Rd 23 A-League Preview & Betting Tips
Finals eliminators highlight this week’s round.
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
QBE Stadium (Auckland)
This is one of those clashes where, on paper, it appears as if Newcastle is the only possible winner. But there are enough factors in the mix to give you food for thought. The last-placed Phoenix are a team in crisis, with coach Darije Kalezic parting company with the club during the side’s break between this game and its last game. But don’t they say that the most dangerous time to play a team is after it changes coach?
Newcastle, even though it is flying high after its staggering 10-men triumph against Sydney FC, flies across the ditch with some new personnel problems. Star winger Andrew Nabbout has left for the J League, striker Roy O’Donovan is out suspended and rock solid defender Nigel Boogaard is out injured. And with attacking stars Patricio Rodriguez and Ronald Vargas both still out, it’s a threadbare Jets side that will turn out this week.
Wellington’s home away from home in Auckland often delivers good results, while last time out against the Jets the Phoenix scored a shock win at McDonald Jones Stadium. So maybe, with the Jets having all but sewn up a top two spot, this is one they might take the foot off the gas for.
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ $2.50
Value bet: Wellington to win @ $4
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Sydney FC come into this game in their worst run of form in three years. The Sky Blues are winless in their past three starts which includes two Asian Champions League games while the other result was that memorable 2-1 defeat to Newcastle. Sydney played in Japan midweek and without five of their regulars still produced a 1-1 draw. They will fancy their chances against Brisbane as they haven’t lost in five games to them, outscoring the Queenslanders 9-1 during that run.
Add to that they haven’t lost an A-league match at home for two years and this makes them one of the better bets of the weekend. Brisbane are four points outside the top six and need the three points to keep their slim finals hopes alive. They’ve won their past two away matches against Central Coast and Melbourne Victory.
The value in this game can be found with Adrian Mierzejewski and David Carney who have registered goals in consecutive games against the Roar.
Best Bet: Sydney FC to Win @ $1.45
Value Bet: Adrian Mierzejewski (Sydney FC) First Goal Scorer @ $6
Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
It will be a case of short but sweet for punters here with Melbourne Victory our ‘lock’ of the weekend. The three-time A-league champs are coming off a dramatic 1-nil win over Kawasaki at home which means they’re riding a three-game winning streak. Victory have registered consecutive wins in the league against finals bound opponents (Adelaide, Melbourne City) and love playing against the Mariners. Melbourne Victory hasn’t lost to the Central Coast in their past 14 clashes! In saying that, both games this season have ended in 1-1 draws.
The value bet here is for Besart Berisha to score first goal. The A-league’s all-time highest scorer has bagged five goals in his past six games against the Central Coast.
Best Bet: Melbourne Victory to Win @ $1.48
Value Bet: Besart Berisha (Melb Victory) First Goal Scorer @ $4