A-League Best Bets & Preview - Round 7
'Tis the season to be jolly
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Central Coast Mariners – Friday 7:50pm – Spotless Stadium
Western Sydney is still wandering and soul-searching – two losses, two draws and not enough victories.
The honeymoon period is over for Mark Babbel and he will demand a response after his side were put to the sword by Melbourne Victory.
The Wanderers are desperate for a clinical finisher up front... enter Spaniard Oriol Riera – one goal and/or a brace is on the cards.
As for the Mariners, they are playing better than their recent results suggest. A very unlucky to loss to Perth Glory in a tight contest (3-2) plus a tough loss to the Sky Blues (2-1), both matches could have easily seen them win. Still, they lack a reliable hitman up front - maybe Usain Bolt would’ve been worth the gamble after all?
Taking all that into account, who do you sing for? Back Oriol Riera to make his way onto the score sheet into a Wanderers win at home.
Sydney FC vs. Wellington Phoenix – Saturday 5:35pm – Jubilee Stadium
The Sky Blues snapped a two-game winless streak with a much needed, but scrappy, 2-1 win over the Mariners last weekend.
The fact they were able to grind out a grudge match victory must be pleasing for coach Steve Corica. Pleasing yes, but convincing no!
He will want them to lift the intensity for the visit of an improving Phoenix side to Jubilee Stadium. It will be a special occasion for Phoenix boss Mark Rudan, who will coach against the club that he led to the title in 2005/06 for the first time in the A-League.
We are backing the Sky Blues to win this one. Back them to get off to a flyer and keep the momentum going in the second half.
Melbourne Victory vs. Adelaide United – Saturday 7:50pm – Marvel Stadium
What a monster clash this promises to be – value, value, value everywhere.
The original rivalry always delivers! The reigning champs put on a clinic against the Wanderers – Honda, Toivonen, Barbarouses and Antonis all fired.
You can’t write off the Reds though, they’ve won two on the trot and Marco Kurz knows his team are a contender this season for the title.
So, expect goals, expect yellow cards and expect some class football to be played straight out of the top drawer.
History suggests this will be a thriller with Melbourne Victory going for three straight wins in this fixture. The average goals scored between the sides in their past six clashes is a tick over three, so we like the Victory / Over 2.5 Goals option.
Perth Glory vs. Melbourne City – Saturday 10:00pm (AEDT) – NIB Stadium
Time for some late night fun in the wild, wild West.
Perth Glory remains unbeaten under new boss Tony Popovic and leads the league while being the only side yet to taste defeat in season 2018/19.
Melbourne City eased the pressure on coach Warren Joyce with a valuable 3-0 win over the Newcastle Jets last Sunday. Finally, they fired and displayed some slick attack, and if history is anything to go by in this fixture, expect plenty of goals at NIB Stadium.
Tough call this one but with Diego Castro and Chris Ikonomidis in the purple and white playing some brilliant football, back the Glory to take maximum points.
Newcastle Jets vs. Brisbane Roar – Sunday 5:00pm – McDonald Jones Stadium
Round 7 comes to a close at McDonald Jones Stadium as the injury-ravaged Brisbane Roar travel to meet the Novacastrians who are still hurting from their disappointing loss to Melbourne City.
In a blow for the travelling side, leading sharpshooter Adam Taggart (who has five goals to his name) will not be present due to injury, leaving a huge question mark as to where the goals will come from for the Roar.
So, this is a huge opportunity for the home side. Jets boss Ernie Merrick accused some players of not trying hard enough in the defeat to City last weekend, so that should fire them up to prove him wrong.
Just who are the potential goalscorers in this one? Time for Jason Hoffman, Jair, Ronnie Vargas and Dimi Petratos to step up and take maximum points for the Jets.