The following are previews with betting tips for Round 3 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Friday, November 2
Melbourne City v Sydney FC
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What’s happened most recently: Karma is what happened in Melbourne City’s highly tense 1-all draw with the Central Coast. With not too long left to go in the match, Bruno Fornarolli was fouled by Kalifa Cisse in the box. It should have been a penalty but the game went on with no call, much to the frustration of City. But Fornarolli is the equivalent of Neymar in this regard and has become the poster boy for diving in Australian Football. In that sense it was very much deserved that Melbourne didn’t get a call in Gosford. Onto other aspects of the game and it was Ross McCormack, the former City Striker who came back to haunt his former club as he landed the Mariners first goal in the 21st minute of the match. Dario Vidosic then leveled things up in the 84th minute with a strike of his own. Possession wise it was a game dominated by City as they had 62% of the ball vs the oppositions 38%.
For the Sky Blues their game was equally as fiery as in a game in front of over 30,000 people they beat the Wanderers 2-0 in a comprehensive victory over their cross-city rivals. An early 4th minute goal to Adam Le Fondre and a 53rd minute one to Alex Brosque is what saw them claim the win. However the Wanderers missed several good opportunities and could have easily drawn or even potentially won the match. The VAR was at a great use in this game as the Wanderers had two goals disallowed for various reasons. One of which at least was very controversial and maybe should have stood. Babbel was sent of after the Wanderers incised reaction to the referees descsion and after Bonevacia’s disallowed goal, the Wanderers head coach watched the remainder of the match from the stands. It was a high-shooting affair as Sydney took 13 shots vs the Wanderers 17.
What should happen: Sydney have won their past six games against City for a comprehensive aggregate score of 16-2. So despite playing in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night, it’s pretty safe to say that Steve Corica’s men should secure the goodies bag here. If that wasn’t enough, Adam Le Fondre now has a goal in each of his opening two A-League games and is slowly hitting the form that makes him an awesome replacement for the now departed Bobo. And Sydney’s defence is also coming together and clearing the balls that are potentially dangerous to them. These three factors should secure the Sky Blues their second consecutive A-League victory and maintain their unbeaten start to the new campaign.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to be victorious at $2.63 (Sportsbet)
Also only pick Sydney to score at $2.25 (Neds)
Saturday, November 3
Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
What’s happened most recently: Steven Taylor, Steven Taylor, oh dear Steven Taylor. The former Premier League defender absolutely fluffed a golden chance in the Phoenix’s 0-0 draw with Brisbane. Pretty much situated in front of the goal all he would have had to have done is just gently tap it to the left or to the right and it would have been 1-0. Instead the ex-Newcastle man hit the post. And Mark Rudan’s reaction on the sideline said it all! Despite the missed chance the draw meant that Wellington finished Round Two in equal top place, not a bad start at all to the new era of Phoenix Football. Wellington to their credit battled to a draw with only 40% of the ball in tow. However it was a poor night shooting the ball from them as only two of their total 12 shots landed on target. Their passing was also quite shocking as only 68% of them were completed. Or 198/291. Against a more clinical side such as Sydney or City, the Phoenix would have lost no doubt. But the opposition were equally as poor as they landed only two of their 11 shots on target.
Markus Babbel gave a thumbs up to the Red & Black Active Supporter Group as he left the sidelines after being sent of. This and two disallowed goals is what dominated the Wanderers disappointing 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC. They were down 1-0 within the opening four minutes of the match and another Sydney strike in the 53rd minute sealed the result for the much despised opposition. One of Western Sydney’s non-allowed strikes was pretty obvious, but the other was pretty blurry and that’s what made Babbel so mad. Roly Bonevacia thought he had brought one back for the Red & Black but it wasn’t to be after a VAR review. This match just furthered highlighted the general hatred for the use of video technology in Australian Football. But despite whatever happened with that the Wanderers didn’t exactly make it easy for themselves with pre-game Babbel lauding his side as “the worst in the League” and that from 17 attempts, Western Sydney landed only a measly two shots on target.
What should happen: A fairly trigger happy game. Against Newcastle, Wellington took 11 shots and backed that up against Brisbane with a further 12 shots. As for Western Sydney in their opening match against Perth, they attempted only nine shots, but then massively increased that to 17 in their latest game against Sydney. Both sides don’t have the strongest of defences but would call their attacks their major focal points. For Wellington players like Singh, Krishna and Burns never fail to impress. While for the opposition players such as Riera, Bonevacia and Kamau are constantly looming. Expect a lot of shots to be taken in this game with not a whole heap of defence being played.
Also pick Western Sydney to score first at $2.00 (Neds)
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
What’s happened most recently: Newcastle headed over to Adelaide trying to avenge their most humiliating result of last campaign, but all they could do is come away with a hard-fought 1-all draw. They took the lead through Vargas in the 52nd minute of the game, but couldn’t secure all three points as Craig Goodwin got a stunner back for the opposition only eleven minutes later. The Jets in all seriousness might have been a bit lucky to come away with a point at all as they had only 47% of the ball. They shot only 2/10 shots on target. While they were also forced into physical and grunt work by Adelaide in making 28 tackles and they gave away 17 fouls which resulted in three yellow’s for Ernie Merrick’s men. The result saw Newcastle finish the round in eighth position, early goings so far but still a long way from the runner ups of last season.
The Victory remain without a point through the opening two games of the season after going down 3-2 to the Glory in what was a highly entertaining affair. Joel Chianese got the opening goal for Perth in the 8th minute, then the Glory had two in the 23rd via Andy Keogh. Terry Antonis then got one back for Melbourne in the 47th minute. And the Victory thought they had secured a late dramatic equalizer in the 87th minute through a first Melbourne goal for Storm Roux. However Ikonomidis got all three points for Perth with a 93rd minute winner. The Victory played very well to at least not get a draw from this match as they had 68% possession. They also landed six of their 12 shots on target, 50%. They also gave away less fouls then their opponents and they completed a very high 84% of their passes, 531/633.
What should happen: Neither side have been all that impressive so far this season, but one of them has to win one at some point and why not the Jets. They lost a very controversial Grand Final last season to the Victory 1-0 and no doubt that will be in the majority of the players minds headed into this should be tense game. Being played up in Newcastle the crowd will absolutely belittle the Victory and that will be a massive benefit for the Jets. Expect Ernie Merrick’s men to play hard and strong, whilst drawing first blood through scoring the opening goal. This should give them all the confidence they need to go on and win the match. A strong and vocal crowd, while having the early advantage is what will win Newcastle this match, PERIOD!
Betting tip: Pick Newcastle to be victorious at $2.70 (Neds, Bet365)
Also pick them to draw first blood at $2.04 (Bet365)
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar
10:00 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
What’s happened most recently: Ikonomidis, Ikonomidis, Ikonomidis, what an absolute clutch and ruthless beast he was in securing Perth all three points in his sides 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory. He scored the match’s 93rd minute winner after the Victory thought they had leveled the scores only six minutes prior via Storm Roux. The Glory’s other target hitters were Chianese in the 8th minute and Andy Keogh with his second of the season in the 23rd minute. Perth claimed the victory despite having only 32% possession in tow. While they had only four shots on target vs the Victory’s six. As well as that they completed only 64% of their passes, 192/299 and leaked more fouls than Melbourne. To get the win was simply something quite incredible from Tony Popovic’s men.
As for Brisbane they can count their lucky stars they drew 0-0 with Wellington after Phoenix defender Steven Taylor missed a wonderful opportunity to score the only goal of the match after he missed what would have been the easiest of kicks only literally having to just kick the ball foward a tiny bit and it would’ve been a goal. Brisbane did have 60% possession but couldn’t really do much with it as they shot only two of their 12 total shots on target. Discipline wise they were quite poor as they gave away 15 fouls. However passing wise they were on point completing 81% of their attempted ones, good for 353/436. The draw saw John Aloisi’s side continue their indifferent start to the new season with two draws from their opening two games.
What should happen: A Perth victory and possibly a strong one at that. Perth’s attack has been on absolute fire this campaign. Andy Keogh already has two goals next to his name, while both Chianese and Ikonomidis each have one a piece. As well as that during their opening games against the Wanderers, they managed to fire of 17 shots. While against Melbourne they got of nine, but that was despite having a lowly 32% of the ball. This is compared to the Roar who could only put one past the Mariners and zero past Wellington. Expect Perth’s attack to run wild in this game resulting in a Glory victory.
Also pick only them to score at $2.40 (Neds)
Sunday, November 4
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
5:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
What’s happened most recently: A massive missed call after a Cisse foul on Fornarolli resulted in a 1-all draw for the Mariners against Melbourne City. However ‘Flop’arolli never really plays the game truthfully and the no-call was thoroughly deserved given his past. And it was Ross McCormack who bagged the opening goal for the Mariners, scoring against his former side in the 21st minute of the match. However unfortunately for the Mariners, Dario Vidosic scored one in the 84th minute resulting in the shared spoils. The Mariners to their credit got the victory having only 38% possession against City’s 62% possession. They also withheld a City onslaught as the opposition took 23 shots. However at least the Mariners were good with the little they had as 3/4 shots went on target.
For Adelaide they too shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle at Hindmarsh Stadium. Newcastle struck first in the 52nd minute. However in the 63rd minute Craig Goodwin rose to the occasion and leaped above several Jets to header in what was a fantastic goal. Marco Kurz’s side had a poor night in front of goal however despite getting a point as only three of their attempted 11 shots went on target. However they did have more possession then Newcastle, 53% vs 47% and they gave away less fouls as well, 15 vs 17. Their passing game was also very nice as completed 78% of them. Or 328/433.
What should happen: A good, quality game of Hyundai A-League Football. The last time these two sides met in Gosford an absolute thriller was played out. The Mariners opened the scoring in the 40th minute through Wout Brama. And Adelaide leveled things up through Daniel Adlung in the 59th minute. That before Ryan Kitto became the hero with a 93rd minute winner. 33 shots in total were taken that game and it was an absolute joy. Expect a similarly close and entertaining match of Football when these two teams do battle.
Betting tip: Pick the draw to be the end result at $3.75 (Bet365)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.61 (Bet365)
Best Bet of the Round
Their attack should be just too strong for John Aloisi’s men to handle