The following are previews with betting tips for Round 17 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Thursday, January 18
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
7:50 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
What’s Happened Recently: For Brisbane, their last round performance against the Jets was a much improved one, but it still wasn’t good enough as they went down 1-0. The only goal in the match came through some poor Brisbane defending resulting in a Jason Hoffman strike in the 11th minute of the game. The Roar had 60% of the ball, yet couldn’t capitalize on it. However of the field is where it’s really been interesting for the 2nd last placed Roar. Veteran Matt McKay recently declared that none of his teammates (including himself), had no good reasons to demand new contracts amid their recent poor on-field performances. McKay went on to say that he talked to the players at training about it and hopefully they are ready to turn it around. And with quality players such as Jamie Young and Massimo Maccarone among those off-contract, if Brisbane’s form doesn’t improve, then why would they want to stay? While for Perth in the lead-up to their controversial 3-2 loss to Melbourne, Kenny Lowe absolutely blasted them in training. Among the highlights of his verbal bashing were, “I’m a f*****g decent bloke”. He probably is a good guy and whenever his team wins he’s a jubilant one on the field. However the Glory weren’t quite able to respond as Barbarouses scored a 90th minute winner through his sides 18 taken shots on the game. While for the Glory they could only muster up 7, while having only 41% possession.
Only one of these sides (if they do at all), will be making the finals. It’s a must win for both teams.
What Should Happen: A game played between two sides desperate for a victory. For John Aloisi, in his previous two seasons at the Roar he’s been quite successful, he’s led them to the finals both times while he is a different coach from that of his Melbourne Heart days. While for Kenny Lowe, what he said in his media conference, he wasn’t wrong. He has led them to the FFA cup final twice, as well as Perth being a forceful side every season he’s been there with a strong winning percentage. However now for both men, they find themselves in a position they are maybe a little bit unfamiliar with or aren’t used to. Both men need it for their teams and potentially their jobs.
Betting tip: Pick the draw at $3.94 (Pinnacle)
Friday, January 19
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEDT, ANZ Stadium
What’s Happened Recently: For the WSW, they currently reside in 6th place after their 1-all draw with Wellington over in NZ. They opened the scoring through Santalab in the 28th minute but things were back to being even after a first Phoenix goal to Ljujic in the 75th minute. This match had a bit of fire to it as Hamill, with not long left in the game, conceded a red card. The Wanderers did well to hold on for the draw considering their opponents shot the ball at goal 23 times. While the Wanderers themselves only had 9. While recently Marcelo Carrusca was announced as a member of the Red & Black for the remainder of the season. The ex-City man has previously played under Gombau at Adelaide and fits perfectly into the Spaniard’s philosophy and what he’s trying to achieve at the club. While for the Victory they have one Barbarouses to thank for their thrilling 3-2 win over Perth in Melbourne, after he found the back of the net in the 90th minute. The Victory conceded in only the 2nd minute of the match but were resolute enough to win it when it counted. The Victory, despite the controversial way in which they won, really did deserve the win. They had 59% possession, took 3x the amount of shots on target that Perth did, had a shot hit the woodwork, while they also had a 10% better passing accuracy than the Glory.
No matter what the end result is, this should prove to be a great spectacle of Football given both sides recent form.
What Should Happen: A fiery and tense affair. The Wanderers proved it last round after Hamill saw red. That while blokes like Berisha never tend to take a step back. This isn’t even including the fact that both sides have strongly rebounded after crap starts to their seasons and are now starting to do some serious damage in the A-League. While a victory for either side would also do great hopes to their Top 4 chances. Neither side should back down from the challenge, while the likes of Santalab and Thomas both embody their passion quite often as well.
Betting tip: Pick both teams to score at $1.65 (William Hill)
Pick the total goals bracket for the match to be 4+ at $2.80 (Ladbrokes)
Saturday, January 20
Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
5:35 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
What’s Happened Recently: Newcastle are still in 2nd, while Wellington are still 10th. However one thing that the best and worst have in common with each other is that as each game comes and goes, they continue to grow and look stronger. Newcastle won their last game vs Brisbane 1-0 courtesy of Jason Hoffman. While Wellington sealed a well-deserved draw against WSW through a magnificent Matija Ljujic strike. Newcastle took 18 shots at goal to Brisbane’s 13, while Wellington attempted 23 to Western Sydney’s 9. While of the field for the Jets, after their win against the Roar, they became the first team in A-League history to score in all of their opening 16 games for a campaign. While Ernie Merrick said that his players are “keen to always improve”, this as the gap between them and league-leaders Sydney is only 6 points after they drew 0-0 with Adelaide last round. While for the Phoenix, star attacker Nathan Burns has opened up about his time in Japan. He described it as tough, while he wasn’t able to play much at club level. Especially so after missing games while representing Australia. Needless to say that he’ll probably stick to the Phoenix for the time-being, especially considering his past their and the form they are in at the moment, which could potentially see them make a late run at a finals spot.
What Should Happen: A draw between two sides that are highly motivated. One is motivated as they have a genuine shot at winning the Premiers Plate, while the other despite still being at the bottom, is now rapidly improving and has a fighters chance at featuring at the ‘crunch time’ end of the season. Wellington also have the 3rd most draws with season (5), while Newcastle also have 3 for their campaign. While a 2-2 draw not that long ago was a recent result between these two teams.
Betting tip: Pick the draw at $4.28 (Pinnacle)
Pick the Jets to score first at $1.45 (TopBetta)
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
7:50 PM AEDT, Allianz Stadium
What’s Happened Recently: Sydney went over to Adelaide and for only the fourth time this season, they dropped points in the 0-all draw. The Sky Blues had their chances but youngster Margush was very good in goals, stopping any and all chances they had of finding a winner. Sydney had 61% possession, as they controlled the ball well. But in regards to shooting they were very poor as only 3 of their 12 total shots ended up being on target. While they also had 4 of their shots blocked. However, despite the result, they still remain in 1st place, but the gap is now only 2 wins between them and the fast-approaching Jets. While for the Ollyroo and injury depleted Mariners, they came away from home with a 2-2 draw against City. The Central Coast’s goals came through Alan Baro in the 13th minute and Jake McGing in the 50th. And if it wasn’t for a late 86th minute Budzinski strike, the Mariners would have gotten all 3 points. Despite claiming the draw, the Mariners didn’t play all that well. They shot the ball only 8 times, while having only 2 shots on target and they also gave away 6 more fouls than their opponents. City also gave away a red to Delbridge in the 27th minute of the match.
Can the Mariners become the first team in seemingly forever to beat the Sky Blues twice in a row?
What Should Happen: We’ll change that to what won’t happen. Because what won’t happen is a repeat of last time. Last time it was a 2-0 victory to the Mariners in Gosford. But at Allianz it’s a completley different story, Sydney FC are currently in the prcocess of wrecking the A-League’s biggest un-defeated streak at home record, previously held by Ange’s Brisbane. While the Mariners have won none of their last 7 games and in the process have put up only 3 goals. What will happen then? An easy Sky Blues victory.
Betting tip: Pick the Sky Blues to win at $1.35 (William Hill)
Also pick them to find the back of the net first at $1.30 (William Hill)
Sunday, January 21
Melbourne City v Adelaide United
7:00 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What’s Happened Recently: For City, after their 2-2 draw with the Mariners in Gosford, they are in 3rd place and only 3 points ahead of the 4th placed Victory. Their strikes came through Ross McCormack (13th of the season and 2nd highest in the A-league) in the 42nd minute and hero Budzinski in the 86th minute. While they were also a bit too fiery with the tackles as Delbridge saw red and left them a man down from the 27th minute onwards. City shot the ball pretty well, seeing 6 of their 13 shots go on target, while they obviously converted when it mattered most. Despite having a man sent of, City only gave away 7 fouls to the Mariners 13, while they conceded 0 yellows, while the Central Coast had 3. As for United, they are just a point out of the Top 4 after their extremely encouraging 0-0 draw with Sydney FC. They dominated the match from start to end and were maybe slightly unlikely to only just come away with a draw. And very early on in the match, it was only because of an excellent Andrew Redmayne save that they weren’t ahead 1-0. While it was seemingly after the match that mattered most as Marco Kurz was in utter celebration as a basically youth side drew with the best side in the country. He was pumped up and rightfully so.
Will Kurz have more reason for celebration after this game or will it be Warren Joyce doing it instead?
What Should Happen: A repeat of the youngsters magic. Three Adelaide players made their debut against Sydney. The same Sydney who are breaking records left right and center and have dropped barely any points this season. They kept them to no goals and came away with a draw. If they could do it against Sydney, then no doubt they can at least claim a draw against City. While City also have Daniel Arzani to show for their youth. Expect them young guns to make a real impact for either side in the process of what should be a glimpse into the future of the A-League.
Betting tip: Pick Ross McCormack to score when the match odds become available
Also pick the draw at $3.66 (Pinnacle)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick SYD to keep a clean-sheet vs CCM at $2.10 (Bet365)
Pick Perth to score last vs Brisbane at $2.25 (William Hill)