The inaugural A-League column got off to a profitable start last weekend. If readers placed a stake on each of the suggested bets, they would have increased their outlay by near 50%. There were a couple of exciting match-ups. Adelaide beat Gold Coast 2-1 in the game between 2nd and 3rd. While in the other top four showdown, Brisbane thumped Central Coast 5-1 in a surprisingly one-sided contest. The other 3 games were all draws. In the midweek fixtures, Sydney beat Wellington 3-1 and North Queensland compounded Gold Coast’s dismal week with an upset 2-1 win.
Melbourne v Brisbane (AEDT 2000)
The second away trip in a row for league leader Brisbane. It is very tough to decide on a winner as Melbourne are at home and Brisbane are almost unbeatable at the moment. This was demonstrated by their 5-1 thumping of Central Coast last weekend. Even though they didn’t win, Melbourne took an important step in their 2-2 draw at Wellington last Saturday. Archie Thompson was back on the scoresheet and their fluent passing game was a feature. Any side with Archie Thompson, Carlos Hernandez and Robbie Kruse can’t be discounted. I’m not sure which way the result will go, but I’m confident of goals. Costa Rican Jean Carlos Solorzano is in rare form. The Roar striker has scored 6 goals in his last 3 appearances. I’m not backing him to score here, but it is worth considering.
Andy’s bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.10 (Sportsbet)
Central Coast v Sydney FC (AEDT 1900)
Where to from here? That’s the question from Central Coast fans after they got belted on their own patch against Brisbane last weekend. A second home failure in two weeks is not an option for the Mariners. Matt Simon scored twice two weeks ago and I think he could be the catalyst for a Central Coast success. Sydney visit the Central Coast on an upswing in form. The sky blues have only lost 1 of their last 7.
Andy’s bet: Central Coast to win @ 2.25 (TAB Sportsbet)
North Queensland v Newcastle Jets (AEDT 2115)
North Queensland have played twice since Newcastle last took to the field. Jets coach Branko Culina is a studios man and he will have been pouring over what tactics to employ. In truth he wouldn’t have had to do too much. North Queensland have been awful. But, amazingly, the bottom placed side followed up a failure to beat 9 man Perth on Sunday with a victory over Gold Coast midweek. Injury hit Gold Coast fielded a virtual reserve side, so I am not giving much credit to the Fury for getting the points. Newcastle are yet to win on their travels in 6 attempts. That should change here.
Andy’s bet: Newcastle to win @ 2.98 (Betfair)
Andy’s bet: Newcastle to win by 2 or more goals @ 6.00 (Luxbet)
Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United (AEDT 1500)
Adelaide got this column off to a perfect start with a win over Gold Coast last Friday. They are red hot at Hindmarsh, but not as solid on their travels. This plays into the hands of Wellington who make life difficult for any visiting team. Melbourne Victory played very well at Westpac Stadium last weekend, but still couldn’t manage a win. Wellington were turned over against Sydney in Sydney during the week. This is tougher, but playing at home, I think they can sneak a point.
Gold Coast United v Melbourne Heart (AEDT 1700)
Gold Coast’s four match winning streak was snapped at Adelaide last Friday. Their poor form continued midweek, losing 2-1 at home to back to form with a victory over cellar dweller North Queensland. Melbourne collected a point at AAMI Park last week against Sydney. The match was played during pouring rain and would have taken a lot out of the legs. Gold Coast have been struck by injuries and suspensions, but should regain a few of their key players for this fixture, including skipper Jason Culina. That should be enough to get them over the line.
Andy’s bet: Gold Coast to win @ 2.10 (TAB Sportsbet)