC and Perth Glory respectively? Markus Babbel, meanwhile, isn't a man to cave under pressure but, with his own squad ready to roll and back at Parramatta, expectations are higher.

 

Melbourne Victory head coach Marco Kurz. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images
Melbourne Victory head coach Marco Kurz. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

The same won't be said for the Newcastle Jets, though Ernie Merrick is one of the league's most successful coaches to date. And how will Melbourne Victory do under Marco Kurz - the first time in 15 years without Kevin Muscat as a player or coach?

Most clubs have strengthened through off-season recruitment. The question now is which teams gel on the pitch and are able to handle other factors such as the Asian Champions League.

This is particularly intriguing in relation to Perth, and I wonder if Popovic will start rotating his squad early in preparation. If so, will that affect the rhythm that propelled a stable Glory line-up to last season's premiership and grand final?

 

 

 

LADDER PREDICTION

1. Melbourne City

2. Western Sydney Wanderers

3. Melbourne Victory

4. Sydney FC

5. Adelaide United

6. Brisbane Roar

 

PREMIERS: Melbourne City

City are by far the most impressive team I've seen this pre-season. The addition of Mombaerts will prove crucial, and we've already witnessed what he's capable of throughout his new side's FFA Cup final run. City's rejuvenation has been boosted by new recruit Craig Noone, the English import tearing up the Cup. And let's not forget goal-hungry Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren.

 

CHAMPIONS: Western Sydney Wanderers

Babbel is now in a good place, with his own squad and a chance to fully implement his philosophy. The loss of Polish playmaker Radoslaw Majewski to a serious knee injury is a big blow but I still expect the Wanderers to do their best work post-season. The finals are a separate competition - anything can happen.

 

 

 

 

WOODEN SPOON: I have no experience with wooden spoons so I couldn't possibly comment.

 

JOHNNY WARREN MEDAL: Craig Noone (Melbourne City)

 

GOLDEN BOOT: Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City)

 

RISING STARS: Samuel Silvera (Central Coast Mariners), Al Hassan Toure (Adelaide United), Connor Metcalfe (Melbourne City)

 

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Western United

 

GOALKEEPER TO WATCH: Daniel Lopar

News Corp Australia

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