15/04/2024

The Inner Sanctum has selected the best XI from Round 3 of the 2022/23 A-League Men season. (Photos: KEEPUP; Design: Will Cuckson)

Three weeks into the season now and at the halfway point of the pre–World Cup fixtures, there are many players putting their best foot forward for a ticket to Qatar, with a number of standout performers this week.

Here is the very best XI from this weekend’s matches:

The Inner Sanctum’s Team of the Week for Round 3 of the 2022/23 A-League Men season. (Design: Will Cuckson)

Goalkeeper and defenders:

GK – Michael Weier (Newcastle Jets)

The 25-year-old shot stopper was in top form against Wellington in a 3-1 win on Saturday. Weier made seven saves throughout the match, five of which were inside the box. His performance went a long way to helping the Jets claim their second win in as many matches.

RB – Josh Risdon (Western United)

Josh Risdon’s formidable start to his campaign continued on Friday night as Western United claimed its first point of the season. The vice-captain assisted Lachie Wales’ crucial equaliser in the 69th minute and had a strong chance of his own. Risdon claimed his biggest scalp yet so far this season, quelling the impact of Socceroos’ bolter Daniel Arzani.

CB – Tomislav Uskok (Macarthur FC)

Uskok’s height and aerial ability were also on show on Friday night, with five headed clearances. He had 12 total clearances for the night, had a 100 percent successful tackle rate, and created two chances on what was a difficult night to create.

CB – Curtis Good (Melbourne City)

Good was instrumental in keeping a clean sheet in Saturday’s Melbourne Derby, the only clean sheet of the round. He looked sharp all night and did not put a foot wrong in the second half when a 10-man Melbourne Victory was attacking hard. He finished with six clearances, 100 per cent of duels won, and 87 per cent passing accuracy on the night.

CB – Marcelo (Western Sydney Wanderers)

This season’s Leo Lacroix has continued his brilliant form this week in a draw against Brisbane Roar. The big Brazilian won 12 duels and most importantly provided an assist for the Wanderers’ early goal. He is fitting perfectly Rudan’s set up and leading strongly from the back.

LB – Jordan Bos (Melbourne City)

It was an unbelievable performance from Bos, whose great start to the season has seen him starting over Scott Jamieson in the Derby. He absolutely re-paid the faith with a really impressive game lining up on the same wing as marquee man Luis Nani – a massive scalp for Bos, who is only 19.

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Midfielders:

CM – Craig Noone (Macarthur FC)

The veteran Englishman looked a class above in a scrappy clash on Friday night amidst the rain and lightning. A top-quality assist and eight successful duels earn him a place in this team, as he bossed the midfield. Noone, an A-League champion with Melbourne City, had a great return to AAMI Park.

CM – Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City)

With both Marco Tilio and Andrew Nabbout starting on Saturday, Leckie was forced to adapt to fit into the team and was pushed deeper into midfield. This is not a role we have seen him play for City, but he did it superbly, especially considering how big of an occasion it was and the quality of the opposition. He had 94 per cent passing accuracy, drew in the foul for a penalty, and ran hard all night up and down the pitch.

CM – Anthony Caceres (Sydney FC)

In a frustrating draw for the Sky Blues as they took on a 10-man Adelaide United, Caceres was one of the standouts. He had 96 per cent passing accuracy and produced a nice assist, taking full advantage of the extra space Sydney had after Hiroshi Ibusuki was controversially sent off.

Forwards:

RW – Joe Lolley (Sydney FC)

A second A-League goal for Lolley in the 2-2 draw with Adelaide was just a part of another cracking performance from the new import. He had eight shots and created five chances, and probably deserved an assist, but his chances were not put away. He looked extremely dangerous all day and continued to create chances from nothing in a top quality game.

ST – Beka Dartsmelia (Newcastle Jets)

In the absence of his namesake and countrymen Beka Mkeltadze, Dartsmelia stood up for the Jets in a huge win, assisting a goal and scoring an absolute worldie. At just 22 years of age he could be anything – keep a close eye on the Bekas for the rest of the season!

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