The following are previews with betting tips for Round 10 of the 2015/16 A-League season.
Friday, 11 December
Adelaide United v Sydney FC
7:40 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Guillermo Amor finally registered his first A-League win as Reds manager. Adelaide United overcame Perth Glory 1-0 with Pablo Sanchez making the most of an Anthony Golec error to keep his side’s season hopes alive. In all honesty, the game could of finished 4-4 with chances squandered by both sides. Sydney FC also put an end to a dry spell of sorts, squeaking by the Newcastle Jets with a 1-0 result and breaking a 4-game winless streak in the process. Captain Alex Brosque was on hand to stroke passed Mark Birrighitti, just after the break, to keep the Sky Blues within touching distance of the front runners. Apart from manager Graham Arnold, perhaps the most relieved man in the Sydney camp was striker Filip Holosko who missed a succession of first half sitters.
Adelaide United will aim to capitalize on the feel good factor in the camp with successive wins. In addition to Adelaide United’s official supporter group The Red Army returning to the stands, flying winger Craig Goodwin returns from suspension to bolster the Reds’ attack. Sydney FC lose last week’s hero and arguably the side’s most impressive player this season in Alex Brosque with a hamstring complaint. These sides met in the FFA Cup just before the A-League season kicked off with Adelaide United coming out on top with a 2-1 win after extra time.
Nick’s tip: Adelaide United 0.5ah @1.5 (Bet365)
Saturday, 12 December
Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
5:15 PM AEDT, Cazalys Stadium, Cairns
In what looks like one of the tastier fixtures of the round, Brisbane will be aiming to avenge their luckless defeat last week with a win over confident Wellington. In what was a top of the table clash, Brisbane were edged out 2-1 by the Wanderers despite looking the stronger of the two sides. The Roar did well to nullify Western Sydney’s in-form midfield while creating chances of their own; only to be undone by a fortuitous deflection that led to a Mark Bridge tap-in and a wonder strike by former Roar man Mitch Nichols. In what will go down as one of the most farcical contests in A-League history, Wellington adapted better in trying conditions (and circumstances) to topple Melbourne Victory 2-0. In addition to the striking resemblance between the jerseys worn by both sides, the rugby pitch in Auckland was by no means safe nor good enough for a football game at this level.
As part of a drive to spread the word of this beautiful game of ours, we travel north up the coast to Cairns for this fixture. Despite losing 3-2 in Wellington earlier this season, Brisbane will fancy their chances of turning the tables in the hot and humid conditions. The Nix are expected to lineup without Vince Lia and full back Justin Gulley – both likely outs through injury. Aside from the elements, Wellington will be aiming to overcome a poor away record of just one win in five; that coming against bottom side Perth Glory.
Nick’s tip: Brisbane Roar -0.5ah @1.95 (SBOBET)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
7:30 PM AEDT, Pirtek Stadium
Pirtek Stadium will play host to it’s consecutive top of the table clash as the league leaders host 2nd placed Melbourne Victory. The Wanderers are on a roll at the moment, a 6-game winning streak no less after a nail-biting 2-1 win over dangerous Brisbane Roar. The Roar gave as good as they got, and then some but Western Sydney were efficient in their rare forays forward with who else but Mitch Nichols bagging the winner. In what was disappointingly the talking point of last week’s round, the pitch in Auckland was not conducive to the slick passing style that Melbourne Victory prides itself on. As a result, Wellington’s more direct style came out on top with the Nix getting a 2-0 jump on Victory before they could adapt to the playing conditions.
In what is fast becoming one of the biggest rivalries in the A-League, Pirtek stadium will be bouncing with the RBB reinstated in the northern end. This fixture should hold no fears for the visitors after their clean-sweep of Western Sydney last season, including two wins at this very venue. If Victory are to make it 5 on the trot, they must do it without club captain Carl Valeri who has been struck down by illness while veteran striker Archie Thompson’s comeback will be put on a hold for a few more weeks yet after pulling up sore in training. Federico Piovaccari returns after being rested for a couple weeks following his two goal haul against Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix, respectively.
Nick’s tip: Over 2.25 goals @1.6 (SBOBET)
Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
9:40 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
In what looks like a must win game for Perth Glory (even this early into the season), they face fellow stragglers Central Coast in a bottom of the table clash. The FFA Cup losing finalists have struggled to get their league season off the ground with goals on short supply, averaging less than a goal a game (7 goals in 8 games). It’s not for a want of trying though as the Glory made several incursions into Adelaide United’s penalty area, last week, but lacked conviction when it mattered. The 1-0 loss was a blow but Perth can at least take some heart from an improved performance and a bright enough outing from the returning Gyorgy Sandor. It’s difficult to see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel for the Central Coast as they were outplayed in all departments by a rampaging Melbourne City, losing 5-1. I fear for Tony Walmsley’s side as there seems to be a huge disparity in quality in comparison to the rest of the league.
Perth have a rough fixture list leading into the turn of the year with the top 4 sides on the menu. A win here, and a heavy won at that, will at least give them a confidence boost. The return of Alex Grant and Aryn Williams does give Kenny Lowe options at the back but the main emphasis will be at the other end where the likes of Castro, Sidnei and Garcia will be expected to be more lethal in front of goal. The Mariners are strengthened by the return of inspirational captain Nick Montgomery as the visitors attempt to notch up their second win of the campaign – their first incidentally coming against Perth in a 3-2 win, in the season opener. .
Nick’s tip: Perth Glory -0.25ah @1.76 (SBOBET)
Sunday, 13 December
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City
5:00 PM AEDT, Hunter Stadium
Melbourne City roll into Newcastle with their chests pumped after their record breaking feat in recent weeks. City’s 5-1 defeat of Perth Glory and Central Coast (by the same scoreline) set a new A-League record for the first side to score 5 goals in consecutive matches. For once, Aaron Mooy was not the star of the show against Central Coast but it was Harry Novillo who took on that role with aplomb; scoring a brace and proving a constant menace throughout the contest. The Jets rallied late against Sydney FC to try and claim their fourth consecutive draw but it was not to be with Alex Brosque’s 57′ strike proving decisive.
Newcastle go into this game with the psychological edge following their unlikely, come from behind 3-2 win back in late October. On that memorable evening, young Jets manager Scott Miller announced himself as tinkerman extraordinare after his move to play defensive-minded Ben Kantarovski in the “no.10 role”
turned the game on its head. In team news, two big ins for the hosts with Nigel Boogard and Leonardo both returning from the treatment table. I won’t believe it till I see it, Robi Koren is included in the matchday squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Has the “real” Melbourne City arrived or is this just another false dawn?