Ranking the 2020/21 A-League defences

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Each season seems to be all about the attacking prowess in the A-League. As usual the defensive efforts are being overlooked due to the lack of glamour associated. However, defence wins championships.

So here are this season’s power rankings for the league’s defences until March 11.

  1. Melbourne Victory

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In what will come as little surprise. The Victory come in at the bottom of the pile in the defensive rankings.

They have conceded 23 goals in 10 games and boast a negative 13 goal difference, nine worse than their closest competitor.

A bit more focus on their defensive duties could not hurt the cellar dwellers.

  1. Perth Glory

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There is no doubt Perth’s games have been entertaining to watch so far. However, they have conceded the third most goals in the competition despite having played the least games in the league.

Their only saving grace is their attack, it has been firing which means they somehow have a positive goal difference.

The defence is definitely an area Richard Garcia will be focusing on in the next few weeks if the Glory wish to be in finals contention.

  1. Adelaide United

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Despite Adelaide’s decent position on the ladder, they have the second most goals conceded in the league.

They have conceded two goals or more in six of their ten games this season which is unacceptable for a side who wish to remain in the top four. The Reds also have the league’s third worst goal difference.

  1. Western United

The sophomores have the fourth most goals conceded throughout the league despite playing the second least amount of games.

Their poor defence has certainly cost the side valuable points as they have scored 16 goals in their nine games.

Mark Rudan’s side would be on the precipice of the top six if their defence had been better.

  1. Wellington Phoenix

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The Nix have conceded 14 goals in 10 matches, however their defensive vulnerability has been on display.

Two poorly defended counterattacks against the Jets at home stick out, and the Nix have lacked leadership in Steven Taylor’s absence. His recapturing, along with two clean sheets on the bounce, are exactly what the side need in order to boost their defensive efforts.

  1. Brisbane Roar

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The Roar are averaging a concession rate of three goals every two games, which is by no means a poor feat.

However only two clean sheets in their 10 matches is a poor return. If they wish to get above the middle of the pack into the top four, their defence needs to be tighter.

  1. Melbourne City

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City have room to improve their defence despite having the third least goals conceded across the league.

However, they have played the second least amount of games and have conceded two goals or more in five of their nine matches.

In saying this, they also have three clean sheets.

  1. Western Sydney Wanderers

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The Wanderers have three clean sheets this season, which is the equal third most, but they have conceded two goals or more in four matches.

They are third on the table but if they wish to stay there, their defence will need to be more stringent.

  1. Newcastle Jets

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Despite their low position on the ladder, the Jets’ defence has to be given some degree of credit.

They have the least goals in the competition with only nine goals in 11 matches and the second worst goal difference.

Experienced duo Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Nigel Boogard have been solid, as has Johnny Koutrombis. If their attack can get firing, you can expect their position on the ladder to rise.

  1. Macarthur FC

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The rookies have the second most clean sheets with four so far.

They are in the bottom half for total goals conceded which demonstrates a need for improvement. However, as they are in their first A-League season, we will give them a bit more time to prove to us they are deserving of the bronze medal.

  1. Sydney FC

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Sydney have the least goals conceded in the league averaging a goal per game.

The attack has been the problem not the defence, as they have the third least goals for this season. They have had three clean sheets and have only conceded more than once on two occasions this season.

The experienced pairing of Alex Wilkinson and Ryan McGowan has played its part to great effect so far.

  1. Central Coast Mariners

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The Mariners have conceded the second least goals conceded, having played a game more than Sydney. Three of these were the controversial penalty decisions against Adelaide.

Despite having the same average goals per game against as Sydney, the drastic improvement to the Mariners’ defence is what earns them the number one spot.

The young partnership of Ruon Tongyik and Kye Rowles have come leaps and bounds from last season and are sticking to their task well. They also have the most clean sheets in the league with five in 11.

Feature Image Credit: Angus Brien

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Chris Ball
Football fanatic, supporting some, at times, hard to follow sides.
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