The following are previews with betting tips for Round 2 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, October 13
Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
7:50 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
General Statistic: Adelaide are undefeated in nine of their past 10 A-League/ FFA Cup games. During this span they have won five, drawn four and lost one.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Brisbane, to the surprise of many last round, opened up the season with fellow A-League side Melbourne City. The affair did not reflect that of a season opener as Brisbane went down 2-0 courtesy of a Bruce Kamau double. This continues a worrying trend for the Roar as in their past three encounters, they have gone down by a combined score of 8-1. However with new signings Peter Skapetis and Massimo Maccarone continuing to adjust and perform in the A-League, they may be able to get a different result this time around.
For Adelaide they traveled to Wellington for their last clash. They drew 1-all with the Phoenix in what was a pretty decent result for the new-look side. However one concern for Adelaide will be how early they conceded Wellington’s only goal of the game (fifth minute). Their defence will have to be on point from whistle one if they wish to beat the Roar.
What Should Happen: Massimo Maccarone scoring his debut goal for Brisbane. For Empoli he kicked 103 goals and throughout his career he has been a proficient striker. Along with this, Brisbane coach John Aloisi also spoke highly of Maccarone’s debut last week. Up at Brisbane in front of a passionate crowd, he should be able to deliver.
What Won’t Happen: Brisbane getting their maiden win of the season. Last year Brisbane were involved in six draws while Adelaide eight. While their position battles across the park should be relatively even as well. You can’t split Michael Theo & Paul Izzo (GK) or Matt McKay and Isaías (MID). This game shouldn’t be as freely scoring as some would like either, with the real potential of a 1-all draw on the cards.
Our Tip: A draw.
Betting tip: Bet the draw at $3.70 (Sportsbet)
Saturday, October 14
Western Sydney Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners
5:35 PM AEDT, Spotless Stadium
General Statistic: The Wanderers were responsible for one of the two own goals scored in the opening round last week. It was scored by Brendan Hamill in the 82nd minute against Perth.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: For Western Sydney they created a bit of history on a warm Sunday evening as they won their first ever season opening game. They also showed how powerful they can be when they play cohesively as a team as they scored their only two goals of the game within a four-minute period (43-46th minute of the game). These came from Oriel Riera and Jumpei Kusukami.
The Mariners opened the scoring in only the fifth minute of the game in the F3 Derby, but then they conceded the next five in a hugely disappointing performance for Paul Okon’s men. Their former star in Roy O’Donovan haunted them as he bagged a first-half hat trick. The Wanderers have the potential to really hurt teams with their star power so Central Coast will need to change things around quick-smart for this game.
What Should Happen: An upset Mariners victory. While Western Sydney are undeniably one of the best teams in the competition the Mariners posses the likes of Hiariej (Netherlands U21’s), De Silva (Australia U23’s), Pain (A-League treble winner 2014-15) and Asdrúbal (a goal on debut last weekend). These players are all extreme attacking threats and should be able to counter whatever the Wanderers should throw up attacking wise. Given the unpredictable nature of both teams, this will also play to the Mariners’ advantage.
What Shouldn’t Happen: A boring game. Whether it’s the previously mentioned strong attacking, Janjetovic getting verbal or watching a bunch of young kids run around (Central Coast), this encounter will no doubt be fun to watch. The result should also be on ice until late in the game due to the tirelessly working nature of both sides.
Our Tip: A Central Coast win.
Betting tip: Bet the Mariners to win at $8.29 (Pinnacle)
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
7:50 PM AEDT, Etihad Stadium
General Statistic: The last two derbies between these two sides have produced a 2-1 Melbourne Victory win both times. However in the last clash between these two sides, two of the three goals scored were own goals by Manny Muscat and Alan Baró.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Melbourne last round were missing some players due to international duty and it showed as they were outclassed 1-0 by Sydney FC. Had they had maybe a Troisi or Milligan on board then who knows? But now it’s all about turning their focus onto the Melbourne Derby and claiming their first win of the season. With Melbourne’s stars returning for this game it’s safe to say this encounter will be a lot more competitive than the Victory’s game last week.
No Tim Cahill, no Bruno Fornarolli, no problem for City as they outclassed Brisbane 2-0 in the opening clash of the new season via a Bruce Kamau double. With Kamau on board, Cahill returning and Ross McCormack getting more comfortable, there’s the possibility for this attacking trio to completely dismantle the Victory’s defence. The Victory will be at full power trying to stop this big three.
What Should Happen: A fiery encounter. Derby days are among the best in Football as no one holds back despite the potential consequences. Expect Besart Berisha to be heavily involved as should Luke Brattan and Lacopo La Rocca be. Anticipate some heavy challenges to be made and some cards to be handed out.
What Shouldn’t Happen: Three points for either side. The Victory need a win while Melbourne City would like to continue their fine start to the season. However both sides are too even to get the result they actually want due to their international-filled attacks and very solid defences among which Berisha and Galekovic are major names.
Our Tip: A draw.
Betting tip: Bet on Ross McCormack to score his debut City goal at $6.50 (Unibet)
Bet on a 2-all draw at $12.00 (Unibet)
Sunday, October 15
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory
5:00 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
General Statistic: A Diego Castro double led Perth to a 3-2 win the last time these two sides met. While the game before that it was Perth’s other attacking threats in Adam Taggart and Andy Keogh who got them a 2-all draw.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Minute Nine: Roy O’Donovan scores, Minute 28: Roy O’Donovan scores and Minute 38: Roy O’Donovan scores. Final score: Newcastle 5 vs Central Coast 1. The Jets absolutely blew the Mariners off the ground last round led by Irish striker Roy O’Donovan who haunted his previous club with a simply outstanding performance. Newcastle are on top of the league and will be full of confidence about claiming another victory in this encounter.
For Perth, four minutes of madness leading into the end of the first half cost them a draw. The Wanderers scored twice within this period leaving Perth ruing what could have been in a disappointing 2-1 loss. As long as Perth manage to close down big gaps for the opposition to run in, they should put in a much improved performance this game as Western Sydney terrorised them with this last round.
What Should Happen: Roy O’Donovan, Ronald Vargas, and Andrew Nabbout vs Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart. 165 career club goals vs 231 career club goals. This game should be fairly high-scoring as Glenn Moss, while good, isn’t considered among the A-League’s elite and Perth have obvious defence issues. This clash should go down to the wire in what should be a thrilling encounter.
What Shouldn’t Happen: Ernie Merrick getting too excited. While they comprehensively beat the Central Coast and should beat Perth, winning against either of those sides is certainly nothing to write home about. Newcastle again need to display their ruthlessness to continue to highlight their finals aspirations for this season.
Our Tip: A Newcastle win.
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix
7:00 PM AEDT, Allianz Stadium
General Statistic: In Round 20 of last season, Sydney lost 1-0 to the Wanderers. After that match until this point in time they have won 12 of 13 games (with one draw, that being against Wellington) and in the process scored 32 goals.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: For Sydney in their first game of the season, they won the Grand Final re-match against the Victory up in Melbourne 1-0 via a Thomas Deng own goal. However Sydney dominated most of the game and deserved all three points. They come up against a Phoenix side coming off a 1-all draw against Adelaide. For Wellington this was a decent result, considering their well-documented pre-season struggles.
These sides have produced some really entertaining clashes in the past including a 1-0 Sydney win last season in which Milos Ninkovic scored with the final play of the game. While their most recent game produced a 1-all draw after Michael McGlinchey evened things up for the Phoenix by scoring in the 92nd minute of the game. And who could forget the 7-1 Sydney win in 2013 when Alessandro Del Piero scored four and assisted two? We should be in for another good one on Sunday evening.
What Will Happen: Andrew Redmayne continuing to assert himself as Sydney’s no.1 goalkeeper. Redmayne has never been considered a great player in the league despite his various achievements. He’s quickly changing that perception with an amazing pre-season performance against Arsenal and a strong showing against the Victory last round. He’ll show again this game why he is starting for the best team in the country.
What Won’t Happen: A poor Sydney effort. When they face the Phoenix that’ll be Sydney’s second game in five days, something that’s not great for a relatively small squad such as Sydney’s. However they should continue to show the form that won them the double last season.
Our Tip: A Sydney win.
Betting tip: Teams hate to play at Allianz Stadium. Bet on Sydney to score first at $1.30 (William Hill).
Best Bet of the Round
Bet on a total goals bracket of 4-6 for Sydney vs Wellington at $2.62 (Mad Bookie)