Finally! After leaking a few dollars to the evil bookmakers in the early rounds of the season, this column’s suggested bets struck a blow for punters last weekend. The Round 8 profits were confirmed late on Sunday when Melbourne Victory’s success against the Gold Coast ensured our cheeky multi would salute at the tasty odds of $5.10. This week will be crucial to reclaim more of the early season losses and build up some positive punting momentum. Also, the first of the A-league’s mid-week regional fixtures takes place in Round 9, with Sydney hosting Perth in Campbelltown on the Wednesday following this weekend’s matches.
SEASON BETTING TALLY
Wagered = $800 – $10 per suggested bet
Collected = $515.20
Profit/Loss = – $284.80
% Profit/Loss = -35.6%
CHEEKY ROUND 9 A-LEAGUE MULTI
Andy’s Bet: Central Coast to win or draw, Perth to win and Melbourne Heart to win @ 5.70 (TAB Sportsbet)
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners (AEDT 2000)
Graham Arnold’s Mariners have been the best performed A-League club throughout the last five weeks, collecting 13 points from the 15 on offer, including victories on their past two away days. Adelaide’s early season form is puzzling the pundits, many of whom expected Adelaide to challenge for the title, and coach Rini Coolen is finding it difficult to piece together his jigsaw. The Reds have improved slightly in recent weeks going draw, win, draw, draw in their last four outings, however those results were against Melbourne Heart, Gold Coast, Wellington and Newcastle, teams inferior to this week’s visitors. Adelaide will be forced into a defensive reshuffle due to Nigel Boogaard’s suspension, although this may be a blessing in disguise as the defender has been acting more like a double agent over the last fortnight, scoring an own goal in Wellington and then getting sent off against Newcastle. With Central Coast hard to break down, I fancy them to draw or win this one and it should be a low-scoring match. Fans in Adelaide have only seen 9 goals in the 5 games at Hindmarsh this season.
Andy’s Bet: Central Coast to win or draw @ 1.49 (TAB Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.75 (Sportingbet)
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory (AEDT 1945)
Newcastle are this season’s Jekyll and Hyde team. The Jets are very comfortable at home, but suffer a severe personality disorder when venturing away from Ausgrid Stadium. Thankfully for Newcastle, they will play the role of hosts for this Saturday twilight fixture against the Victory. Melbourne seem to be trialling a new tactic this season under coach Mehmet Durakovic. There has always been eleven men present on the pitch in Victory colours at kick-off, but often there are one or two less by the final whistle. Melbourne have received four red cards already this season, three of which have been issued during the first half. Is this lack of discipline something extra that can be pinned on the embattled coach? Not for me. The players must take more responsibility and they made a pleasing step by grimly defending against Gold Coast last week before netting a winning goal despite their numerical man disadvantage. Two opposing forces collide in this match. Melbourne have played in the most draws this season (five) and Newcastle the least (one). In physics, when two forces collide, they exert the same force on each other. So, aided by Newton’s third law of motion, I confidently predict the Newcastle Jets force and the Melbourne Victory force will cancel each other out. Perhaps Isaac Newton was too busy with his physics theories and missed his true calling as a sports better?
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.35 (Centrebet)
Andy’s Bet: Both teams to score @ 1.95 (Centrebet)
Perth Glory v Gold Coast United (AEDT 2200)
In their last four weeks Perth have gone loss, loss, draw, loss, which is bad most ways you look at it. But there is one angle it does look alright from. When compared with the Gold Coast’s loss, loss, loss, loss it is actually slightly better. Gold Coast can’t take a trick at the moment and have managed to score in each of their last four games, yet still gone on to lose by a single goal each time. The A-League schedulers planned this weekend well, giving the boys from the glitter strip an away fixture to escape the pandemonium of schoolies week. Hopefully the players were able to get some sleep well away from all the revellers. Perth defender Chris Coyne has been ruled out for at least three months with an achilles problem, which will stretch an already undermanned backline. Influential central midfielder Liam Miller returns from suspension to pull the Glory midfield strings, while striker Shane Smeltz is the sole matchwinner on the pitch. Perth are playing badly, the Gold Coast are playing worse.
Andy’s Bet: Perth to win @ 1.91 (Centrebet)
Andy’s Bet: Shane Smeltz to score first @ 5.00 (Sportsbet)
Melbourne Heart v Wellington Phoenix (AEDT 1500)
In a statistical quirk, both these teams have played 8, won 2, drawn 3, lost 3 and have a goal difference of 0. On paper this should be a tight tussle! Unfortunately, things are never so straightforward when the Phoenix are involved. There are two different Wellington sides, the one that plays at home and the one that crosses the ditch every other week to play in Australia. A generous start to the season has seen the Phoenix play 5 of their first 8 games at home, which is the opposite of Melbourne, who have played 5 of their first 8 away. It’s not such a big thing for Melbourne to travel, but it definitely is for the Phoenix. Their win-draw-loss stats for home games since the start of last season are a title-winning like (12-4-4), so it’s difficult to believe they could be so awful on their travels (2-4-13). Paul Ifill is back playing great football for Wellington and the Heart defenders must cut off the supply to him. If they can do that they should win, especially given the return of creative duo Mate Dugandzic and Jason Hoffman from two weeks on Olyroos duty. I expect Melbourne to probe their visitors from the first whistle and break-through for an important early goal, giving them the momentum to push on to victory.
Andy’s Bet: Melbourne to win @ 2.05 (Multiple Sites)
Andy’s Bet: Melbourne half time/full time double @ 3.35 (Centrebet)
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar (AEDT 1700)
We dubbed Sydney FC ‘The Latecomers’ last week and they fully lived up to the title, falling behind early. Sydney have only scored once before the sixtieth minute all season, so it was no surprise when they trailed 2-0 at the hour mark last week. A customary late rally netted the Sky Blues a goal, but for the second successive weekend it was too little too late. While Sydney’s first halves have been about as sprightly as someone nursing a Sunday morning hangover, Brisbane have been the early birds catching all the worms. In their last five outings, the Roar have scored 12 times in the first period. That’s 11 more than Sydney have scored in the first half all season. After avoiding defeat for a record breaking 36th consecutive match, this Brisbane team is arguably the greatest Australian sporting team of all time. The odds for Brisbane to lead at half time are very appealing and I’ll be taking them.
Andy’s Bet: Brisbane to be leading at half time @ 2.60 (TAB Sportsbet)