A-League Round 4 Preview and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 4 of the 2015/16 A-League season.

Friday, 30 October

Melbourne City

Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets

7:40 PM AEDT, AAMI Park

Newcastle Jets

While one jinx was smashed, the other continues to go from strength to strength as Newcastle defeated Melbourne Victory once again. Newcastle played like the away team, defending deep in numbers and breaking quickly to take advantage of the vast spaces in behind. Eventually, Victory committed the cardinal sin of conceding a set piece within shooting range of a man seemingly at the top of his game. Former Socceroo, David Carney, turned back the clock and dispatched Leonardo’s lay-off with aplomb to give his side a precious 1-0 win. Meanwhile, City got the better of bogey side Central Coast for just the second time in their history (Heart included) with Fornaroli’s brace guiding his side to a 3-1 win.

Melbourne City remain crippled by a lengthy injury list but it’s slowly dwindling with Williams and Gameiro returning last week while left back Jack Clisby is back from a thigh strain. The Jets are bound to set up the same way they have done since the start of the season – playing deep, closing down dangerous passing lanes while staying tight and compact. South Korean, Lee Ki-Je, returns from injury and will likely replace youngster Lachlan Jackson while keeper, Ben Kennedy, should hold his place despite the availability of Mark Birighitti – following a remarkable recovery from facial injuries suffered a fortnight ago against Sydney’s Shane Smeltz. It’s been almost a year since Melbourne City lost a home fixture at AAMI Park (1-2 loss v SYD on 22/11/14) and I cannot see the Jets putting a dent in that record. Playing deep will only play in the hands of Aaron Mooy and the brilliant close control of Bruno Fornaroli at the point of the City attack.

Nick’s tip: Melbourne City -0.25ah @1.43 (Bet365)


Saturday, 31 October

Central Coast Mariners

Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC

5:15 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium

Sydney FC

The Mariners will hope to catch the Sky Blues on a bit of a hangover despite the odds stacked well and truly against them. Aside from the 3-2 win over Perth on Matchday 1, Central Coast’s gung ho approach has failed them against Brisbane and last week against Melbourne City, respectively. Sydney sit atop the A-League table but have yet to convince with scratchy wins against Newcastle, and in the big one last week over Western Sydney. Despite been outplayed for large portions of the game, Sydney somehow kept the door shut at the back and snatched a winner at the death thanks to an expert finish by Serbian midfielder, Milos Ninkovic.

The home side get some much needed experience from the treatment table with defenders, Poscoliero and Bosnar, available for selection. Will that be enough to stop a star-studded Sydney team? I very much doubt it. Sydney gaffer, Graham Arnold, has admitted that his side is far from firing on all cylinders at the present time but they do have the armory to take advantage of space when it is afforded to them. I can’t see Central Coast changing their ways this season which makes for some exciting viewing but in the short term, won’t bring the Gosford club the results they desire.

Nick’s tip:
Sydney 0ah @1.6 (Pinnacle Sports) 
Over 2.25 goals @1.6 (SBOBET)


Brisbane Roar

Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United

7:30 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium

Adelaide United

Both sides will hope to rebound following away defeats. Brisbane will feel they deserved a share of spoils at Wellington after a strong second half showing. Roar manager, John Aloisi, probably didn’t do his side any favors with scores locked at 2-2 when he introduced Corey Brown in a late defensive reshuffle. Moments later, Brown’s immediate opponent, Blake Powell scored the winning goal as he tapped in, unattended, into an empty net. Adelaide United continued their abysmal form with a listless performance at Perth Glory. The Reds collapsed like a deck of cards when just before the interval, Sidnei Sciola broke Adelaide’s outrageously high defensive line before beating stand-in keeper John Hall with ease. This was a masterclass by Perth coach Kenny Lowe, whose side played host to Melbourne City just days earlier (in the FFA Cup semi-final). Perth proceeded to cut through Adelaide United with almost surgical precision, shooting to a 3-0 lead only for Diego Ferreira to put through his own net and give the visitors some sort of consolation.

Adelaide United will hope that the return of powerful forward, Bruce Djite, will restore some of their bite in the front third. United have not yet crafted a goal entirely of their own doing with their two goals to date coming off an opposition’s inadvertent foot. Spanish import, Corona, continues to impress for the Roar and his battle against countrymen Cirio and Isaias will be something to look out for. I feel that Brisbane will be a real force to be reckoned with this season, especially at Suncorp Stadium. Djite has yet to play competitive football this season so even if he does start, his effect on the game is bound to be minimal.

Nick’s tip: Brisbane 0ah @1.6 (SBOBET)

Sunday, 1 November

Western Sydney Wanderers

Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory

5:00 PM AEDT, Pirtek Stadium

Perth Glory

Western Sydney will still be fuming in the manner they lost the Sydney Derby in a contest they dominated for long periods. Despite leaving the Allianz Stadium empty handed, the winless Wanderers can take a lot of positives moving forward. The assured debut of Spanish centre-back, Alberto, was definitely a plus and his partnership with Topor-Stanley could prove a fruitful one for Tony Popovic. Perth showed no signs of tired legs after toppling Adelaide United just days after knocking off a second string Melbourne City (in the FFA Cup). New signings, Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro, both got on the scoresheet in a thoroughly professional performance which consisted of incisive passing and quick fire counter-attacking.

Just as Western Sydney seemed to be clicking into gear, they suffer a setback with flying winger Romeo Castelen ruled out for at least two weeks with a hamstring strain. In more positive news, veteran winger Brendon Santalab is included in the squad for the first time this season. Despite just one league win this season, Perth visit Parramatta with a spring in their step. New players are beginning to settle down and buy into Kenny Lowe’s methods while they have booked their place into next week’s FFA Cup Final – where they will take on Melbourne Victory. Western Sydney have not had the rub of the green so far this season but I expect them to get at least a draw against a Perth side with one eye on the ‘big dance’ in Melbourne.

Nick’s tip:
Western Sydney -0.25ah @1.55 (Pinnacle Sports)
Under 3 goals @1.57 (Pinnacle Sports)


Monday, 2 November

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix

7:30 PM AEDT, Etihad Stadium

Wellington Phoenix

In what promises to be an enticing clash, FFA Cup finalists and reigning premiers Melbourne Victory do battle against a side fighting for it’s very existence in the competition. In breaking news during the week, the FFA refused Wellington’s application to have their A-League license renewed for another 10 years – their current license ends at the conclusion of the current season. In on-field matters, Wellington are making a good case for themselves with a thrilling 3-2 win over Brisbane – their second win of the season. Victory, however, don’t seem to be travelling too smoothly with a 1-0 loss at Newcastle and an unconvincing performance in midweek against semi-pros Hume City – late goals to Barbarouses and Geria putting the gloss on a 3-0 score line.

Kevin Muscat has included Olyroo duo, Jason Geria and Scott Galloway, into his match day squad with perhaps Dylan Murnane and the out of sorts Leigh Broxham to make way. Wellington are also boosted by some much needed solidarity at the back with club captain, Andrew Durante, back to full fitness. The Phoenix seem to have recaptured the magic that we witnessed in the middle part of last season with McGlinchey and co. (and new boy Jeffrey Sarpong) looking dangerous on every foray forward. With Victory perhaps fine tuning their game with a view to the FFA Cup final and Wellington’s form going forward, I expect goals in this.

Nick’s tip:
Wellington 1.5ah @1.56 (Pinnacle Sports)
Over 2.5 goals @1.58 (Pinnacle Sports)


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