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A-League Alert: Halloran earns Veart Praises, Bernardo set to re-ignite Macarthur’s season?

18 January, 2024

Round 13 of the A-League heralds thrilling narratives as teams vie for supremacy. Adelaide United’s Ben Halloran emerges as a pivotal figure, his recent performances sparking discussions about his influential role. Meanwhile, Bernardo’s strategic move to Macarthur FC is set to add a new dimension to their gameplay. As we delve into these key transitions, we uncover the subtle yet significant shifts in team dynamics that could reshape the A-League’s ongoing saga.

Ben Halloran: Adelaide United's Unsung Hero?

Adelaide United’s Ben Halloran is commanding the spotlight with his exceptional form, particularly highlighted in their recent 4-3 triumph over Sydney FC. Halloran, operating in a second striker role alongside Hiroshi Ibusuki, showcased his versatility, contributing crucially in both attacking and defensive facets. With two assists in this match, he’s not just a playmaker but a linchpin in Adelaide’s attacking machinery.

Ibusuki finished the game with a hat-trick, but it was Halloran – who has been a head-scratching omission from some of coach Carl Veart’s line-ups this season – that was heaped with praise from the United coach.

Halloran’s statistics this season paint a picture of an indispensable asset. With 4 goals and 6 assists, he’s a significant contributor to Adelaide’s offence. His 25 shots, including 10 on target, underscore his proactive approach in creating opportunities. The midfielder-forward stands out not just in his goal-scoring ability but in his overall playmaking skills, with a goal involvement rate that sets him apart in the A-League.

This season, Halloran has evolved into a multifaceted player. His role has been crucial in Adelaide’s tactical shift to deploying two center forwards, a strategy that’s paid dividends for both Ibusuki and the team. Under coach Carl Veart, Adelaide has found a balance in their attacking play, with Halloran at the core of this strategic pivot.

Bernardo Jumps Ship: Can He Reignite Macarthur's Season?

Bernardo’s arrival at Macarthur FC is stirring significant interest in the A-League. At just 19, Bernardo brings a wealth of experience far beyond his years from his tenure at Adelaide United. 

The son of Adelaide legend Cassio, Bernardo initiated the switch as he grew frustrated with a lack of playing opportunities at United, and his record might show why Macarthur were waiting in the wings to give the talented youngster his opportunity.

His statistics are a testament to his potential: 2 goals and 2 assists in just 8 matches. This translates to an impressive goal involvement rate of 2.11 per 90 minutes, an indicator of his efficacy in front of the goal. Scoring every 86 minutes, his efficiency and discipline on the field, exemplified by zero bookings, speak volumes about his maturity and gameplay understanding.

Macarthur FC, currently navigating through a challenging phase marked by injuries and player departures, views Bernardo as a beacon of hope. His dynamic style and knack for goal creation and scoring align perfectly with the team’s aspirations to uplift their game. The integration of a player of Bernardo’s caliber could inject much-needed vitality into Macarthur’s attacking front, potentially reigniting their season.

Comparing Bernardo’s goal involvement rate to Macarthur’s existing squad, it’s evident that he could be among the top contributors offensively. His per 90-minute rate of 2.11 places him significantly higher than many current Macarthur players in terms of direct goal contributions. This statistic suggests that Bernardo could rapidly become one of Macarthur’s most impactful players, particularly in crucial situations where goals are desperately needed.

Bernardo’s Stats:

Bernardo’s season stats for Adelaide United before joining Macarthur FC are noteworthy:

  • Matches Played: 8 in A-League
  • Goals: 2 (1.05 per 90 minutes)
  • Assists: 2 (1.05 per 90 minutes)
  • Total Goal Involvement: 4 (2.11 per 90 minutes)
  • Minutes Played: 171

In comparison, Macarthur FC’s top contributors like Valère Germain and Ulises Dávila have lower per 90 minutes goal involvement rates. Bernardo’s arrival could significantly enhance Macarthur’s attacking capabilities, adding depth and efficiency in the final third with his impressive per-minute contribution rate.

Bernardo’s transfer is more than just an addition to the squad; it represents a strategic move by Macarthur FC to bolster their offensive prowess. His youth, coupled with his proven track record, brings a fresh and energetic approach to the team.

Around the Grounds

Brisbane Roar vs Macarthur FC (Thu, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium):

Brisbane Roar, rejuvenated under Ben Cahn’s leadership, faces a formidable challenge against Macarthur. With key players like Jay O’Shea in top form, the Roar could leverage their home advantage against a Macarthur team looking to climb higher in the ladder.

 

Wellington Phoenix vs Melbourne Victory (Fri, 5:00pm, Sky Stadium):

In a top-of-the-table clash, Wellington Phoenix hosts Melbourne Victory. The Nix’s goal-scoring prowess, spearheaded by Kosta Barbarouses, goes head-to-head with Victory’s unbeaten streak. Expect a high-intensity match where both teams will be cautious yet ambitious.

 

Sydney FC vs Newcastle Jets (Fri, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium):

Sydney FC aims to recover from their recent defeat against a resilient Newcastle Jets. With Sydney’s talent mismatch, they’re favored, but the Jets’ fighting spirit could spring a surprise.

 

Western Sydney Wanderers vs Perth Glory (Sat, 7:45pm, CommBank Stadium):

The Wanderers, with a pattern of alternating wins and losses, face a depleted Perth Glory. Perth’s challenges, including player exits, set the stage for Western Sydney to potentially secure a comfortable victory.

 

Central Coast Mariners vs Melbourne City (Sun, 5:00pm, Industree Group Stadium):

A close contest awaits as Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City FC lock horns. Both teams, recovering from Unite Round, have their strengths, but the Mariners could leverage their home advantage for a narrow win.

 

Newcastle Jets vs Brisbane Roar (Tue, 7:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium):

In a rescheduled fixture, Brisbane Roar visits Newcastle Jets. Brisbane’s recent form and historical edge at McDonald Jones Stadium may give them the upper hand, despite Newcastle’s resilience.

 

Western United v Adelaide United has been postponed

Tips

Brisbane Roar v Macarthur FC – Draw

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne VIctory – Draw

Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets – Sydney FC to win

Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory – Western Sydney Wanderers to win

Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar – Brisbane Roar to win

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