Don’t bet against the Brisbane Roar! That is what I learnt last week after they beat 2nd place Adelaide in Adelaide. The league leaders extended their unbeaten record to a whopping 19 games and are now certain to finish top of the table after the regular season.
The main interest this week will be whether 7th placed Wellington or 8th placed Newcastle can get victories that will keep them in touch with 6th placed Melbourne Heart who have got the bye. Wellington beat Melbourne Victory midweek, so a victory over Central Coast this week will be enough to propel the kiwi club into the top 6.
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory (AEDT 2030)
Refer to the first line of this article and remember not to bet against the Brisbane Roar. Check. Brisbane are in sensational form and master coach Ange Postecoglou even has the luxury of welcoming back key players Thomas Broich and Ivan Franjic who both missed the 1-0 win over 2nd placed Adelaide last weekend. Perth did well to hold high flying Gold Coast to a 0-0 draw last time out, but a second away match in a row will surely take a toll. Brisbane’s fluent passing game should be too much for a team that has lost 8 of the last 9 times it has travelled.
Andy’s Bet: Brisbane to win @ 1.48 (TAB Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Jean Carlos Solorzano to score anytime @ 2.75 (TAB Sportsbet)
Sydney FC v Gold Coast United (AEDT 1900)
I am still not sure what happened last Sunday night in Newcastle. Sydney, who had lost their last 5 and with a coach on the chopping block, defeated finals chasing Newcastle 2-1 at Newcastle. Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka is refusing to stand down and will hope his team can show the same fight on the pitch. It will be difficult as their opponent this weekend, Gold Coast, have been somewhat of a bogey team for the sky blues. Sydney have never beaten the Gold Coast before, but will have a good shot this time as Gold Coast talisman Jason Culina is absent with the Socceroos for the Asian Cup. I think the United have too much to play for to lose, 2nd spot and a double chance still a possibility for the Gold Coast.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.30 (Multiple sites)
North Queensland Fury v Newcastle Jets
Newcastle threw away 3 vital points with a poor display last weekend against Sydney. The Jets slipped to 8th and really need to start winning if they are going to participate in finals action. They can start their charge with a victory over bottom placed North Queensland in this matchup. The Fury have only won once in their last 7 fixtures and also lost 2-0 to Newcastle last month when they played at the same venue.
Andy’s Bet: Newcastle to win @ 2.85 (Centrebet)
Andy’s Bet: Newcastle to win by 2 or more goals @ 6.25 (Centrebet)
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United (AEDT 1500)
In one of the most remarkable statistics in Australian sport, Melbourne Victory have won their last 10 fixtures against Adelaide United. It is fair to say they have the wood over them, though I’m not so sure they will make it 11. On table position, it might seem like Adelaide are flying high in 2nd place, but United are in a mini slump and have lost 4 of their last 5. Melbourne flew over to New Zealand for a midweek match with Wellington and were smashed 2-0. It will be tough to regroup in time for this game, but the Victory will be boosted by the return of skipper and hardman Kevin Muscat. I am a bit wary of backing the victory without strike duo Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse. Thompson is still injured and Kruse is another missing A-League action as part of the Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup. If Adelaide were in form I would be all over them for the win, but they are not, so I’m reluctantly going for the draw.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.35 (TAB Sportsbet)
Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix (AEDT 1700)
Wellington did what they do best during the week against Melbourne. Win at home. Their problems, however, start when they travel over to Australia as the Phoenix have won 1, drawn 2 and lost 8 of their 11 matches across the ditch. The Phoenix are 7th on the ladder and only 1 point away from a finals place, but that point will be tough to capture against Central Coast who are themselves chasing a spot in the top 2. Central Coast were cruising to a win against the Melbourne Victory last week before Adam Kwasnik got himself sent off, the striker will also miss this one through suspension, then conceded soft goals to lose. Young goalkeeper Matthew Ryan was at fault for Melbourne’s winner and he will be nervous between the posts. I am going for the Mariners purely based on Wellington’s poor away record.
Andy’s Bet: Central Coast to win @ 1.75 (TAB Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.00 (TAB Sportsbet)