Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season preview

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Adelaide United

The South Australian side's fans will be disappointed after last season's failure and will be aiming for a longer title fight. Fans are eager to see the style of play newly appointed manager Josep Gombau will implement.

Spanish duo Isaías Sánchez and Sergio Cirio, one of the Spaniard's first signings, will be hoping to make a positive impact on United's fortunes, whilst the departure of Socceroo Dario Vidosic to Swiss outfit FC Sion, will leave a gap which can hopefully be filled by recent loan signing Michael Zullo.

Predicted Finish: 5th/Quarter Finals

Brisbane Roar

The two time league champions failed to impress following super-manager Ange Postecoglou's switch to Melbourne Victory. However, Roar managed to pick up momentum towards the end of the season, and began to mount a charge for the title, although just falling short in the semis.

Looking towards next season, fans will be hoping for more from Mike Mulvey's side, with the departure of key players Ben Halloran to 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mitch Nicholls to Melbourne Victory making the extra push harder. The arrival of ex-Sydney FC midfielder Dimi Petratos and experienced marquee Matt McKay will add a bit of needed speed and experience to the squad.

Predicted Finish: 4th/Semi Finals

Central Coast Mariners

The NSW side finally managed to crack the code last season, triumphing 2-0 over Western Sydney Wanderers in the Grand Final, in what was their fourth attempt. However, many are doubtful of the Mariners ability to continue their form and reclaim the title for a second consecutive season, following the mass exodus of young players to Europe and China, leaving the Mariners without young talent such as Matt Ryan, Oliver Bozanic and Bernie Ibini-Isei.

One ray of hope in a somewhat gloomy forecast is the arrival of well-traveled marquee Marco Flores and the re-signing of manager Graham Arnold until the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, despite clubs from England and China clamouring for his signature. The question still remains, can Arnold recreate such a young and successful team and bring them back to former glory?

Predicted Finish: 7th  

Melbourne Heart

The red and white half of Melbourne was left bitterly disappointed at the end of last season, finishing in a dismal ninth position. In the upcoming season, the forecast is looking slightly better for John Aloisi's side, with the arrival of experienced former Ajax defender Rob Wielart plugging the holes in Heart's leaky defence.

Aloisi also acquired the signature of another Dutch international, Orlando Engelaar, although, the marquee midfielder unfortunately broke his leg in a pre-season friendly against Brisbane Roar and is expected to miss the entire season, thus possibly beginning the search for a new marquee.

Predicted Finish: 8th

Melbourne Victory 

Melbourne Heart's cross-town rivals looked dangerous and attacking towards the end of last season as the side was transitioning into Ange Postecoglou's trademark and exciting style of football. Victory have brought in two new fresh faces, acquiring Mitch Nicholls from Brisbane and New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses from Alania Vladikavkaz in Russia.

28-year-old midfielder Billy Celeski moved to UAE club Al-Shaab after spending five years at the club. If last season's performances are anything to go by, Victory will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season.

Predicted Finish: 2nd/Runners Up

Newcastle Jets

The one-time league champions started off last season positively under manager Gary Van Egmond, but form slumped and the side plummeted, finding themselves in eighth place by the end of the competition.

The NSW side have made a total of four signings since the end of last season, including former Dutch International Kew Jaliens, Joey Gibbs, John Solari and Nathan Burns on loan. However, this may not be enough to ensure a finals place due to leaky defence, despite the signing of defender Jaliens.

Predicted Finish: 10th

Perth Glory

The only Western Australian based side in the A-League did not experience too much glory at the start of the season, however, like many other sides they regained form in the second half of the season under new manager Alistair Edwards following the dismissal of Ian Ferguson.

Edwards has so far negotiated the signings of five new players, including his son Ryan, on loan from Reading, Jets favourite Ljubo Miličević, Brazilian Sidnei Sciola and Jamie Maclaren from Blackburn Rovers. Crowd favourite Ryo Nagai has also extended his loan deal.

Predicted Finish: 6th/Quarter Finals

Sydney FC

The glamour club of the A-League failed to make an impact last season, despite the star signing of Alessandro Del Piero. Once again, Sydney started the season off badly, but picked up momentum following the replacement of ousted manager Ian Crook with former Socceroo manager Frank Farina. Bling FC began to show promising signs, especially after their 7-1 thumping of Wellington Phoenix, although the side still only managed to finish seventh.

Frank Farina has since made use of his vast war-chest, signing several players including Young Socceroo Corey Gameiro from Fulham, Matthew Jurman from Brisbane Roar, former Premier League striker Richard Garcia, and defensive stalwart Pedj Bojic from the Mariners, among others. However, The Sky Blues could to be forced to part ways with young talent Terry Antonis, who is set to sign for Serie A side Parma, a deal which may fall through due to an injury and the players desire to stay, whilst the club have also lost deadly striker James Griffiths to  Qingdao Jonoon in the Chinese top flight.

The Harbour City side has also appointed Rado Vidošić as assistant manager, replacing Steve Corica, bringing in a new and exciting style of play.

Predicted Finish: 3rd/Champions

Wellington Phoenix

Last season's wooden spoon winners have attempted to change their fortunes, appointing Ernie Merrick as manager. The former Victory boss has already splashed the cash, signing Costa Rican international Kenny Cunningham, Victory legend Carlos Hernandez, Young Socceroo and Aston Villa youth product Reece Caira, plus Luke Adams from Derby County among other young and promising players.

Predicted Finish: 9th

Western Sydney Wanderers

The A-League new-boys got off to an amazing start in their first season, winning the Premiership on 57 points, although narrowly missing out on the championship.

Manager Tony Popovic has brought in three new recruits into the squad, with Dean Heffernan, Tomi Jurić and Brendon Šantalab all joining the team in Western Sydney. Wanderers fans will be hoping their side can go the extra mile this season, but they're in for a tough ride.

Predicted Finish: 2nd/Semi Finals

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