The following are previews with betting tips for Round 9 of the 2016/17 A-League season.
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Kevin Muscat would of had little trouble motivating his charges, in the lead up to Friday’s match, with neighbours Melbourne City winning their first piece of silverware in midweek. Victory can leapfrog the newly-crowned FFA Cup champions, for 24 hours at least, if they manage to overcome under-performing Perth. Melbourne Victory were quite impressive in their 2-0 win over old bogey side Newcastle, amassing more than 20 shots at goal. The same can definitely not be said of Perth who handed the Central Coast their first home win in almost a year. In addition, they were the first side not to register against the Mariners in 37 games!
Victory have rebounded well in the last month with 3 wins from their last 4 outings. The return of James Troisi has injected some much needed creativity in the front third while Rojas continues to improve in his new surroundings. In addition to the loss, Perth were rocked last week by a number of injuries to key men. As a result, Diego Castro and Josh Risdon are both out for at least a month while Rhys Williams serves a one match suspension.
Nick’s tip: Melbourne Victory -0.5ah @1.62 (Pinnacle Sports)
Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
5:35 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
There’s a new sense of optimism in Gosford. An impressive run of results has seen the Mariners jump to sixth on the ladder. The Mariners squad will feel a sense of relief following the 2-0 win over Perth, finally shaking off that terrible home record. Sitting just one position and one point below them, draw specialists Western Sydney will be pushing for more than a share of the spoils as they make the short trip from Parramatta. Despite their second consecutive 1-1 draw, this time round against Brisbane, Western Sydney can take heart from the fact that they are more than holding their own against the top sides in the country. A win for the Mariners may draw a distinct wedge between the Top 6 and the rest of the competition.
Aside from Jacques Faty, the home side are at full strength with Liam Rose returning from suspension and Jacob Poscoliero off the injury list. The Wanderers also have a relatively clean bill of health. These sides met in the reverse fixture a month ago, as Adam Berry cancelled out Brendan Santalab’s early opener in a 1-1 draw. Nothing but maximum points wil do for Western Sydney as they are set to tackle a tough set of fixtures up till the turn of the year.
Nick’s tip: Western Sydney -0.25ah @1.72 (Pinnacle Sports)
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
FFA Cup winners, Melbourne City, must quickly turn their attentions to A-League matters after the adulation of Wednesday’s events. Who else but Tim Cahill stepped up on the big occasion to deliver a perfectly planted header passed helpless Danny Vukovic. The 3-day turnaround will test the squad depth of the hosts as they look to turn the tables on Brisbane, after their defeat at Suncorp on Matchday 5. It was a similar story for the Roar in recent weeks following another frustrating 1-1 draw, their third on the bounce. Despite the transfer speculation surrounding Jamie MacLaren and a move away from the club, the diminutive striker managed to open the scoring against the Wanderers. It was no surprise though when they conceded as John Aloisi’s men invited way too much pressure.
The cup winners are with two big outs for this one as Neil Kilkenny misses through suspension while Cahill is likely to be sidelined with a knee strain. Expect the likes of Josh Rose, Bruce Kamau and Paulo Retre to get some game time. In a blow to Brisbane’s long-term prospects, Brett Holman is set for a lengthy spell on the outer with a knee injury but impressive Dane, Thomas Kristensen, returns to the fold.
Nick’s tip: No tip.
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
5:00 PM AEDT, Hunter Stadium
The Jets will be weary of a potential backlash from league leaders Sydney FC after the latter’s first defeat in 15 outings (in all competitions), and in a cup final no less. The Sky Blues looked unbreakable a fortnight ago but a run of 3 games without a win heaps just that little bit more pressure on Graham Arnold’s men. Performances have noticably taken a dip, as was evident in the scoreless draw against Adelaide United. Newcastle have more pressing concerns than their opponents, languishing in 8th on the league ladder and a sizeable injury list that would cripple any side. The lack of depth was on show in the 2-0 defeat to Melbourne Victory as a disjointed looking Jets outfit failed to cope with the pace and movement of their opponents.
What Sydney FC would give for another easy 2-0 win over the Jets, this Sunday? That was the scoreline at this venue, a month ago, when Brosque and Ninkovic steered the Sky Blues to a comfortable three points. The Jets welcome club veteran, Labinot Haliti, to this week’s extended squad. Alex Wilkinson should return for the visitors after he was ruled out with a stomach bug for the cup defeat at AAMI Park.
Nick’s tip: Sydney FC -0.25ah @1.53 (Pinnacle Sports)
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
7:00 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Matchday 9 is rounded out with the battle of the cellar dwellers. Trailing Wellington and Newcastle by 3 points, Adelaide United will be collectively scratching their heads at their current predicament. The Reds are yet to taste victory this season but recent performances (especially against Sydney and Brisbane) suggest they won’t need to wait too much longer. Last week’s scoreless draw at The Allianz is a sign of progress. Wellington themselves look to be getting their act together, although their two game winning streak came to an unfortunate end last Sunday, at Melbourne City. Their 2-1 defeat was marred by controversy when with the scores locked at 1-1, Kurt Ams pointed to the spot after a 50/50 tussle between Rossi and Fornaroli.
United gaffer, Guillermo Amor, will spend another week up in the stands for his misdemeanor in Perth, a fortnight ago. It shouldn’t effect matters on the pitch too much as the home side look to add some attacking bite to complement their eye-catching combinations from open play. Wellington are likely to field the same starting XI that performed so admirably in Melbourne.