CHEEKY WEEK 13 A-LEAGUE MULTI
Adelaide v Wellington under 2.5 goals @ 1.75
Perth under 1.5 goals @ 1.40
Central Coast to win @ 1.58
Brisbane v Melbourne Victory under 3.5 goals @ 1.42
Combined odds @ 5.50 (TAB Sportsbet)
FRIDAY (DEC 30)
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix (AEDT 2000)
This Friday night clash will be interesting because Wellington can’t win on Australian soil and Adelaide can’t win anywhere! The Reds are on a six game winless run at the moment, although the club nicknamed United showed a greater togetherness in John Kosmina’s first game in charge last week, securing a 2-2 draw in Sydney. Wellington were simply awesome in their home match last week beating Newcastle 5-2, and it is not stretching the truth to say they could have scored a few more. The Phoenix have suffered a severe bout of travel sickness since the start of last season, with a win-draw-loss record of 2-4-15 for matches played outside of New Zealand. As a travel sickness sufferer myself, I recommend the Phoenix ship in a batch of Kwells travel sickness tablets! Wellington playmaker Paul Ifill is still missing and his absence will reduce the Phoenix’s creativity and ability to break through Adelaide’s defence. Kosmina is wasting no time putting his stamp on his Adelaide squad, stripping Jon McKain of the captaincy and handing that honour to goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic. I’ve got a feeling Kosmina prefers a dour struggle to a free-flowing game and we can expect some low-scoring Adelaide games coming up. The opening sentence of this preview said it all, neither team has a winning formline and a draw looks a good bet.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.40 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80 (Sportingbet)
SATURDAY (DEC 31)
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory (AEDT 1600)
The early season promise from both these teams has dissipated as the season hurtles towards its midway point and both now find themselves outside the top 6. Newcastle have lost their last three and Perth their last two, however the Jets have won 4 of their 6 games at Ausgrid Stadium and, being the home team in this fixture, are clear favourites. The Glory travel east after losing two consecutive home matches and are the second lowest scorers in the league, netting two or more goals in just 3 of 12 matches this campaign. Perth striker Shane Smeltz is also no certainty to play due to injury, meaning Perth are likely to score less than two goals yet again. In response to a 5-2 loss in Wellington last week, Newcastle boss Gary van Egmond spoke this week of his players putting on a better show for the home fans this week and I expect his team to come out full of passion this Saturday afternoon.
Andy’s Bet: Newcastle to win @ 2.05 (TAB Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Perth under 1.5 goals @ 1.40 (TAB Sportsbet)
Central Coast Mariners v Gold Coast United (AEDT 1815)
Winning form is good form! Central Coast are top of the tree, winning 6 on the spin during a 9-match match unbeaten run. The Gold Coast, meanwhile, are second from bottom, but have managed to get things back on track by winning their last two games. United’s mini revival has been built on the back of a solid defence and the previously leaky backline has been revitalised, keeping a clean sheet in each of the Gold Coast’s last 3 matches. The Mariners remain at full strength, while their opponents will be without defender Paul Beekmans due to suspension and striker Dylan Macallister is likely to miss with a strained hamstring injury. The Central Coast are red hot at the moment and the 1.60 odds actually represent good value.
Andy’s Bet: Central Coast to win @ 1.60 (Sportingbet)
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory (AEDT 2030)
Two of the league heavyweights clash in this fixture, which is likely to bring the year to a close with a real bang. The Roar have endured a horror December, losing all five games they have played during the month, which is all the more amazing considering they had not lost a single match in any of the previous fourteen months! The good news for Brisbane is they are still third on the table, five points clear of their opponents, who are sixth. Melbourne have only lost three times this season, but their problem has been converting draws into wins, the Victory paradoxically drawing half of their games. In these situations when clubs are in a rut, coaches often elect to focus on tightening the defence and building from the back, so I don’t envisage the high-scoring shootout many pundits expect. Given Brisbane’s continued poor form, I fancy Melbourne to get something from this game.
Andy’s Bet: Melbourne Victory to win or draw @ 1.95 (Sportingbet)
Andy’s Bet: Under 3.5 goals @ 1.42 (TAB Sportsbet)