A-League Best Bets & Multi - Round 18
A Grand Final preview awaits us in the final match of this week’s round
Newcastle Jets vs. Wellington Phoenix – Thursday 7:50pm – McDonald Jones Stadium
This is a massive game in the race for the top six.
Wellington is eight points in front of Newcastle for the sixth and final spot in the playoff race and has a great season so far, however, they have lost two of their past three games. Conversely, the Jets have struggled but are winners in two of their past three games to give themselves a sniff of finals football.
These teams have traded wins in their past five clashes with the Phoenix taking the honours on three occasions.
The Nix are going through a bit of a slump but Mark Rudan’s side knows that a big three points here will go a long way to sealing their spot in the top six. If they are to win on the road, which is something they’ve only done twice this season from eight starts, Roy Krishna needs to fire.
Krishna is in a race for the Golden Boot and has 11 goals this term but has hit a bit of a stumbling block of late, going goalless in his past three games. We are backing the Fijian hitman to get on the scoresheet.
Brisbane Roar vs. Sydney FC – Friday 7:50pm (AEDT) – Suncorp Stadium
Sydney FC shapes as the bets of the round.
The Sky Blues are riding high with four wins from five games and are third on the A-league table. On the flip side, Brisbane has gone winless in their past 12 outings and that is a record streak without a win for the three-time A-league champs.
The Roar are likely to be without goalkeeper Jamie Young who is suspended for three games. They blew a 3-nil lead last week against Adelaide to eventually lose 4-3 after having two men sent off. Their confidence is shot and they have nothing but pride to play for.
Sydney will want to keep the pressure on the top two so they won’t let this one slip. Throw in Adam Le Fondre to be first goalscorer if you want some value. He leads the league with 12 goals this season.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Central Coast Mariners – Saturday 5:35pm – Spotless Stadium
The two worst defensive teams in the league go head-to-head with the guarantee of one thing – goals, goals, goals!
Between the Wanderers and Mariners they have shipped an astounding 80 goals between them at an average of 2.35 goals per match.
Western Sydney hit a new low last week when thrashed 5-1 at home by Adelaide, meaning they have leaked 29 goals since December 7 – the last time they tasted success, which ironically, was against Central Coast. Since then, they have played 10 matches and conceded at least two goals in each of those. They haven’t been hopeless (most of the time), with a few 4-3 results going against them, and they are finding the back of the net but their defence is terrible.
The same can be said about the Mariners who let go of a 2-nil lead against Melbourne Victory to go down 3-2 last week. That was their third straight defeat by a one-goal margin.
With both sides not really focusing on defence, our bet for this game is on the Total Goals Over/Under market, and with an average of three goals in this fixture in the past two years, we are favouring the Over 3.5 for this match.
Melbourne City vs. Adelaide United – Saturday 7:50pm – AAMI Park
Adelaide is ready to break a mini hoodoo in this match.
Marco Kurz’s side has gone five matches without success against Melbourne, losing four of those, but this side has shown a different resilience to those previous Adelaide outfits.
The Reds won’t fear heading to AAMI Park as they have won four times on the road this season and have the second-best defence in away fixtures (seven), only behind Perth.
They come into this game unbeaten in four matches and off the high of a stunning comeback against Brisbane to win 4-3. They are worth the ticket in this.
Melbourne Victory vs. Perth Glory – Sunday 5:00pm – AAMI Park
This is potentially a Grand Final preview with the top two sides of the competition going head-to-head.
Perth travels to AAMI Park but that won’t faze them as they are the best defensive team on the road in the A-league, shipping just six goals in seven matches. They are also the only side in the competition not to lose on the road yet, winning five of their seven matches.
Victory look ready to take on all challengers for their title and pulled off a comeback against the Mariners last week, however, they are prone to copping goals and have kept just one clean sheet in six matches.
Perth won this fixture earlier in the season with a last-minute Chris Ikonomidis goal. The away team has won the past two clashes between the sides. Perth has only lost once this season. For us, Tony Popovic’s side is the best in what should be an absolute thriller!