A-League Round 5 Best Bets & Preview
A-League is back after international break.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Newcastle Jets – Friday 7:50pm – Spotless Stadium
Last season’s runners up are still searching for their first victory of the year… will it come against Mark Babbel’s men? No.
Wanderers defender Josh Risdon is relishing his spot in the Australian national team and will return for WSW high in confidence.
Brendan Hamill leads the Opta scores, the club captain making 30 clearances this season, more than any Wanderers teammate and the second most of any player overall.
Taking all that into account, the Wanderers will be stubborn in defence.
Tip: Wanderers WIN (result)
Wellington Phoenix vs. Adelaide United – Saturday 5:35pm – Westpac Stadium
How good is an international call-up? Craig Goodwin is pleased with his time in Socceroos camp over the break, now he will be keen to keep up his form in the lead up to the Asian Cup.
The Phoenix, however, are still working out how to rise from the ashes – one win, one draw and two losses. It is still an improvement on last season, but not where the value is.
You can bank on Craig Goodwin scoring a goal or providing an assist. Goodwin appears the difference between Adelaide being a finals team with potential and a genuine contender. He’s been directly involved in five goals this season – the most by any player in the league.
Tip: Craig Goodwin to score a goal
Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne City – Saturday 7:50pm – Suncorp Stadium
Interesting clash this one. Value, value, value everywhere.
Just about everyone has been critical of both these teams this season… lack of fire in the belly, lack of goals and lack of interest. Just a few of the things fans have been banging on about. But this battle should whet your appetite.
For City: Ritchie De Laet - The Aston Villa loanee has supplemented his defensive reliability with key goals in the club's two victories to date.
Warren Joyce clearly trusts De Laet as a leader, having handed him the armband in Scott Jamieson's absence.
He’s a smokey to find the back of the net. Alternatively, Riley McGree can score, so too Adam Taggart for the Roar.
All things considered, this could end in a draw, and/or a goal fest!
Tip: Total Goals Over 2.5
Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory – Sunday 5:00pm – Jubilee Stadium
Ah, the Big Blue – one of the best match-ups in the A-League, second to a derby.
Goal-sneak Adam Le Fondre is value for first goal scorer, but we can’t go past Victory’s marquee man in Keisuke Honda. The Japanese playmaker has created 17 scoring chances thus far in 2018/19, three more than any other player in the competition, while no player has made more assists (3).
He is all class, so too Terry Antonis – the former Sky Blue could lift against his old side. Le Fondre on the other hand has hurdled comfortably over the high bar set for former Premier League players. His four goals have fired Sydney FC to an unbeaten start.
Defences are now aware they cannot afford the pint-sized poacher a sniff.
The bets that we like here are Adam Le Fondre first goal scorer, into a high scoring draw (1-1 or 2-2).
Tip: Draw (Result)
Perth Glory vs, Central Coast Mariners – Sunday 7:00pm (AEDT) – NIB Stadium
Andy Keogh - expect one or a brace from this man.
Keogh has hit nine shots on target this season, the most of any player in the competition and he is currently the joint-leading goal scorer alongside Adam Le Fondre with four goals.
If he is doing the business in attack it is because Lowry is providing the platform at the other end.
Among a host of high-scoring individuals, ex-Millwall defender Lowry looks to be benefitting the most from Tony Popovic's arrival.
The left-footed centre-back is flourishing as the leader of a trio of stoppers, putting his body on the line and stepping up as an organiser.
Tip: Perth Glory WIN/Andy Keogh to score a goal