A-League Round 21 Preview and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 21 of the 2016/17 A-League season.

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Melbourne City

Melbourne City v Sydney FC

7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park

Sydney FC

Melbourne City full-back, Ivan Franjic, is set to start for the hosts after jarring his knee in the Melbourne derby, a fortnight ago. Bruce Kamau has been promoted to the first-team squad after been dropped for last week’s trip to Wellington.

Michael Jacobsen is on the road to recovery but misses another week as a precautionary measure.

The Sky Blues should remain unchanged despite their first league loss of the season.

City will look to build on their most emphatic win so far this season when they welcome the league leaders, following the 5-1 mauling of Wellington Phoenix. In a repeat of November’s FFA Cup Final, Melbourne City will hope that history can repeat itself after their 1-0 triumph on that memorable evening.

So close but yet so far. Sydney FC were one game away from breaking Apia Leichardt’s long-standing undefeated record of 20 games. The Sky Blues succumbed to a 1-0 loss in the Sydney derby, no less, which would of hurt that little bit more. Graham Arnold and his men felt aggrieved in the manner in which the game was officiated with a stonewall penalty for Alex Brosque turned away by referee Chris Beath, in the dying embers of the game.

Melbourne City remain the only side that Sydney FC have yet to conquer this season. Last week’s scoreline flattered City while Sydney were unfortunate against the Wanderers.

Nick’s tip: Sydney FC 0ah @1.84 (SBOBET)


Newcastle Jets

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners

5:35 PM AEDT, Hunter Stadium

Central Coast Mariners

The Jets recall a number of players that have been out of favour in recent months with Kantarovski, Haliti, and Vujica among the inclusions.

Mark Jones has had his hand forced with suspended trio Nigel Boogard, Wayne Brown, and Ma Leilei all forced to sit out the F3 Derby.

Mariners could not have wished for a better inclusion with club captain, Nick Montgomery, returning from suspension to lead his side into enemy territory. Blake Powell further strengthens the visitors with his return off the treatment table.

Just when Newcastle were presented with a golden opportunity to announce themselves as serious finals contenders, they faltered against the bottom side. The 1-0 loss in Adelaide was a return to the wasteful, dithering Newcastle of seasons gone by which will be a worry for Mark Jones. Jets have now been kept scoreless in 3 of their last 5 outings.

Likewise, the Mariners were feeling nostalgic and perhaps a little intimidated against their masters, Melbourne Victory. The three game winning streak came to an abrupt halt, last week, in a 3-0 defeat that could of blown out into double figures.

Central Coast’s record against Melbourne Victory is a dreadful one so perhaps they can be forgiven for last week’s performance. The Jets though had no excuse against a sorry Adelaide outfit. Mariners have not lost in Newcastle since 2012.

Nick’s tip: Central Coast +0.75ah @1.93 (SBOBET)


Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United

7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park

Adelaide United

Melbourne are likely to make few changes following a fine 3-0 win at in-form Central Coast.

Ben Khalfallah comes back into the squad after not making the trip to Gosford, last week.

Adelaide United may hand a full debut to Senegalese striker Baba Diawara as they aim to build on last week’s 1-0 win over the Jets, just their third of the season.

Isaias looks to be out for the remainder of the season after suffering knee ligament damage in last Friday’s match.

Victory aim to keep the pressure on Sydney FC after the league leaders faltered in the Sydney Derby. With 7 matches of the regular season remaining, Victory trail Sydney FC by 8 points with next week’s Big Blue looming large. Kevin Muscat’s men look to be back in form after a convincing win in Gosford. James Troisi was in top form once again and calls for a recall to the Socceroos squad are getting louder.

Adelaide United only had a handful of days to toast that rare winning feeling before they were sent crashing back down to earth, on Wednesday evening. The Reds opened their ACL campaign with a 3-0 home defeat to Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka. Guillermo Amor’s men have just 3 days to prepare for the clash at AAMI Park before jet setting to China to face Jiangsu Suning.

In what has been a horror season for the reigning champs, they probably could of done without another cup competition. Adelaide United look ill equipped to be competitive on the domestic front let alone on the international stage.

Nick’s tip: Melbourne Victory -1.25ah @2.02 (SBOBET)


Perth Glory

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers

10:00 PM AEDT, nib Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers

Former Republic of Ireland international, Andy Keogh, is in contention after pulling up lame in last week’s pre-match warmup, against Brisbane.

Wanderers club captain, Dimas, returns after missing out on last week’s huge win in the Sydney derby.

Dimas is likely to slot straight back into the holding midfield role with Kearyn Baccus missing out through suspension.

Perth will feel it was a case of two points dropped, in the 2-2 draw last week, against a largely inexperienced Brisbane Roar outfit. A share of the spoils was perhaps a just reflection on the balance of play with Perth even a touch fortunate, their first goal should of been disallowed as the ball crossed the goal line in the build-up.

Western Sydney’s derby day adulation has since soured somewhat with their fans’ behaviour brought into question by the FFA, again, while they were on the wrong end of a 4-0 thumping to Urawa Reds, on Tuesday night. On a positive note, the Wanderers broke their hoodoo of 3 years against their most bitter rivals and will look to take a further step towards securing a finals berth, at Perth.

Tony Popovic rested quite a few regulars against Urawa which emphasizes the importance of the clash in Perth.

Nick’s tip: Western Sydney 0ah @2.29 for 0.5u (SBOBET)

Brisbane Roar

Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix

5:00 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium

Wellington Phoenix

Thomas Kristensen, the A-League’s most prolific tackler, returns for the home side as they play their third match in the space of a week. Jack Hingert is another notable inclusion after completing 90 minutes, on Tuesday, against Thai Champions Muangthong.

In a blow to John Aloisi’s men, Socceroo hopeful Luke DeVere is out for up to a month with a calf tear.

Wellington make the trip across the Tasman with captain, Andrew Durante, and fellow defender, Jacob Tratt, both available.

Young Phoenix manager, Des Buckingham, has wielded the axe after last week’s heavy defeat with Bonevacia, Lowry and Doyle all omitted from the squad.

Brisbane look well equipped to handle the rigors of a busy schedule, due to their involvement in the ACL, with one of the most talented youth sides in the country at their disposal. Case in point was last week’s 2-2 draw in Perth where Brisbane finished the match with four teenagers, two of whom made their full A-League debuts, in Dane Ingham and Joe Caletti.

Wellington continue their slide down the A-League table after suffering their fourth defeat in five. The 5-1 loss to Melbourne City was perhaps a little harsh on the Nix after completely dominating the earlier exchanges. Although he scored a consolation goal in the second half, Kosta Barbarouses’ earlier miss from the penalty spot was a pivotal moment in the match.

Aloisi seems to be doing a good job in rotating his squad with the likes of Broich, Borrello, MacLaren and McKay playing bit part roles in the scoreless draw against Muangthong, in midweek. Nix have won just once on the road all season.

Nick’s tips:
Brisbane -0.75ah @1.9 (SBOBET)
Over 2.75 gls @1.87 (SBOBET)


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