The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, January 12
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
7:50 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
What Happened Last Round: Despite being absolutely dominated for the majority of the match, the 2nd placed Jets found a way and a will to win in the F3 Derby against the Mariners, winning 2-0. Newcastle ended up with 6 shots on target to the Central Coast’s 4 and both their strikes were late ones. They came via Dimitri Petratos in the 82nd minute and Patito Rodriguez, making his debut for Newcastle, with a wonderful one on one effort in the 92nd minute. However the tides did turn a bit in the home-sides favour when Rose was sent of in the 72nd minute for a second yellow card on the evening. The victory keeps the Jets 5 points clear of 3rd place and 14 points of falling out of a finals position entirely. While for Brisbane, FBK (Fahid Ben Khalfallah), put his fellow players on notice after their demoralizing 3-0 loss to Sydney FC. Only the Sky Blues 4th win ever up at Suncorp Stadium. FBK called the defeat ridiculous and said only the players were to blame. They had only 3 shots on target for the duration of the game, as well as completing only 6 tackles (in comparison, Sydney made 18). While they also gave away 16 fouls. The poor loss sees them now sitting only a win ahead of last place and a fair way of a finals position. While there are some rumours floating around that 41x Socceroo Jade North is no longer wanted by the Roar. He has been heavily restricted through injury this season and is currently 36 years of age. However he is a veteran and provides good leadership to the Roar’s back-line when fit. Whichever club he does end up with, he would be a big asset to. Provided he stays healthy, but that’s a big if.
What Should Happen: A Newcastle victory. Even if Brisbane do the same thing the Mariners did last week and sneak up on the Jets, Newcastle, being the quality side that they are, should still find a way to win. Glenn Moss in particular against the Central Coast was strong in his performance in goals and should have little trouble stopping the likes of Maccarone and co. While it doesn’t help that the Jets have scored 13 goals from their past 6 matches. That while Brisbane have produced only 4 strikes from their most recent 6 games. Brisbane should show a little bit more pride and effort in this game then they did against the Sky Blues, but it won’t be enough.
Also pick only one team to score (cough,cough, the Jets) at $2.40 (UNIBET)
Saturday, January 13
Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
What Happened Last Round: An OG by Mark Milligan late in the Wellington vs Melbourne match, saw Wellington seal the unlikeliest of wins and only their 2nd for the campaign. They are still in last place, but now have a real opportunity to improve for the rest of the season and make it fairly credible. The flying Fijian, Roy Krishna, was the other goal-scorer for Wellington in what was only his 2nd strike for the season. Despite the game being decided by an unfortunate scenario, the Yellow & Black thoroughly deserved the win. They took an incredible 30 shots during the game to the Victory’s 3. They also had 57% possession and hit the woodwork once. Matija Ljujic also made his debut for the Phoenix and looked like a pretty solid acquisition. He managed to get an on target shot as well as a shot assist. This while Nathan Burns continued to get used to old surroundings once again as he played only his second game back for the Phoenix. However, an early Rhys Williams red card no doubt helped the Phoenix. While for the Wanderers, they’ve hit a bit of recent form under Josep Gombau and are now strongly in contention for a finals spot come the end of the season. Since their 4-0 humiliation at the hands of the Jets a couple of rounds ago, they have rebounded strongly with everyone playing their part. However, in more disappointing news for Wanderers fans, in recent times they have let go of both Jacob Melling and Jumpei Kusukami, with rumours of more to follow them out the door. However with reports that Robert Cornthwaite is unwanted is particularly damaging despite his patchy form this season. This given he is usually a strong member of the Wanderers defence and has led the club out onto the field many times before. He’s had a few A-League stops in his career, so it’ll be interesting to see where he goes if he does leave.
What Should Happen: A strongly contested game from both sides. Wellington, after weeks of toiling hard with no result, finally got their’s last round against the Victory. While these current Wanderers are playing with a slightly different vigor to that of the Tony Popovic era. But its a good style and one that currently has them seeing some success. Expect both sides to be up for it in what should prove to be a close match. In particular the up-front battle of Krishna and Riera should prove to be one to watch, given both sides will want the win and their mostly ‘un-happy’ performances this season, given the players they are.
Also pick them to score first at $2.20 (William Hill)
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What Happened Last Round: Both sides lost last round, while one is just inside the Top 6 and the other just outside it. Both sides have also been pretty poor to date. For Melbourne, in the process of them losing to the Phoenix, it was only Wellington’s 2nd victory of the season. Unfortunately for Muscat’s men, it was caused by a Milligan OG late in the game as well as an early red card to defender Rhys Williams which was upgraded by the VAR from a yellow upon review. But on the same accord, they didn’t really deserve to win it either after they took 27 shots less than their opponents at goal, that’s right, 27 less!!! (30 vs 3). The Victory’s sole goal-scorer was Barbarouses in the 40th minute. While they were leading 1-0, only to lose the match and an important 3 competition points, going down in the end, 2-1. While for the Glory, after their recent 3-0 loss to Adelaide, people wanted Kenny Lowe sacked. Well its safe to say Lowe’s fortunes didn’t improve much after their 2-0 loss to Melbourne City. However, even worse for Perth it was one that could have easily been avoided as both of City’s strikes came through either a penalty or a free-kick. Ross McCormack was also the scorer of both of those. Of the 14 shots Perth took, only 3 of them were on target and their poor shooting hurt any chance they had of getting something out of the game against City. However City’s penalty was a bit controversial with some accusing Daniel Arzani of diving to get it, however even with that in mind, Melbourne were 100% the better team.
What Should Happen: It’s hard to tell what will happen, this given the inconsistency’s that both these teams have tossed up on the field this season. This whether it’s the Victory beating the Jets and losing to the Phoenix in the space of 3 games. Or maybe it’s Perth firing through their front-three one day and then the next looking like school-boys in humiliating defeats (6-0 to Sydney anyone?). However the one thing that’s guaranteed to happen is two desperate teams taking flight to the pitch to battle for an important 3 competition points. Expect both Thomas and Reddy to be on their games, while maybe, just maybe, Berisha or Castro will pull some magic out of the hat. You just never know.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to score first at $1.57 (William Hill)
Also pick both teams to find the back of the net at least once at $1.70 (Bet365)
Sunday, January 14
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City
5:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
What Happened Last Round: Up until the 72nd minute: The Mariners were absolutely dominating the Jets and should have been leading by several goals instead of the 0-all margin that it was. Post the 72nd minute: Rose receives a second yellow card resulting in a red. The game goes all haywire for the Central Coast and they end up losing 2-0. Paul Okon was furious about the red card and maybe it should have been a warning, given that it was just a shirt tug. But it did stop Champness from running away with the ball and Rose in his 20th F3 Derby should have known better. Tit for tat really. Kwabena Appiah was in particular at fault for the Mariners missing some easy chances as he blew some good opportunities at goal. While Ben Kennedy, despite his age, was simply superb in goals for the away side. As a result of the loss, the Mariners are now close to a finals spot, but still looking in. Okon would no doubt be feeling lot easier if his men were in it, like they were at the start of the season. While for City, a Ross McCormack double, which brings his tally for the season up to 12 (2nd highest), saw City come away with a relatively easy 2-0 victory against Perth. They came through a penalty which Daniel Arzani won, much to the bemusement of some and a stunning free-kick. Melbourne also only had 8 shots for the entire game and only 5 corners, but still ground out the victory. However they did complete 26 more long balls then the Glory. As a result of the win, City are still in 3rd place and slowly but surely are asserting themselves as Championship contenders once again.
What Should Happen: The Mariners have conceded 7 goals from their past 6 games, while they have leaked 3 in their past 2 matches. This is all Ross McCormack needs to run rampant against a sometimes defensively wobbly Mariners side. He’s done it for the famous Aston Villa in the past and he should no doubt do it again against the Central Coast. Expect a strong performance from the on-loan man as his side chases their 3rd consecutive win.
Betting tip: Pick Ross McCormack to score at least once at $4.20 (UNIBET)
Blake Powell might also work his magic after his strong game against Newcastle and get a goal at $9.50 (UNIBET)
Adelaide United v Sydney FC
7:00 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
What Happened Last Round: A 1-1 draw against the Wanderers in which Stamatelopoulos was the hero with an 86th minute equalizer. United took 19 shots, completed 81% of their passes but conceded a massive 20 fouls. The draw seemed to be a fair result for both sides, despite Adelaide’s goal coming late. Both goals came in the second-half as Western Sydney scored theirs through Jack Clisby in the 52nd minute. Adelaide are now in 4th spot but are only 4 points of 3rd. While for Sydney, they were again very clinical in their 3-0 win against Brisbane. Bobo scored his 15th from 15 games, while both David Carney and Adrian also got in on the action. Adrian also had a goal disallowed by the VAR. Signifying the Sky Blues performance up in QLD was that it was only Sydney’s 4th ever win at Suncorp since the inception of the A-League all the way back in 2004. However Brisbane didn’t exactly try to defend the record, having only 1 shot on target during the entire match. This while the win prompted some serious words from FBK for the Roar in the aftermath of the match. While off the field for FC in recent weeks, they were linked to Trent Sainsbury, which was dismissed, while there’s still the ongoing speculation of Graham Arnold and the Australia job. While more newsworthy have been that Arnold announced that later in the week, Sydney would announce several player re-signings while he said they are also still looking for an ACL player as they have money left in their salary cap. Knowing Sydney, it’ll probably be someone pretty good.
What Should Happen: Sydney continuing along their destructive path to A-League glory. So basically, an easy win. Pretty much every club this season has suffered the wrath of the Sky Blues and Adelaide are no different. In the A-League this season, they have lost to them. While also in the FFA Cup Final, despite being ahead 1-0, Adelaide still lost with FC maruqee man Bobo, coming up big in the clutch. Adelaide will fight tooth and nail in this game, but at the end, still expect Arnold’s men to be on the winners list and with a sizable amount of goals next to their name at that.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $1.80 (Sportsbet)
Also pick Bobo, who’s trying to go 16 from 16, to score anytime at $3.95 (UNIBET)
Best Bet of the Round
Also pick Adrian to score vs ADL at $6.00 (UNIBET)