The following are previews with betting tips for Round 10 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, December 8
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
7:50 PM AEDT, Etihad Stadium
Match Fact: Vince Lia bagged a double the last time these two sides met, however a late Mitch Austin strike meant that the two teams had to settle for a 2-all draw.
Besart Berisha has struck the back of the next 6 times from his past 9 appearances against Adelaide. Will he claim a 7th on Friday night?
What Happened Last Round: The Victory came back down from 2-0 against Wellington to claim a dramatic 3-2 comeback win. Kaluderovic scored twice in two minutes in the 1st half to give the Phoenix a 2-0 lead before Besart Berisha got one back in the 54th minute of the match, while a Goran Paracki own-goal evened things up just moments later. This before a James Troisi strike in the 86th minute sealed a much needed result for Melbourne. A result which pushed them into the Top Six. While for Adelaide they fought hard against Sydney but ended up going down 1-0 via a Bobo goal on the stroke of halftime. Adelaide dominated with 11 shots but in a telling stat from the game, only 1 of them was on target while the Sky Blues took advantage of theirs. Despite the loss, United are only 2 wins of 2nd spot.
What Should Happen: A game that lacks any real flair or attacking creativity to it. The Victory have in 6 of their 9 games this season been kept to a goal or under. While for Adelaide that number is still a very high 5. Berisha while he scored last round, its safe to say hasn’t been his best this campaign while Adelaide’s top goal scorer is Ryan Kitto with 4 then it’s quite a drop of to Johan Absalonsen with 2. This is compounded by the fact that both sides barely sit inside the Top Six. So despite the fine individual talents that will be on display in this match, don’t be expecting many balls to be finding the back of the net.
Betting tip: Pick what should be a relatively boring draw at $3.78 (Pinnacle)
Also pick only two goals to be scored in the match at $3.75 (Ladbrokes)
Saturday, December 9
Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
5:35 PM AEDT, CBUS Super Stadium
Match Fact: When Brisbane and Wellington last faced-off, the Phoenix lead 3-0 inside the opening 20 minutes of the game. However poor defending and up against a resilient Roar side meant that the affair ended 3-all.
Massimo Maccarone scored twice when he last played Wellington and has an impressive 5 on the season, will he strike again against the Phoenix or will their defence stay put?
What Happened Last Round: Out of no where the Roar came and really flexed their muscle on their way to a comfortable 2-0 win against Western Sydney. However it did help Brisbane that in the first half both Riera and Sotirio went of with injuries. However Massimo Maccarone was a deserved goal scorer on the stroke of halftime while their was nothing Vedran Janjetovic could do to save an Ivan Franjic wonder goal just moments after he had been subbed on. As a result of their commanding win, the Roar now sit only a victory of 4th spot. While for their opponents, things didn’t go so smoothly as they gave up a 2-0 lead against the Victory to go down 3-2. 2 Kaluderovic strikes within the space of 2 minutes in the first half had them up 2-0 and sailing to an easy win. Before both Berisha and Troisi struck gold combined with a Goran Paracki own-goal to give Melbourne an un-likely 3-2 win. Wellington are now dead last and 5 points of a finals spot, however they do have a game in hand over the 6th placed Victory.
What Should Happen: No break for the Phoenix. Expect Brisbane to continue to march on with their fine form (2 wins from their past three games) and claim a comprehensive victory against Wellington like they have done against both City and Western Sydney so far this season. As a result of their victory last round, the Roar are very close to cracking into the Top Four and that alone should be motivation enough for them. Also helping Brisbane’s cause is that to put it simply, the Phoenix have been very poor this season, from a total of 9 games they have only a win and 2 draws to show for their efforts. Expect the likes of Maccarone and Brett Holman to put on a show as the Roar chase only their 3rd victory of the season.
Betting tip: Pick the Roar to win at 2.02 (Pinnacle)
Also pick Maccarone to strike at any point during the match at $5.10 (UNIBET)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
7:50 PM AEDT, ANZ Stadium
Match Fact: Since the Sky Blues lost 1-0 to the Wanderers in the early January of 2014, they have only lost to them once since from an impressive 11 matches. The last time they played it finished 2-all with a Josh Brillante strike in the 61st minute capping of their comeback after being down 2-0 earlier in the game.
Will Sydney win their 8th game of the campaign or will the pesky Wanderers move into the Top Six once again?
What Happened Last Round: The Wanderers lost their 2nd match in succession as they went down to Brisbane 2-0. The result was set in stone through strikes to both Massimo Maccarone on the edge of half-time and Ivan Franjic around a minute after being subbed on. Up until the Franjic goal the game was still up in the air to be taken by anybody, but his amazing strike sealed the win for the visitors. Western Sydney in some worrying signs for them had 10 shots, as well as 60% possession and an 84% passing accuracy, but still couldn’t convert that into a goal. Because of the loss the Red & Black are currently no longer in a finals position. As for their cross-town rivals they continued their winning ways after beating Adelaide 1-0 via a Bobo goal on the stroke of half-time. The Sky Blues had only 4 shots on target for the entire duration of the match, but managed to make one of them count. While the Sydney’s stingy defence kept Adelaide to only a singular shot on target for the entire game. Sydney also won 57 duels to Adelaide’s 55. Sydney are now 5 points clear of 2nd place in 1st position.
What Should Happen: The Wanderers are still trying to acclimatize to new head-coach Josep Gombau’s style of play and it’s shown throughout the latter part of their season. These struggles will no doubt continue into the derby even though all the players will be up for it. This combined with them versing the top of the table Sky Blues means that Sydney should get the win. However with Riera possibly out through injury a potential Bobo vs Santalab match up is tantalizing to say the least. Expect both to have strong performances and a say on which way the result goes, East or West.
Betting tip: Pick the Sky Blues to claim the derby victory at 2.12 (Pinnacle)
Also pick them to score first at $1.75 (Ladbrokes)
Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
10:00 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
Match Fact: Two of the past three matches these sides have played each-other in have ended as 2-2 draws. However both squads enter this match in contrasting form with Newcastle on 17 points nearly doubling that of the Glory who have only 10.
Will Perth prove in this match that they are contenders or pretenders after their recent form which has seen them lose three of their past four games?
What Happened Last Round: Perth suffered their 5th loss of the campaign on their way to going down 1-0 against the Central Coast. However the result is not as bad as many are saying it is as the Mariners were in a bit of good form heading into the game and among others for Perth their was no Castro, Taggart or Keogh to lead the attacking front-line as they all currently have different injuries. But for the entire match they managed only 1 shot on target, which is concerning as until their stars return, they still have to be able to find the back of the net and pick up points where possible. For the Jets, they were on their way to a reasonably fair 1-all draw before Manny Muscat struck in the late stages of the game to give Melbourne a come from behind 2-1 win. Andrew Nabbout had scored the 1st for Newcastle before Ross McCormack struck back just 8 minutes later. These matches left Perth out of the 6 while Newcastle are only 1 point ahead of 3rd position.
What Should Happen: Regardless of whether or not some of Perth’s injured troops come back or not, they’ll still be pretty rusty and up against it facing a resurgent and strong Newcastle side who have killed of all their doubters this season with relative ease. Perth have also been arguably the most inconsistent side of this years A-League competition. For example, they’ve beaten 3rd placed City 3-1 this campaign but have also lost 5-2 to the dead-last Phoenix. While the Jets will be aiming for a rebound win after losing just their 2nd game of the season last round. All of this simply put spells bad news for the Glory and great for the Novocastrian’s. Expect an easy Newcastle victory.
Betting tip: Pick the Jets to strike first at $2.05 (William Hill)
Also pick them to be leading after 60 minutes at $2.88 (Ladbrokes)
Sunday, December 10
Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners
7:00 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Match Fact: The last time they met, own goals were a massive factor in the match as they were responsible for 2 of the matches 5 strikes. This while the solitary Mariners scorer from the match Fabio Ferreria is no longer with the club while Bruno Fornaroli is currently out injured for City.
Will Ross McCormack score another banger and lead Melbourne to victory or will Daniel DeSilva continue his push for a Socceroos jumper and lead his team to the win?
What Happened Last Round: The unlikeliest of heroes emerged last game for Melbourne City and his name is Manny Muscat. With the game in the balance he found the back of the net in the 86th minute to help give Melbourne their 5th victory of the season and help break their recent poor form (a draw and three losses form their past four games). To make things even sweeter for City, it was a come from behind win as well after they were down 1-0 in the 32nd minute courtesy of a goal to Andrew Nabbout before it was even again in the 40th minute after a Ross McCormack strike. Melbourne also had only 47% possession and 4 less shots on target than their opponents, showing they can win when things get tough for them. The win left them in 3rd spot, a good position for Warren Joyce’s men. While for the Mariners they cracked the Top Four with a tight 1-0 win over Perth. Blake Powell was the games solitary goal scorer with a strike in the 78th minute after coming on as a substitute. Making Powell’s performance seem even better is that he did it roughly only a minute after subbing on in the place of Appiah-Kubi. The Central Coast however shot relatively poorly during the match with only 2 shots on target, but at least they made 1 of them count.
What Should Happen: Ross McCormack, the former Villa man has been in stunning form for Melbourne this season with 6 goals and 7 shot assists. While Daniel DeSilva, a player who made his professional debut at 16 years of age and is a Socceroo in the making this campaign has found the back of the net twice to go along with 9 shot assists and most weeks has the opposing teams defences on a string, such is his ability in the midfield. How the top two players from these two Top Four teams perform will more than likely dictate which way the result goes. Expect world class matches from each man.
Betting tip: Pick the CCM to continue to consolidate their Top Four position with a win at $4.65 (Pinnacle)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.61 (Bet365)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Brisbane to win both halves against Wellington at $5.80 (Ladbrokes)
Also pick Andrew Nabbout to find the back of the net against Perth with a goal at $7.00 (UNIBET)