A-League Semi Finals: Preview and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the semi-finals of the 2017/18 A-League season.

View and compare the latest A-League bookmaker odds
View the A-League form guide

Friday, April 27

Newcastle Jets

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City

7:50 PM AEST, McDonald Jones Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Newcastle v City

Melbourne City

What’s Happened Most Recently: The Jets head into this one on the back of a week of and having absolutely smashed the Mariners in the most recent edition of the F3 Derby, 8 goals to 2. While City advanced into Week 2 of the finals of the back of a very convincing 2-0 victory over Brisbane.

Flaunting their utter attacking prowess away from home, Newcastle saw Riley McGree bang in a hat-trick, while Roy O’Donovan scored a brace against his former club. While three others in the form of Champness, Jackson and Petratos found gold for the 2nd placed side. They had only 46% of the ball, yet it seemingly didn’t matter as they still saw 9 of their very impressive 15 shots go on target. While their defence saw the Mariners have 7 on target from 15, yet only 2 goals were put in by the home-side, in what was another impressive aspect from their all-round good performance. The Jets were also able to successfully complete 324 of their attempted 411 passes (good for 79%). Finally, they won 62 duels to their opponents 46. Newcastle pretty much dominated their rivals in every area imaginable and consigned them to the dreaded Wooden Spoon.

For Melbourne, their display at home vs the Roar was pure utter brilliance. Despite the deadlock being broken in the 59th minute by Stefan Mauk and then the result sealed just before the end of the game with a good strike from Nick Fitzgerald, from the opening whistle upon kick-off, the result was never in doubt for Warren Joyce’s side. In total they had 21 shots to Brisbane’s 4, while the Roar were kept to 0 shots on target the entire match!!! While City also saw 9 of their 21 go on target. Not a bad conversion rate at all. If this wasn’t enough for City, they also had 58% possession and also completed 79% of their passes vs Brisbane’s 70%. Melbourne suffocated Brisbane’s attack and forced them to play without the ball for long, long periods of the game and they hardly had any ball in City’ box. This was an excellent performance from the Sky Blue side of Melbourne and they are making a strong case for a first ever Grand Final appearance.

What Should Happen: This campaign Roy O’Donovan has banged in 9 goals from 14 games, while Petratos has 19 combined goals/ assists. As for the opposition, Daniel Arzani is such a young attacking talent that he is already being considered for the national team. Bruno Fornaroli continues to gain more and more traction within the side. And Dario Vidosic has 5 from 15 games for City. The end result of this is that this game should prove to be a high-octane and strong attacking based one. Newcastle have put up 11 goals from their past 5 matches, while City 10. And despite struggling in some of those matches, they came 2nd for a reason, Newcastle did and will no doubt turn it up a level against City. Expect that turned up level to get them the tightest of victories.

Betting tip: Pick Newcastle to win at $2.50 (TopBetta, William Hill)

Also pick them to open the scoring at $1.80 (Bet365, TopBetta)

Saturday, April 28

Sydney FC

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

7:50 PM AEST, Allianz Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Sydney v Victory

Melbourne Victory

What’s Happened Most Recently: Sydney’s last A-League game ironically was a 1-0 win against Melbourne. While the Victory’s was a simply enthralling 2-1 win vs Adelaide. The real question heading into this match is who will stand up when it matters most? The record-breaking Brazilian or the fiery, A-League vet Albanian?

In the 8th minute of the Big Blue, Bobo just got a touch on the ball, it went into the net and that was the only goal for the entire game in what was both sides final match of the regular season. That goal proved to be Bobo’s 27th of the season as he continues, along with his team, to shatter all records that are placed in front of them. The Sky Blues managed just 40% possession, but hurt the Victory most where it counts. Passing wise the Sky Blues weren’t particularly good (72%) and they gave away 17 fouls. It is evidently clear that this result to go along with their 0-0 ACL draw will mean that a lot of improvement is needed from Graham Arnold’s men if they wish to advance to the biggest stage of them all. However a positive from the match is that they kept Kevin Muscat’s men to only 3 shots on target for the duration of the match.

BESAAART BERISHAAA!!! He once again proved why he is one of the best the A-League has ever laid their eyes on as he scored an over-head winner in the 89th minute vs the Victory’s traditional rivals in Adelaide. That was his 14th goal for the season, who said he was struggling?? He took the chance when it presented itself, while his partner in crime Leroy George evened up the scores in the 63rd minute after Melbourne had gone down 1-0 six minutes prior. Melbourne were very good with the ball as they had 57% possession along with seeing 5 of their 9 shots go on target. However they gave up 25 fouls which will be of a major concern to the Victory. Melbourne played well and in the end, probably deserved the win, while them keeping Adelaide to 3/11 on target was another impressive aspect of their overall performance.

What Should Happen: 1-0, 3-1, 1-0, 1(4)-1(2), 1-0, 2-1, 2-1. Those are all the score-lines from the most recent Big Blues dating back to the oldest. Sydney have won all 7 of them. And despite all of them being close, Kevin Muscat’s men haven’t won any single one of them. The pressure will be on Graham Arnold’s 1st place men to keep this streak alive, the pressure will be on Adrian and Bobo to combined brilliantly as they have done so many times prior this campaign, the pressure will be on Andrew Redmayne to show up in one of the biggest games of his career and prove once again that he is a suitable replacement for Danny Vukovic. The pressure is on the entire team and coaching staff as a whole to advance to back to back GF’s. Whatever the Victory throw at them, expect Sydney to prevail under the tight pressure and go through to the final game of the season, this is what will happen, not should!!!

Betting tip: Pick the Sky Blues to come out victorious at $1.80 (UniBet)

Also pick them to score first at $1.50 (Bet365, TopBetta)

Best Bet of the Round

Pick both teams to score during NEW vs MEL at $1.57 (Bet365)

                                  Pick Newcastle to score last at $1.85 (TopBetta)


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