The following are previews with betting tips for Round 3 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, October 20
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEDT, Adelaide Oval
Last time they met: The last time these two teams faced off against each other, Adelaide came out as 3-0 winners and in the process knocked Melbourne out of the FFA Cup. However in the previous three A-League matches these sides have contested, Melbourne have won all three for an aggregate score of 6-2.
Key player: Besart Berisha, Striker (2x A-League Golden Boot winner) – The Victory have opened their campaign with a 1-0 loss to Sydney and a 2-1 loss to City. During those two encounters Berisha has managed only four shots, with all of them being off target. The opposition however have had a more than positive start, opening their season with four points from a possible six and already have Johan Absalonsen on two goals from as many games. If Melbourne wish to open up their account for the season and claim a maiden win, then it’ll be on the Kosovo forward to get it done for his side.
What should happen: Adelaide continuing their rebound season with a win. This season Adelaide have had many contributors to their positive start to their campaign including the previously mentioned Absalonsen (two goals), Nikola Mileunsic, Papa Diawara and Daniel Adlung (2.5 tackles per game, also ranked 14th in total passes) (all one assist). With everybody continuing to contribute to Adelaide’s cause there’s no reason as to why the Victory should be able to claim a much-needed win against them, especially with Adelaide at home.
Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to score last at $1.90 (William Hill)
Saturday, October 21
Melbourne City v Wellington Phoenix
5:35 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Last time they met: Back in Round 20 of last season Wellington were embarrassed on their home turf going down to Melbourne 5-1. That day the goal scorers for City were Fornaroli, Caceres, Kilkenny, Colazo as well as a Ryan Lowry own goal. The sole goal scorer for the Phoenix was Kosta Barbarouses.
Key player: Keegan Smith, Goalkeeper (100% accuracy this season on his keeper throws) – Last round against Sydney he was very impressive, making several key saves to keep his side in the game. The almost ‘teenage’ goal keeper will have his hands full against a City attack featuring the likes of Bruce Kamau and Tim Cahill. However if he can keep his composure and display the maturity that he has shown to start the season then Wellington should be more than confident of ending City’s winning streak to start the season.
What should happen: An evenly split clash. For Melbourne City they currently sit on top of the table with a goal difference of three. While for the Phoenix they were a bit unlucky in not claiming a draw last start against Sydney as Ali Abbas was away when he was controversially stopped for a supposed offside late in the match. Also despite being early in the season still, both sides appear to have made massive defensive strides based on their squads finishes of last season. Neither Warren Joyce nor Darije Kalezic will want their sides to give up this match either. Expect a draw to be the final result.
Betting tip: Bet on the draw at $4.93 (Pinnacle)
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEDT, Allianz Stadium
Last time they met: The last time these two teams squared off it resulted in a 1-0 Western Sydney win, Sydney FC’s only A-League loss of last season. However it was a match filled with controversy as late in the game Sky Blues captain Alex Brosque was denied a blatant penalty. Will Sydney use this as motivation or will the new-look Wanderers steal the win?
Key player: Bobo, Striker (15 goals last season) – He opened his account for the new season with four goals against Darwin, then another three in the rest of the FFA Cup. Now last week he bagged an impressive double against a resolute Wellington defence. Against a Wanderers defence that features the likes of ex-Sydney FC goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic and captain Robert Cornthwaite he will be tasked with the responsibility of producing the goods for the Sky Blues. Alex Brosque is no certainty to score while Mierzejewski – whether he plays or not – will be battling an injury problem. Whether he gets one or two on the board or not could be the difference between 3,1 or 0 points for the Sydneysiders.
What should happen: Revenge for the Sky Blues. Excluding the last match contested between these two sides, Sydney were undefeated in their past nine against the Wanderers, winning six and drawing three. The aggregate score was 19-9. Sydney know how to pummel their cross-town rivals into submission with ease but will have a sterner test on Saturday night with Andrew Redmayne in goal for Sydney (poor performance last round) and Mierzejewski battling an injury problem. However despite these mitigating factors, they should still come out on top.
Sunday, October 22
Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
5:00 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
Last time they met: The last three encounters these sides have contested at Suncorp have been evenly split with a win to Newcastle, a win to Brisbane and a draw. The last of those three games was a 3-2 victory to the Jets where Morten Nordstrand scored late to give them the win.
Key player: Roy O’Donovan, Striker (Has previously represented Sunderland while they were in the Premier League) – Over 45 appearances for the Mariners he bagged a wholly impressive 19 goals. Now this season for the Jets he has bagged four from two games including a stunning first-half hat-trick in the opening round of the season. Defensively so far this season Brisbane have looked very frail and with a fresh Newcastle attack O’Donovan could really ram that home by getting one or two goals next to his name. If O’Donovan’s at his best, that’s only sorry news for the Roar.
What should happen: Brisbane’s maiden win of the season. Last week the Jets drew 2-all with Perth and resembled a side closer to that of the wooden spooners they were last year rather than the opening 5-1 winners of this current campaign. No disrespect at all to Newcastle who should be strongly competing for a finals sport this season, but John Aloisi’s men won 11 games last year and in the process finished 3rd. The Roar are not about to lose their third on the trot. However given the Novocastrians’ competitiveness this season expect only a one goal Brisbane win to finally open up their account for this season.
Betting tip: Bet on Brisbane to win by one goal at $4.20 (Sportsbet)
Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
7:00 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
Last time they met: The last two games between these squads have both been 2-0 Central Coast wins. However in two of the last four clashes these sides have played at Nib Stadium, Perth have won 4-0 as well as 4-1 highlighting their ability to pile on the goals at home. Will the Marines go into their shell at Perth again or will they give the Glory a hard-contested game?
Key player: Thomas Glover, Goalkeeper (Is on loan from Tottenham) – 75% of his passes this season have met their target, an especially good statistic when you consider he is only 19 years of age and playing in a very tough and physical league. Perth obviously know how to find the back of the net as mentioned through their previous history with the Mariners. As well as this last season their big three of Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart combined for an insane 36 goals. He will be the key to stopping Perth’s flow and gaining the Mariners a result.
What should happen: A high-scoring affair. The last five clashes between these two teams have produced a total of 17 goals. While the Glory this season are shipping in two goals per game and the Mariners a significantly worse three and a half. Taggart should be the key man for Perth as he has already kicked two this season while the Mariners will be searching for goals through Asdrubal who also has bagged two from two. While this encounter may not have much defence in it, the attack will be flowing and frequent.
Betting tip: Bet on a goals bracket of 4-6 at $2.43 (SBOBet)
Best Bet of the Round
Sydney have a tendency of scoring early in games to make life hard for their opponents, pick them to score first at $1.67 (CrownBet)