TWG's A-League festive season dream team

Christmas is here and the A-League season is in full swing - so, who's made the final XI for our festive season dream team?

Fornaroli

Source: Getty Images

There have been a number of stand out performers across the competition so far, and no doubt, some have been unlucky to miss out.

Some will have to play out of position, but we're sure they would do it for us.

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This is The World Game's festive season starting side, lining up in a curriculum-adhereing 4-3-3 formation.

Mark Birighitti

Newcastle shot-stopper Birighitti is having a whale of a season, averaging 4.2 saves per match, but with only two clean sheets in ten games. 

It's an indication of how busy Birighitti has been, and his form has been all the more impressive given his enforced spell after the horrific facial injuries he sustained in a coming together with Shane Smeltz.



Josh Risdon

If it's good enough for Ange Postecoglou, it's good enough for us. 

Risdon's raids down the right and strength in defence saw the Socceroos coach come calling and he made his national team debut in Australia's win against Bangladesh in November. 



Matthieu Delpierre

French defender Delpierre oozes class and is the fulcrum of the Victory defence.

Although they have wobbled in recent weeks, there is no doubt Kevin Muscat's side are one of the contenders and Delpierre's form is crucial to their hopes.

Matthew Jurman

Sydney FC has the best defence in the league, with only nine goals conceded, and the much-improved Jurman has stepped up to another level.

Jurman, a favourite of Graham Arnold, has carried a shaky-looking Jacques Faty through this season, and the fact he is left footed adds balance to our team.

Scott Jamieson

Jamieson's move to Western Sydney Wanderers has reaped immediate dividends.

The left-back has played every minute of each game this season, creating three goals in the process. The Wanderers are flying high and Jamieson is one of the league's most dangerous left-backs.

dream team


Andreu

The battery in the Wanderers' watch is deep-lying midfielder Andreu.

The Spaniard is metronomic in his consistency and the way he circulates the ball through midfield has helped Tony Popovic and his coaching staff revolutionise Western Sydney's style of play.

Aaron Mooy

Mooy is the A-League's hottest player and has been instrumental for City in their rise to third on the table.

The Socceroos midfielder at the peak of his powers, racking up seven assists to go with his six goals this season.

The real question: is he the greatest ever Australian player in the A-League?



Mitch Nichols

The Wanderers are the form side of the A-League, off the back of eight consecutive games without defeat, and much of that has been due to the prowess of Nichols.

Not only has the 26 year-old found the back of the net on six occasions this year, but he cruically scored late winners against both the Jets and Roar.

Besart Berisha

The A-League's best striker Berisha has found the going tough at times this season but has still manufactured seven goals in the process.

For Victory to reignite their season, and for Berisha to palm off stiff competition for the golden boot, the Albanian's expertise in finding the back of the net will be crucial.

He'd have to play from the left for us, but we're sure he'd make it work.

Roy Krishna

The Fijian flyer's exceptional form has been the shining light for Ernie Merrick's outfit, in what has been a trying season so far for the 'Nix, off the field at least.

Keeping in good company with our other star attackers, the 28 year-old has also scored six times this season and produced three assists.

Bruno Fornaroli

The high-flying Uruguayan has scored nine times for City in only eleven games - obviously he is now favourite for the competition's Golden Boot.

Fornaroli's telepathic relationship with Aaron Mooy has seen City thump home 29 goals. It's 11 strikes more than the next best attacking team, Western Sydney Wanderers.

"El Tuna" has been a breathe of fresh air this season.

BENCH

Thomas Sorensen - His man of the match performance in the Melbourne Derby showed what the Denmark international is capable of.  He has come to the rescue in several crucial games for City this season, helping them to third place on the A-league table.

Daniel Bowles - Brisbane defender Bowles has been a rock in the heart of a Brisbane defence which has conceded the second fewest amount of goals this season. He has shown serious ability in the centre, after getting an opportunity initially on the right.

Corona - The Spanish playmaker has brought composure in spades to Roar’s midfield this season, helping Brisbane bounce back from a tumultuous off-season. Luke Brattan's departure has hardly been felt thanks to Corona's influence.

David Carney - Carney has been a revelation for Scott Miller’s side this season, rediscovering the form that earned him 48 caps for the Socceroos, tellingly as a winger, not a left back.

Harry Novillo - The former Lyon winger has quickly become a fan favourite at City, managing four goals in seven appearences this season, despite struggling with injury.

Kosta Barbarouses - Kiwi flyer Barbarouses has been a constant thorn in defenders' sides with his pace and clever runs in-behind. The 25 year-old’s exploits on the other side of the ball are also worth a mention, winning 94% of his tackles this season.

Jamie Maclaren - The 22 year-old has scored six goals in 10 games since joining Brisbane Roar, a key part in Roar’s strong start to the season. He's obviously learning from his mentor, Roar coach and a striker of some pedigree, John Aloisi.



COACH

John Aloisi - The Brisbane Roar coach has successfully harnessed his squad in the face of some serious off-field issues, getting the best out of Corona and crucially Maclaren. The appointment of brother Ross as assistant was a shrewd move. 



Tony Popovic was unlucky not to get the gig in the dugout given his work in the Wanderers revolution, but Aloisi's mastery in the face of off-field issues gives him the edge.




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6 min read
Published 23 December 2015 at 6:15pm
By Basil Saab, Patrick Nugent, Matthew Connellan
Source: SBS