A-League Best Bets & Preview - Round 8
Muscat’s men keen to see the good times roll
Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne Victory – Friday 7:50pm (AEDT) – Suncorp Stadium
One of the best bets of the weekend appears in the opening game of the round.
Melbourne Victory is the league’s hottest team at the moment and comes into the game off the back of five straight wins.
They are the best attacking team in the competition and have gone back-to-back matches without conceding a goal for the first time since April 2017. While Keisuke Honda has been the standout for Kevin Muscat’s side, Ola Toivonen, Terry Antonis and Kosta Barbarouses all played starring roles last week and represent multi-attacking threats.
Brisbane have had a tough few weeks on the road, battling injuries and suffering consecutive losses against Adelaide and Newcastle.
Historically the stats also favour the Victory with the away team successful in this fixture in three of the past four matches (with one draw).
Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners – Saturday 5:35pm (AEDT) – Westpac Stadium
Wellington gets the chance to record rare back-to-back wins when they host Central Coast on Saturday.
The Nix stunned the league with a huge upset last week, beating Sydney FC 3-1 at Jubilee Oval. It was their first away win against Sydney in two years.
Now that they head back home and face a Mariners side down on confidence, Wellington is shaping as a good bet here.
Central Coast has dropped five straight games now and although there have been glimpses of form from Mike Mulvey’s side, they haven’t been able to deliver a 90-minute performance. In fact, they are officially off to the worst start in A-league history with just two points next to their name and a points differential of -10.
Is this the week the Mariners break their duck? No, we don’t think so.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Sydney FC – Saturday 7:50pm – ANZ Stadium
Can Sydney FC bounce back after a humiliating defeat last time out?
Nothing inspires a team more than bouncing back from a disappointing loss and Steve Corica’s men are in that position, having lost to huge outsider Wellington 3-1 at home last week.
Sydney FC comes into the match having won the past four derbies against the Wanderers, outscoring them a whopping 13-1 in the process. Although this Sydney team isn’t going as well as to be expected, they hold a mental edge over their crosstown rivals.
Western Sydney recorded a 2-nil win over Central Coast last week which will give them a bit of confidence, however, we feel they aren’t smooth and fluid enough to win this one.
Our bet for this match though is for Adam Le Fondre to score. The Englishman has bagged goals in his only two outings against the Red and Black.
Newcastle Jets vs. Perth Glory – Sunday 5:00pm – McDonald Jones Stadium
Don’t expect a dull affair when these two sides do battle on Sunday afternoon.
An average of 3.5 goals have been scored between these sides in their past six clashes and we expect more of the same this time around.
Perth is the only team that remains unbeaten in the league and going off that, we expect them to secure all three points for the second consecutive time at this venue.
Newcastle has two wins from their past three matches but they have been against teams that have been struggling, whereas Perth is flying thanks to the likes of Diego Castro, Chris Ikonomidis and Andy Keogh. We think Perth will win while Ikonomidis could add to his five goals so far this season.
Adelaide United vs, Melbourne City – Sunday 7:00pm – Coopers Stadium
We are tipping Adelaide to break their mini hoodoo against City.
The Reds haven’t had the best of luck against Melbourne City of late, not winning this fixture since January 2017. During that time they have suffered three straight losses while the last time they faced each other it ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Adelaide played pretty well against the benchmark team of the comp last week, Melbourne Victory, outshooting them 14-8 but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Marco Kurz’s men are going okay and prior to that 2-nil loss had won consecutive games against Wellington and Brisbane. Being a home game, we are giving them the nod here.
City has traded wins and losses in their past five matches and until they start showing a bit more consistency, we’re happy to let them slide, especially if they are travelling on the road.