The following are previews with betting tips for Round 23 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, March 16
Adelaide United v Melbourne City
7:50 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
What’s Happened Most Recently: Adelaide are now only one victory ahead of Perth in the battle for 6th spot. While for City they are coming of their 3rd consecutive loss to Melbourne in the Derby. United’s match saw them go down to Brisbane 1-0 courtesy of an Eric Bautheac goal in the 41st minute. Adelaide had 52% of the ball along with 12 total shots, but it wasn’t enough to see them past an opposition side desperate to get back into the finals mix. Combined with this they also had 10 corners. As well as the Glory chasing them, Brisbane are as well as they sit 4 points back of Adelaide. A loss here could be absolutely fatal in the sense of their season. While for City they were outdone and outplayed in their 2-1 loss to rivals Victory. Fornarolli scored the only goal of the game for City though a penalty, but besides that and the magic touches of Daniel Arzani, there wasn’t much to cheer about for the losing side. However the Sky Blue side of Melbourne staked their claim well for a draw seeing 6 of their 11 taken shots go on target in addition to having a shot come of the woodwork. While they also dominated the ball with 60% possession. The Victory are only a point behind them, while Western Sydney a win. If City want to retain a Top 3 spot, then this game respresents a must win for them.
What Should Happen: There’s to much at stake here for a draw. The current FFA Cup runner-ups need a victory to stay in the hunt for a finals berth while Melbourne want a home elimination final, however with their form of late, it looks increasingly unlikely that it’ll happen. Especially with several other teams chasing closely behind them. Given all that’s on the line for the two sides, expect one of them to claim all 3 points. For Adelaide if it happens it’ll be done through a cohesive team-effort, no red cards and at least 2 goals given the nature of City’s attacking strengths. While for City if they want the W it’ll happen through the link-up play between Arzani and Fornarolli. While in a bright side for their fans it can only get better and better as he gets more game-time under his belt.
Betting tip: Pick City to win at $2.65 (TopBetta)
Pick only Melbourne to score at $4.75 (William Hill)
Saturday, March 17
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
5:35 PM AEDT, QBE Stadium (Auckland)
What’s Happened Most Recently: Wellington parted ways with their coach and a man who appeared to be a very poor communicator with his players and in his place put someone who has held the interm gig for several seasons during different periods of time given that the Phoenix coaching job is much like Chelsea’s, very rough unless you can do something magical and quickly. They responded by getting pummeled once again in Sydney as they went down 4-1 to the Wanderers. Singh was the only man to find the back of the net for the Yellow & Black as his side managed only 3 shots on target for the duration of the game. They still sit in last place with a goal difference of -21 and no obvious escape in sight. While for the Jets they kept the pressure on Sydney up in 1st place with a massive 2-1 victory despite having Roy O’Donovan gone for most of the game due to an early red card. Newcastle’s strikes came through Petratos and Nabbout. However soon after the game it was announced that Nabbout had departed for China after his wonder goal helped seal a massive 3 points for the home side. However O’Donovan’s incident marred the game as it appeared that he had hurt Jordy’s face while tying to get the ball. Despite everything that happened throughout the match, it was without a doubt one for the history books for the Novocastrian’s.
What Should Happen: A much improved Wellington performance. Under Chris Greenacre in recent seasons, the Phoenix haven’t fared to badly at all. Having seen him end several seasons coaching the first grade team. And no doubt after their shocking second-half effort against the Wanderers on Saturday night, he would have some things in mind to change the team and help them through this rough period. One could be bringing Kaluderovic back into the starting side which would be massive if it happened. It wasn’t to long ago this campaign that Wellington were challenging the likes of Melbourne and Western Sydney in games. Expect more of that then what we saw last round, period!!!
Pick only Newcastle to find the back of the net at $3.75 (William Hill)
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
7:50 PM AEDT, Allianz Stadium
What’s Happened Most Recently: Sydney are still 8 points clear in 1st while Brisbane aren’t in the Top Six currently. However the two teams had contrasting results in their last game. Sydney lost only their 2nd regular game of the season and 3rd dating back to the past two campaigns. They went down to Newcastle 2-1 despite themselves having an extra man advantage for most of the game after Roy O’Donovan was sent of for an early foul on Jordy. Bobo equalized for Sydney pretty quickly after the Jets had struck the back of the net, but it wasn’t to be as another Newcastle goal would eventually see out the un-favorable result for the Sky Blues. Bobo now has 22 goals from 22 games, an extremely impressive goal-to-game ratio. While of the field it was announced that at the conclusion of this season, Graham Arnold will be joining the Socceroos as their HC. While this is definitely disappointing news for the reigning champs, Arnold has earned his shot at redemption in the national role and will forever be a part of FC’s history. While he still has the potential to claim two more trophy’s this season. While Brisbane beat Adelaide 1-0 to keep their finals hopes alive for another round or two. Eric Bautheac was the only goal-scorer, but it didn’t matter as they etched out the victory and lived to see another day. One of the major positives for the Roar to take from their win was their very impressive shooting accuracy. 7 of their 15 attempted shots went on target.
What Should Happen: I don’t know what he’s going to offer, whether it’s an extremely rare goal or possibly an assist, maybe a red-card. Who knows??? But what will happen is that Matt Simon will make his impact felt on the field in one way or another. The former Central Coast Mariner continues to be questioned about his place in the squad, especially with Charles coming through the ranks and being a talented goal-scorer. The last time he played Brisbane at Allianz he was spat at in the face by one of the opposition players (cough, cough, the one with a suspended jail sentence). Matt Simon, the Wizard of Woy Woy, will make his play felt on the field. That I can guarantee 100%!!!
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to be victorious at $1.60 (TopBetta)
Pick the Sky Blues to score first at $1.44 (CrownBet)
Sunday, March 18
Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
5:00 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What’s Happened Most Recently: A win for one side, a loss for the other. Top 3 hopes alive for one side, finals hopes dashed for the other. Melbourne beat City 2-1. While the Mariners went down 3-1 to Perth (although if the VAR hadn’t got its decision wrong, it would’ve been 4-1). The Victory are in 4th place and fighting for a Top 3 spot, while the disappointing Central Coast would be last if it wasn’t for the slightly more disastrous Wellington Phoenix. The Victory’s two strikes came through Barbarouses and George. While for the Mariners their only goal of the game came through Andrew Hoole in the 72nd minute, however it was one to remember as he hit it from outside of the box. Melbourne did very well to win considering they had only 40% of the ball and took 7 shots to City’s 11. While the Victory also had a passing accuracy of only 66%. While the Mariners would be dissapointed that they couldn’t score more than the one given Joel Reddy wasn’t in goals due to his suspension. However in typical Central Coast fashion they screwed up on multiple occasions and didn’t threaten Perth all that much. One things for sure is that they definitely don’t deserve to be featuring in the finals this season.
What Should Happen: History repeating itself. 4 of the past 6 matches contested between these two sides have resulted in Melbourne wins for an aggregate score of 10-1. While Besart Berisha has 7 goals from his past 7 appearances against the Gosford based side. Expect Melbourne to come out victorious in what should be a relatively easy game for them. While also expect Berisha to display the passion and the hunger that he has in the past against them and get one or two on the board in what should be great game by him. Kevin Muscat’s men might not have a favorable history against everyone. But they sure as hell do against the Mariners and you can expect his side to take full advantage of it.
Betting tip: Pick the Victory to continue their winning history and be victorious at $1.61 (William Hill)
Also pick them to score last at $1.44 (William Hill)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the Jets to score last vs Wellington at $1.60 (William Hill)