The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2016/17 A-League season.
Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory
7:50 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Less than six weeks after playing out a 3-3 thriller, Perth this time travel to Gosford for the reverse fixture. On that occasion, the Mariners surprised many with their fighting qualities as they restored parity, after finding themselves three behind at half-time. Since then, the club from the East Coast have scored 4 in 6 while Perth continue to search for consistency. The Glory will aim to string a couple of wins together, for the second time this season, after defeating Adelaide United 3-1. The Mariners managed to hang on for a 1-1 draw, in the F3 Derby, after Liam Rose was shown his marching orders just after the hour mark.
Despite a stuttering beginning to their campaign, Perth find themselves in fourth and just 2pts off second-placed Melbourne City. The return to form of striker Andy Keogh, who recorded a brace last week, is a huge positive for the Westerners. Central Coast were good value for their half-time lead, against the Jets, but couldn’t maintain the rage after the break. The home side will find it tough, especially after the short 4-day turnaround. .
Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar
7:50 PM AEDT, Spotless Stadium
If it’s anything like the 5-4 semi-final of last season, then we’re in for a cracker! Noted as the most dramatic match in A-League history, Western Sydney’s march in to the 15/16 Grand Final was nothing short of amazing. Roar will be looking to exact revenge after earning a morale boosting 1-1 draw against runaway leaders Sydney FC. Thomas Kristensen’s fine strike late in the first-half seemed to galvanize his Brisbane teammates after been outplayed for long periods. The Wanderers had to wait until injury time to secure their 1-1 draw, with Melbourne City, after Neil Kilkenny turned into his own net. It was the least that the Wanderers deserved after Karem Bulut’s goal was incorrectly chalked off for offside.
The Wanderers will hope to finally celebrate a win at their adopted home (Spotless Stadium) after 3 draws on the bounce. The hosts have rarely been outplayed so far this season but it’s their wastefulness in attack that sees them languishing in 6th spot on the ladder. Top scorer, Brendan Santalab, returns to the squad after missing last week through injury. For the visitors, Jamie MacLaren is expected to start after coming off the pine last week against the Sky Blues.
Nick’s tip: Brisbane +0.25ah @1.82 (Pinnacle Sports)
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets
5:35 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
A highly expectant home crowd will congregate at AAMI Park as a star-studded Melbourne Victory outfit return to league action.Victory fans were starved of their weekly dose of footy, last week, following the postponement of their side’s clash in Wellington (due to the devastating earthquakes). Newcastle return to Melbourne after acquitting themselves so well in the 2-1 defeat to City, a fortnight ago. Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Mariners would of irked manager, Mark Jones, as his side created more than enough opportunities to claim all 3 points.
All eyes will be on Kevin Muscat’s starting XI with new signing Max Beister training the house down, and Marco Rojas available again upon his return from international duty. The Jets have been somewhat of a bogey side for Victory, in the past. An upset though looks highly unlikely with Newcastle forwards Aleksandr Kokko and Andrew Nabbout the latest to join a long list of casualties on the treatment table.
Nick’s tip: Melbourne Victory -1ah @1.83 (Pinnacle Sports)
Sydney FC v Adelaide United
7:50 PM AEDT, Allianz Stadium
Can Sydney FC go undefeated for the entire season? The chatter coming out of the Sky Blues camp has been about repeating the feat of ‘The Invincibles’, the Arsenal team (of 03/04) that went through an entire Premiership season without defeat. Such is the confidence of Graham Arnold’s squad at the moment despite the slight hiccup in the 1-1 draw against Brisbane. In total contrast, bottom of the table Adelaide United are still searching for their first win following their 3-1 defeat in Perth. To make matters worse, manager Guillermo Amor will spend at least a week off the touchlines after blowing up at the officials.
It will be interesting to see if pride kicks in as the befallen reigning champions look to upset the runaway leaders. Sydney FC have been talking the talk in midweek but they must now back it up on the pitch. While the hosts go into this at full strength, Adelaide United lose impressive youngster Jordan O’Doherty through suspension but timely retain the services of little Brazilian, Henrique.
Nick’s tip: Sydney FC -0.75ah @1.75 (Pinnacle Sports)
Melbourne City v Wellington Phoenix
5:00 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Melbourne City will be best advised not to look too far ahead with the FFA Cup Final on Wednesday. In form and well rested, Wellington Phoenix are primed to put in a strong performance after their match was postponed last week. City have no reason to be complacent as recent performances have been anything but convincing. The 1-1 draw against Western Sydney was hardly deserved while recent wins over Adelaide United and Newcastle have lacked conviction.
Perhaps the return of Argentine midfielder, Nicolas Colazo, will spark City to their brilliant best? Melbourne City have not been the same since the talented South American burst an ear drum on the flight back from Wellington, on Matchday 1. On that occasion, City came out 1-0 winners in a thoroughly open contest. Wellington will hope to extend a two game winning streak although their terrible record in Melbourne suggests otherwise.
Nick’s tip: No tip.