The following are previews with betting tips for the Elimination Finals of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, April 20
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
7:50 PM AEST, AAMI Park
What’s Happened Most Recently: Melbourne come into this must win match on the back of a defeat and a victory. The victory proving to be only a 1-0 win over the last-placed Mariners and the most recent defeat coming as a 2-1 loss to the 2nd last placed Phoenix. City’s form isn’t exactly inspiring heading into this one. However for Brisbane, their form coming into this elimination final has been much more positive and energy-filled. They have been victorious in 4 of their past 6 games, with one of those being a draw, as well as a win over 1st placed Sydney FC. Their most recent win ended up with them on top 3-2 against the Glory in what was a topsy-turvy affair.
City’s loss saw Bruno Fornarolli be their only goal-scorer as he struck gold in the 20th minute of the match in what was his 5th from 8 matches this season. However the lead didn’t last all that long as despite Wellington having only 36% of the ball, Sarpreet Singh scored twice in 33rd minute and then again in the 58th minute. Shooting the ball effectively was a real blister for Melbourne in this game as only 4 of their 19 shots were on target. However in a positive they did complete 84% of their passes, but then in another negative gave away 16 fouls, this compared to their opponents who conceded only 11. While Warren Joyce has very recently said that they must emulate the play of that of current Championship favourites Sydney if they don’t wished to be knocked out in Week 1 of the finals. This could maybe be seen as a challenge to his team. However whether or not they live up to it remains to be seen.
For the Roar, they secured their spot in the Top 6 after a long and frustrating season with a close 3-2 win over the Glory. Which in the process, knocked their opponents out of finals calculations. Brisbane showed a lot of fight and character in their game to come down from 1-0 down and end up winning 3-2. In the process, the Slippery Fish struck twice as well as Thomas Kristensen getting one. Combined with this, Jamie Young also saved a Diego Castro penalty attempt to add to the night of festive celebrations for the QLD based side. With only 43% possession the Roar played very well as they managed to have 7 shots go on target. While they also won more duels than the Glory (58 vs 56). However one down-side for John Aloisi’s men is that they gave away 16 fouls.
What Should Happen: The Roar taking the first step to adding a 4th Championship to the collection. Brisbane have a rich success in the A-League having won countless trophies and having appeared in the ACL many times before. Whereas Melbourne do not quite have the same level of success as the Roar. The only trophy they’ve won is an FFA Cup. Combined with this, Brisbane have taken 13 points from their past 6 games. While Melbourne have taken only 10. While finally, a supposed ‘old’ team featuring the likes of Maccarone, Henrique and Jade North (combined age 106), were never supposed to be here to begin with and have had that mentality go against them all campaign. Combine all these factors and external influences and you should see Brisbane seal the deal with a tight victory over City.
Betting tip: Bet on Brisbane to come out victorious at $4.75 (bet365).
Also bet on Brisbane to be first goal-scorers at $2.75 (bet365).
Sunday, April 22
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
6:00 PM AEST, AAMI Park
What’s Happened Most Recently: Melbourne lost to rivals Sydney 1-0, with only a Bobo strike separating the two sides. However for Adelaide, they eliminated Western Sydney from finals contention and in among it saved an Oriol Reira penalty as they were victorious 3-2. The Victory’s past 7 games have saw them come out with 5 wins and only 2 losses. One of those was a very convincing 3-0 victory over Adelaide. While for Adelaide themselves, they have claimed 9 points from a possible 12, winning 3 of their past 4 games. Berisha has 13 goals this season and Leroy George 13 assists. Combined this season they have had the ability to tear teams up and have done so on several occasions. What impact will the attacking pair have against Marco Kurz’s men?
For the Victory in their defeat in the Big Blue, in front of a crowd of just over 15,000, they weren’t able to inspire much confidence for either the fans who had made the trip, or the ones watching in dismay at home. They conceded the games opening goal in the 8th minute and from there on-wards, looked shot for most of the game. However despite their 60% of the ball, only 3 of their 9 shots went on target as they barley troubled Andrew Redmayne in the oppositions goals. Foul trouble was another major issue for them in this game, as they conceded 16. However despite that, they managed to complete 446 of their 551 attempted passes (81%), which was significantly better than what Sydney were able to do. Another small positive from the otherwise largely uninspiring defeat was the fact that they managed to win 50 duels.
For Adelaide, their 3-2 win over Western Sydney saw 1 of Riera’s 2 penalty attempts saved by Paul Izzo, however he was also at fault for one of them to begin with. Adelaide fought back from 1-nil down to eventually seal the result with goals to Papa Diawara, an absolute belter to Daniel Adlung and one to Ryan Kitto. While a 62nd minute red to Keanu Baccus, definitely helped Adelaide’s cause, 100%. However they did deserve the victory and were the better side on the day. They dominated possession with 58% and had 4 shots go on target from 13 attempts, not all that bad. However, as seems to be the theme for many teams competing in the finals, foul trouble caught Adelaide of-guard as shown through the two penalty’s given to WSW. They gave away a massive 17 on the game.
What Should Happen: As well as Adelaide have done this season in making the finals and being the FFA Cup runner-ups, this game might prove to be a step to far for Macro Kurz’s squad (at least for now). The Victory have experience in HC Kevin Muscat (and he knows how to make a GF or two), as well as all over the park in the likes of Berisha, Troisi, Valeri and Williams. This match should be closely contested as well as fiery. If that’s not enough, BESART BERISHA (in caps to highlight his profound impact), always shows up during the finals and is the equivalent of CR7 in that regard. He scored during last seasons Grand Final loss and hasn’t played as well as we know he can this campaign. Expect him to show he’s out for redemption as well. The Victory to prevail in a close one.
Betting tip: Bet on Melbourne to come out victorious at $2.00 (TopBetta).
Also bet on them to score last at $1.67 (Sportsbet).
Best Bet of the Round
Bet on Besart Berisha to find the back of net for Victory anytime during the game at $1.90 (Unibet).
Also bet on both teams to score during MEL vs ADL at $1.64 (TopBetta).