Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory- Friday 09:50, BT Sport 1

The A-League season kicks off with a repeat of the first elimination-final last term that saw Roar beat Victory 2-1 at home after they’d finished 3rd and 6th respectively in the regular season. That represented a disappointing result for Victory after they won the league and Grand Final in 2014/15 and they’ll be keen to get back on track here after a busy transfer window following the retirement of some senior players.

Brisbane’s home record last term was an impressive W11-D2-L1 as they scored an average of 2.4 goals per game but kept just four clean sheets, though one of those did come in a 5-0 hammering of Victory towards the end of the season. That was one of seven Brisbane home games last term that saw more than three goals as they proved to be a great team to watch under John Aloisi.

While Victory lost just once at home last season, they suffered defeats in half their road games and it’s telling that each of their four away wins came over bottom-four teams. Indeed, when travelling to sides that finished above them they were W0-D2-L5 as they failed to score in four of these games. Brisbane have plenty of attacking talent with last season’s 20 goal man Jamie Maclaren supported by the likes of Broich, Oar, Borrello and new signing Kristensen and we expect them to cause Victory plenty of problems so we’re siding with Roar to start the season with a comfy home win by backing them to cover the -1 handicap.

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Brisbane -1 Handicap - 1pt @ 4.8