The following are previews with betting tips for Round 2 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, October 26
Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
7:50 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
What’s happened most recently: Adelaide dominated their opening game of the season against Sydney FC, yet somehow only came away with a 1-all draw to show for all their hard work. Scott Galloway scored Adelaide’s only goal on the brink of half-time, while the opponents goal was in the 78th minute through Adam Le Fondre. Adelaide had just under 50% of their shots go on target (3/8). And in addition to that they gave away only one yellow card vs their opponents four. On any other evening this would’ve resulted in a victory for Marco Kurz’s men, so a very good first up performance from them.
As for the Jets, their match was one dominated by the VAR in their upset 2-1 loss to Wellington. Wellington unfairly had a goal disallowed. However they were also wrongly given a spot kick which Roy Krishna converted on the follow up attempt. Newcastle’s only strike came through Dimitri Petratos in the 95th minute of the match, but it was end to end stuff and simply a beautiful goal to watch. Yet despite having 60% of the ball and having taken 16 shots, Newcastle somehow couldn’t get something out of this game. However in their defence they were missing some real big-time players, Roy O’Donovan among them.
What should happen: A close, well-worth watching game. Firstly you have two tactical genius coaches in the form of Kurz and Ernie Merrick coming up against each-other. That makes it worth watching alone just to see what those two brilliant men do. But if that’s not enough for you, then the history between these sides makes it so. In 2015 Adelaide beat the Jets seven goals to zip on this home ground. Then fast foward to earlier this year, Adelaide made it 5-2 at the same venue. That 5-2 result was an absolute low-light from an otherwise extremely positive Jets season, however wanting to no doubt reverse the result, expect them to claim the close victory.
Betting tip: Pick Newcastle to claim the victory at $3.20 (Neds)
Also pick them to find the back of the net first at $2.20 (Neds)
Saturday, October 27
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City
5:35 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
What’s happened most recently: The Central Coast opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw with Brisbane up at Suncorp, a decent result for them. Connor Pain opened the scoring for them in only the 4th minute of the game. And the result was even better considering they had only two shots in total go on target compared to Brisbane’s 20 shots in total. The Mariners also had far less possession than their opponents (61% vs 39%). However some concerning stats from this game were the Mariners giving away 16 fouls (four yellow cards) as well as completing only 60% of their passes (189/313). And to off the field news, rumours are circulating from sources such as Fox Sports and Sports Bible that the Mariners have reportedly offered Usain Bolt a permanent contract. This comes shortly after he was offered one by a European club. What is to come of these rumours? We’ll just have to wait and find out with nothing being officially confirmed by the club as of yet.
For City their match was another that had the VAR all over it as they claimed a first up derby and season win 2-1 over the Victory. Honda got a debut and opening goal for the Victory, but that was about the only good thing to happen for the other side of Melbourne in that match. In the 40th minute Bruno Fornarolli produced some Neymar like theatrics as he went down like a feather inside the box after the slightest of touches to him. Berenguer missed the spot kick but de Laet followed up and made the score 1-all. The opposition were fuming. And then Riley McGree sealed the result with another worldly goal as City claimed the bragging rights.
What should happen: A Melbourne City victory. City should be just too strong for the Mariners to handle. With Fornarolli up front and then to the left of him Brattan and then de Laet, they showed what they’re fully capable of against the Victory. And against a traditionally weak Mariners defence (-21 goal difference last season), they should be able to run riot. Try as the Central Coast will, that attacking trio should really be able to pop this game. Expect all three of them to play a strong part in a City win. Also Melbourne having won 7/9 past matches against the Mariners helps as well (with the other two being draws).
Betting tip: Pick City to get the W at $1.91 (PalmerBet)
Pick City to also get the first goal of the game at $1.68 (Neds)
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEDT, Sydney Cricket Ground
What’s happened most recently: Sydney claimed a 1-all draw with Adelaide, however they left it late with Adam Le Fondre getting them a point in the 78th minute of the match. Meanwhile the Wanderers also claimed a 1-all draw, with Roly Bonevacia claiming them a point in the 65th minute. Both sides in their opening games were a little bit rusty and could have done a lot better. But on the same accord, will also both be happy not to have started their seasons of with defeats. For the Sky Blues they had 53% possession and saw only 3/9 shots go on target. While the Glory dominated the Wanderers possession wise, 57% vs 43%. And the Red & Black saw only 4/9 shots go on target. While they allowed Perth to fire them up for 17.
While it wasn’t too long ago that the Sky Blues denied the Wanderers a spot in the FFA Cup final with an emphatic 3-0 victory in Penrith. In that match the possession was evenly split at 50%, however the goals were anything but. Sydney opened the scoring through Trent Buhagiar in the 49th minute. Then Siem de Jong got his strike in the 64th minute. And then to put the icing on the cake, Adam le Fondre got one in the 75th minute. That game saw both sides have four shots on target. While they were very close in regards to passing accuracy. Sydney completed 77% of their passes (337/435). That while the Wanderers completed 74% (320/434). Could this debry domination result happen again?
What should happen: To answer the question, yes it will be repeated in this game. These are the moments that Sydney FC are at their absolute best for and turn up to play in, no questions asked. It was only a couple of years ago that Milos Ninkovic struck that famous 88th minute winner. Or what about as recently as last season when the Sky Blues turned on the jets and thrashed the Wanderers 5-0. Or of course the most recently mentioned FFA Cup victory. In the past it was Graham Arnold and Bobo who etched them sevles into Sydney folklore through these matches. Expect it to be the start for Steve Corica and Le Fondre. This match will be Corica’s first A-League victory in charge of the Sky Blues and Le Fondre will have his name written all over it.
Betting tip: Pick the Sky Blues to get the derby victory at $1.91 (PalmerBet)
Also pick them to strike first and find the back of the net at $1.62 (Neds)
Sunday, October 28
Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
5:00 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
What’s happened most recently: Brisbane claimed a point from their 1-all draw against the Central Coast. The opposition opened the scoring quickly through Connor Pain in the 4th minute of the match. And Brisbane didn’t find the back of the net until the 65th minute through Adam Taggart. Former A-League Golden Boot winner Taggart was brought in with the exclusive purpose of producing goals, so it was great that he did exactly that. Especially considering he missed several other opportunities throughout the match before that conversion. However of somewhat of a disappointment to John Aloisi’s men will be that they couldn’t get all three points considering they had 61% of the ball, took 13 more shots than the Mariners and had a 15% better passing accuracy then them (75% vs 60%).
As for Wellington they opened the Mark Rudan era with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle. However it was a controversial game due to the use of the VAR. Wellington wrongly had a Singh goal dissalowed, while they were also wrongly given a spot kick. Roy Krishna did miss that, however he made sure his follow up attempt counted. The Phoenix’s other goal came via a Jets own goal. Both coaches post-match interestingly said the Signh’s goal should have stood. And no matter how they got the victory, the Phoenix will be mightily happy with it considering how badly they fared last campaign (9th place and only five wins). Wellington claimed the victory with only 40% of the ball to go along with only three shots on target. Impressive!!!
What should happen: History repeating itself. The last time these two teams faced of, it resulted in a 2-all draw. To recap, the Phoenix took the lead, then Brisbane evened it up, Wellington led again, then Brisbane made things all square again. This game should be similar in producing a closely contested draw. Brisbane will have the obvious advantage playing at home. And last season away from New Zealand, the Phoenix gave away 30 goals and scored only nine. However this is a new look Phoenix team and have already made obvious improvements under Rudan. Expect those to be on show as both teams should end Round Two still yet to be defeated.
Betting tip: Pick the draw to be the end result at $4.00 (Neds)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.55 (Neds)
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
7:00 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What’s happened most recently: Bruno ‘Flop’arolli was the only reason that the Victory didn’t claim at least a point if not three from their derby game against City. The other Melbourne captain went down after the slightest of touches inside the box. And that eventually resulted in a follow up goal from City in the Victory’s 2-1 defeat. Riley McGree would later go on to score the winner for the sky blue side of Melbourne. Kevin Muscat thought it was a joke and rightfully so. Fornarolli played it up way too much and represents everything that is wrong with Football these days. However it wasn’t all bad for Melbourne as Honda scored a debut goal in the 28th minute and got the crowd really fired up. In front of goal the Victory were quite impressive as they saw 7/17 shots go on target. Less positive was their 18 conceded fouls.
The Glory meanwhile opened their account for the season with a tight and tense 1-all draw with the Wanderers. In Tony Popovic’s first match against his former side Perth impressed as they opened the scoring through Andy Keogh in the 26th minute of the match. The Glory also had 57% possession, 17 shots and 79% passing accuracy. And they gave away only 10 fouls vs the Wanderers sloppy 21. Perth can only get better from here, especially so considering neither Diego Castro or Brendan Santalab played.
What should happen: A Perth victory. Andy Keogh so far already has one goal from one match, he produced six the whole of last season. And coming up against a Melbourne side featuring Honda, Troisi and Barbarouses among others, he’ll have to be on the top of his game to ensure his side can match it against last seasons A-League winners. He already looks the goods so far and expect him to further shine in the absence of Castro. Expect him to play a big part in a close Glory win.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to win at $4.50 (Neds)
Also pick the Glory to score first at $2.60 (Neds)
Best Bet of the Round
History shows that City really are the dominant side vs the CCM and as such pick them to win when they face off at $1.91 (PalmerBet)