The following are previews with betting tips for Round 11 of the 2016/17 A-League season.
Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United
7:50 PM AEDT, Hunter Stadium
Can the Jets build on their first win in Perth since 2005? Or, will Adelaide get themselves off the canvas after last week’s hammering at Suncorp? Newcastle blitzed lackluster Glory as they welcomed back key players Andrew Nabbout and Daniel Mullen. The 2-1 win out West flattered the home side as Newcastle’s movement and invention in the front third deserved more than just the solitary 1 goal margin. Despite accumulating 19 corners and 12 goal attempts, bottom side Adelaide United were on the wrong end of a 4-0 thumping, in Brisbane. The Reds severely missed the leadership of suspended midfielder Isaias. In a welcome sight, fellow Spaniard Sergio Cirio made a cameo appearance after returning from injury.
These sides met back on the opening day of the season when Adelaide, perhaps undeserving, held on for a 1-1 draw. That extended the Reds’ unbeaten run against Newcastle to six games (3 wins, 3 draws), stretching back to 2014. Newcastle have had an extra day to prepare but that advantage is nullified somewhat following their long trip back from Perth. The visitors are at full strength with the return of Isaias (from suspension) and Michael Marrone (injury) respectively.
Nick’s tip: Adelaide United -0.25ah @2.05 (Pinnacle Sports)
Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
5:35 PM AEDT, Mt Smart Stadium
As so often is the case in the world of football, a side that loses their manager immediately responds in a positive manner. After some soul searching and reflection, following the departure of Ernie Merrick, Wellington put three passed the Mariners. In a vibrant display, Wellington did not look back after as early as the 2nd minute when Hamish Watson got the merest of touches, on Barbarouses’ goal-bound shot, to open the scoring. Meanwhile, Western Sydney’s search for a home win goes on following their 3-0 defeat to Melbourne Victory. The Wanderers led in almost every statistical department except the one that mattered most with Redmayne and Santalab both having nights to forget.
With Brendan Santalab’s woeful finishing last week and Karem Bulut’s ‘headless chicken’ impersonations, perhaps Lachlan Scott could get the nod to spearhead the Wanderers attack. The youngster did score a brace against the Phoenix in a 3-2 FFA Cup win back in August. Goalkeeper, Jerrad Tyson, returns from suspension and is a certainty to replace crest fallen Andrew Redmayne. Wellington’s caretaker managers, Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham, will be hoping for more of the same from their chargers with last week’s tweak in formation and personnel working a treat. Western Sydney will aim to extend their good recent record against the Nix which reads 4 wins from their last 5.
Nick’s tip: Over 2.5 goals @1.78 (Pinnacle Sports)
Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
A-League fans will be treated to their third Melbourne Derby, this season, and quite frankly we love it! Melbourne City have a certain air about them after their FFA Cup exploits which Melbourne Victory will be keen on shoving back down their throats. The likeliest man to do just that is last week’s hat-trick hero, Besart Berisha. The Albanian is bang on form at the moment and is just a goal shy from equaling former teammate, Archie Thompson, as the most prolific marksman in the league’s history. City have strung a couple of tense 1-1 draws since their FFA Cup final triumph, the latter against league leaders Sydney FC. Fernando Brandan’s contender for goal of the season was the highlight in what was a spiteful match.
Melbourne City manager, John Van’t Schip, is likely to give youngster Ruon Tongyik a second run out after last week’s impressive performance on debut. Winger, Bruce Kamau, has been promoted to the match day squad and could start after tormenting Victory in the 4-1 league win, in October. In their quest for a first derby win in over a year, Victory are boosted by the return of fit-again Marco Rojas. If the Kiwi is in full flow, Victory are likely to come away with the chocolates and move above their neighbours while still carrying a game in hand.
Nick’s tip: Melbourne Victory 0.25ah @1.87 (Pinnacle Sports)
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
10:00 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
Attendances and memberships may be up this season but Glory’s recent performances are going in the opposite direction. Convincing defeats to Central Coast and most recently Newcastle at home suggests that Kenny Lowe may need to delve into the transfer market come January. The Nebo Marinkovic strike aside, and what a beauty it was, Perth were completely outplayed by the Jets despite the slender 2-1 defeat. Signs are that Sydney FC may be coming back to the chasing pack after a 1-1 draw with Melbourne City. The Sky Blues did at least keep their unbeaten league record in tact as Bobo kept his nerve from the spot after he himself earned the penalty from a Jacobsen foul. The draw came at a price as Josh Brillante was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offense while Matt Simon was sighted by the MRP for a hit on Jacobsen (and misses one match).
Perth fans may point to the absence of Diego Castro for the downturn in performances, but it runs deeper than that. There seems to be a lack of energy and discipline within the team. It’s hard to see this changing any time season. Sydney will be aiming to replicate their 4-1 over Perth, back on Matchday 6. On that occasion, Milos Ninkovic played a starring role with two goals and an assist. Arnie will make one enforced change with Brandon O’Neill coming in for Brillante.
Nick’s tip: Sydney -0.25ah @1.75 (Pinnacle Sports)
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
5:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Can a game get any more one-sided? Brisbane are arguably the form side in the competition while the Mariners are down there with Perth. Following the euphoria of a first cleansheet and a home win in a long long time, Mariners have fallen back to old habits with consecutive heavy defeats. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t get shots off on goal you will never score. In the 3-0 defeat to Wellington, Central Coast recorded just one shot on target while having 62% ball possession. In complete contrast, Brisbane dissected Adelaide United’s defenses with almost surgical precision. The Roar broke a string of four consecutive 1-1 draws, in emphatic fashion, with a 4-0 win despite having just four shots on goal. Led by marquee midfielder Thomas Kristensen’s brace, Brisbane were super clinical in the front third.
Earlier this season, Brisbane scratched out a 1-0 win in Gosford. But, that was on Matchday 3 and a lot has changed since October, notably Brisbane’s form. Tommy Oar continues to improve with every game, Kristensen is beginning to justify his marquee status while the backline is up there with the best in the country. Brisbane have won the last 6 meetings between the sides including 3 straight at Blue Tongue.
Nick’s tip: Brisbane -0.75ah @1.85 (Pinnacle Sports)