The following are previews with betting tips for Round 18 of the 2017/18 A-League season.
Thursday, January 25
Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What’s Happened Most Recently: 5 was the magic number for Melbourne, while 3 was the losing one for Newcastle. These were both the case as City thrashed Adelaide 5-0 in their last match out, while the Jets had no power at all in their 3-2 defeat to the bottom-placed Phoenix. It took Melbourne until the 30th minute to open the scoring through Budzinski, but then he claimed his double only 5 minutes later. There were no goals from there until the 89th minute when ex-Wellington star Dario Vidosic opened his account for his new club, before he too had a double only 3 minutes later. Then Ross McCormack completed the rout with a superb effort in one of the final few plays of the game. While for Newcastle in their 5 goal thriller, their goal-scorers for the day were Andrew Nabbout (8th goal of the campaign) and Dimitri Petratos (7th goal of the campaign). Both Melbourne and Newcastle had 6 shots on target each, while City had 50% possession of the ball and Newcastle, 62%.
What Should Happen: An absolutely pulsating encounter. This game pits 2nd against 3rd. A win for Newcastle would see them go to within 4 points of Sydney at the top of the table, while a victory for Melbourne would enable them to close the gap between them and their opponents for the game to only a single point. Both sides also posses stellar individual attacking threats in the likes of McCormack and Nabbout respectively. While defensively, over their past 3 matches, City have only given up 2 goals, while for the Jets it’s been 3 balls finding the back of the net. Expect it to be closely contested and for a possible bit of magic to decide the fate of the game.
Pick both teams to find the back of the net at $1.65 (MadBookie)
Friday, January 26
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
What’s Happened Most Recently: For these Big Blue rivals, they had contrasting results over the weekend. On one hand, the home side for this Australia Day Match, won their last game very comfortably, 3-0 against the Wanderers. While for the Sky Blues, the only positive in their disappointing 1-all draw against the Mariners was that it kept their unbeaten streak at Allianz alive, nothing more. The end results for these sides means that the Victory are currently occupying 4th position while Sydney are still in 1st and a fair way ahead of 2nd. The goals for the Victory came through Berisha and Barbarouses (5 goals from his past 5 games). While Sydney’s only goal came through Bobo (16 goals from 17 games this season). The Victory were firing in front of the goal as they took 17 shots for the match, while for Sydney they too did alright with 13. However the major talking point from Sydney’s game was that they let the Mariners only goal in via a penalty. Andrew Redmayne collided into another one of the Central Coast’s men, resulting in the spot-kick. If that stupid decision didn’t occur, maybe Sydney would have claimed all 3 points, just maybe.
What Should Happen: In the past, these two sides have produced some absolute spectacles for us to watch. They faced of against each other in the past two Grand Finals, while who could forget Bernie Ibini’s magnificent solo effort last season to beat the Victory or David Carney’s exploits? This match should prove to be no different. Especially so with Melbourne in form and Sydney conceding only 1 goal over their past 3 matches. Expect both sides to be up for it and for both Kevin Muscat and Graham Arnold to have their sides ready and firing for it. This one should be a real cracker!!!
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to get a rebound win at $2.48 (Pinnacle)
Pick Sydney to also score last at $1.85 (William Hill)
Saturday, January 27
Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
What’s Happened Most Recently: One side had an awesome result, the other not so much. And would you believe it, it was the bottom-placed Phoenix that got the better of the 2nd placed Jets with a 3-2 victory up in the Hunter Valley. While for Adelaide, there were no happy faces after their humiliating 5-0 defeat to City. Wellington’s strikes came through a 2nd in 2 games to Ljujic in the 28th minute, Daniel Mullen only 8 minutes later and Roy Krishna (only his 4th this season), in the 56th minute. While their victory was even all the more impressive with the fact that they took only 8 shots the entire game and had only 38% of the ball. This one was thoroughly deserved for the Phoenix. While for Adelaide, the loss leaves them very vulnerable of falling out of a finals position entirely to the closely chasing pack behind them. The opposition found the back of the net 5 times despite Adelaide having 50% possession, gave away 9 less fouls than City, having pretty much the same passing accuracy and winning the same amount of duels with 64 each. This was a very poor performance from the FFA Cup runner ups.
What Should Happen: More misery for Adelaide. The game is in Wellington, while in the Phoenix’s latest victory against Newcastle, Kaluderovic who has 9 goals for the NZ based side this season, didn’t even feature on the score-sheet. Combined with this, Wellington have found the back of the net 6 times from their past 3 games. While for Adelaide that number is 1. Finally, the Phoenix are on the rise with 2 wins and a draw from their past 3 games, While the number for Adelaide is 2 draws and a loss. Wellington will be closing the gap on the Top 6 even more after this game.
Betting tip: Pick the Phoenix to win at $2.82 (Pinnacle)
Pick Wellington to score first at $2.04 (Bet365))
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
7:50 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
What’s Happened Most Recently: Results that leaves both sides only one victory of a finals position. For the Mariners, they continued to make themselves Sydney’s bogey team with a 1-all draw at Allianz, while Brett Holman was the hero in a 3-2 Brisbane win vs Perth. The Mariners opened the scoring through Blake Powell in the 7th minute through a penalty and could have possibly won the match had Lachie Wales not missed a sitter later on in the game. However the Gosford side will take solace in claiming 4 of a possible 6 points from the reigning champs so far this season. While for the Roar, despite conceding a double to Chris Harold, they still won the match thanks to strikes from Papadopoulos, Franjic and the previously mentioned Holman. The Central Coast still claimed the draw despite having only 45% of the ball, while Brisbane won it with 51%. The Roar were also unlucky in having a shot come of the woodwork in their efforts against Perth. While the major news for the Mariners is that Asdrubal was released only a couple of days ago, effective immediately. The major reason was cited as home sickness. He only scored 2 goals for the Mariners but looked like a decent addition, so all the best to him.
What Should Happen: Lots and lots of goals. It’ll be like a goal Christmas. The Roar have leaked in 8 goals from their past 4 matches, while their opponents have been only slightly better with 6. If there was ever a time for the likes of Maccarone, Franjic, De Sliva and Hoole to feast, it would be now. With well-known defensive issues a major problem for both sides, expect a high-scoring affair. Also backing this up is that Mccarone has 8 goals this season while De Silva, despite playing in only 14 games this season, has 15 shot assists. Neither John Aloisi or Paul Okon will like what ensures, but it’ll happen anyway.
Betting tip: Pick Brisbane to win at $3.40 (Ladbrokes)
Also pick them to score first at $2.29 (Bet365))
Sunday, January 28
Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers
8:30 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
What’s Happened Most Recently: Many Perth fans want to see the back of Kenny Lowe’s head. While for the Wanderers, Robbie Cornthwaite recently departed the club to go the Malaysia Super League. Lowe’s under pressure to retain his job after 5 losses from his past 5 games in charge of the Glory. During this period they have conceded a massive 17 goals. While it was rumored that the major reason for Cornthwaite’s departure was that he did not get along with Josep Gombau, especially so after he benched him for a couple of games. Results wise, for both clubs they were bad. Perth lost 3-2 against Brisbane, while Western Sydney lost 3-0 to Melbourne. However, despite both sides poor results, because of how close the A-League is this season, they both remain well in with a chance of making the finals.
Could yet another loss see Lowe get fired? Or could a Western Sydney defeat see the RBB protest for changes within the playing group?
What Should Happen: Who really knows? Two goals away should be enough to at the very least claim a point, but it wasn’t for Perth. While for the Wanderers, after finally starting to seemingly acclimatize to Gombau, they go out and produce an absolutely rubbish performance. Perth could score heaps of goals, or they could conceded heaps. The Wanderers could put Perth to the sword, or play like a bunch of children.
It should be a close game, purely because of what both teams can offer up on the field, their recent results and how close they are on the ladder.
Betting tip: Pick both teams to score at $1.53 (Bet365))
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the total goals bracket for BRI vs CCM to be 7 and over at $15.00 (SBOBET)
Pick WELL to win both halves vs ADL at $9.50 at (Ladbrokes)