A-League Preview: Victory the group to beat in bid for back-to-back titles

The A-League begins on Thursday and Melbourne Victory are favourites to defend their crown.

Defending champions Melbourne Victory stay the team to beat because the A-League returns for an 11th season this week.
Victory kick off their 2015-16 campaign at rivals Adelaide United on Friday, per day right after Western Sydney Wanderers open the season against Brisbane Roar.
Kevin Muscat’s guys had been a class above final term, claiming a third championship having a 3-0 victory over Sydney FC in May’s grand final.
Victory are being tipped to go back-to-back this season, even devoid of captain and Australia international Mark Milligan.
Milligan departed for Baniyas within the United Arab Emirates following the A-League grand final.
Favouritism is down towards the club’s shrewd recruitment of Socceroos midfielder Oliver Bozanic, too as goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and former Swansea City youngster Giancarlo Gallifuoco.
Sydney are expected to mount a further challenge for the title under Graham Arnold.
The two-time champions finished second within the standings last season just before they have been swept aside by Victory five months ago.
Mickael Tavares and Sydney, on the other hand, are making use of that forgettable day in Melbourne as motivation ahead of their season opener against Melbourne City on Saturday.
“As quickly as we finished that game, I moved on,” the Senegalese midfielder mentioned. “For confident, we’re motivated to win the championship this season, but it’s not like I spent the entire of my holidays considering about that game.
“No, we did excellent within the second half of your season but around the day Melbourne were greater than us, they deserved to win the game. We won’t overlook the game, it really is a part of our motivation needless to say, but it just isn’t the key issue to consider.”
City – bankrolled by the City Football Group – are noticed as title contenders, following the arrivals of Socceroos duo Ivan Franjic and Michael Zullo.
Former Premier League goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has been coaxed out of retirement to join the club, while Northern Ireland international Aaron Hughes can also be on the books this year.
Saturday’s only other fixtures sees Central Coast Mariners host Perth Glory.
The Glory is going to be desperate to bounce back after last season’s expulsion in the finals for breaching the competition’s salary cap.
Wellington Phoenix and final season’s cellar-dwellers Newcastle Jets close out the opening round on Sunday.
The Jets are to be led by 34-year-old Scott Miller, the youngest coach in A-League history.

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