The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Friday, December 14
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
Last Round: Both teams had contrasting results last round. The Roar went down 2-0 in a poor effort against the Jets. That while the Victory won 2-0 in a stellar effort against Adelaide. Brisbane were very ragged offensively as they landed only 3/11 shots on target, whilst they conceded 16 shots from Newcastle’s attack. Melbourne on the other hand, despite shooting only eight shots, saw 50% (four) of them land on target. That while they kept their opposition to landing only four of their 16 attempts on target. The Victory’s goal-scorers were Barbarouses (62nd minute) and Ola Toivonen (81st minute). Melbourne also managed to complete 83% of their passes, while Brisbane weren’t to shabby in that regard either at 77%. Melbourne now sit in 2nd place and four points ahead of 3rd. As for John Aloisi’s side they are in a battle with the Mariners to avoid finishing in last place.
This Round: An easy Melbourne win should be on the cards here. The Roar have posted only one win this campaign while the Victory already have five times that amount. While they have also won four of their past seven games against Brisbane. One of those matches being a commanding 5-1 win back in 2017. Given the major differences between these two sides this season, a similar result could potentially be on the cards. Honda and Toivonen have been on absolute fire as of late and you can expect the two World Cup stars to again be strong as they lead Melbourne to what should be their sixth victory of the campaign and a convincing one at that.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $2.25 (Sportsbet)
Also pick Melbourne to score first at $1.75 (Neds)
Saturday, December 15
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Last Round: What can you say to Mark Rudan’s side? Bravo might be a good start. Playing away from home the Phoenix showed absolutely no fear as they battered Sydney FC to the tune of a 3-1 score-line. Roy Krishna bagged two, while Steven Taylor secured his first strike in yellow & black. Wellington were superb all round as they claimed all three points despite only having 47% possession. They also shot a very nice 7/15 shots on target and won 57 duels to the oppositions 47. While Wellington also won 21 aerial duels to their 15. The result leaves them fighting for a Top Six spot as they currently reside on eight points. As for the Mariners they are still dead last after yet another defeat, this time to the Wanderers 2-0. The Central Coast could manage only eight shots the entire match while they completed a poor 66% of their passes (225/340). They were also forced to make 22 tackles, that in comparison to the Wanderers 11. And they also gave away 16 fouls and conceded three yellows in the process.
This Round: The Flying Fijian aka Roy Krishna continuing his rich vein of form. He currently has three goals from his past two matches and is continuing to stamp his mark as arguably the best player to ever pull on a Phoenix jersey. His speed and precision has made him hard to stop and both Perth and Sydney have learnt that the hard way. With the rest of the Wellington squad working hard, there’s no reason why a big game from him and a solid team effort can’t lead the Phoenix to all three competition points. Expect back to back wins for the first time under Mark Rudan’s regime to push the Nix into the Top Six. A place where this author personally thinks they belong.
Betting tip: Pick Wellington to win at $1.91 (Sportsbet)
Also pick them to score first at $1.67 (Ladbrokes)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
7:50 PM AEDT, ANZ Stadium
Last Round: The two rival sides had very opposing results this past round as the Red & Black easily disposed of the Mariners 2-0. While for the Sky Blues they couldn’t crack the Phoenix’s resolve as they went down in an upset 3-1 loss. However despite those two matches, Sydney still sit in 3rd and the Wanderers in 7th. Western Sydney’s goals came through Keanu Baccus in the 46th minute and Sotirio in the 68th minute. Sydney’s goal was a consolation one through Michael Zullo in the 89th minute. The Wanderers were firing from all angles against the Mariners as they fired of 16 shots and put a respectable seven of them on target. However their passing left a bit more to be desired as they completed only 68% (228/336). Sydney had 15 shots but evidently didn’t make many of them count, while the Phoenix forced them into making 17 tackles. The Sky Blues also had nine corners to the Phoenix’s four. This was as much of an upset defeat if ever their was one!
This Round: History will show that Sydney should win this game. They’ve beaten them 2-0 already this season. While a 3-0 victory denied them a spot in the latest edition of the FFA Cup Final. And overall the Sky Blues have beaten the Red & Black in their past four games against them for an aggregate score of 13-1! However Sydney are coming of back to back losses against Wellington and Melbourne. While Western Sydney from their past five games have two wins and a draw to show for it. And it would be three had they not capitulated while holding a 2-0 lead against Brisbane. Expect a close game when considering all of these factors. Last time out Babbel was humiliated in his first game against Sydney and his pride and determination will show through when trying to lead Western Sydney to the win.
Betting tip: Pick Western Sydney to win at $3.75 (Bet365)
Also pick both teams to find the back of the net at $1.75 (Bet365)
Sunday, December 16
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory
5:00 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
Last Round: The Jets were very, very good as they pushed themselves into a finals spot via a commanding 2-0 win against Brisbane. And for the Glory they continued their unbeaten start to the season with a tight 1-0 win over City. For the Jets their goals came via a first A-League strike to Kane Sheppard in the 46th minute and a long awaited goal to Brazilian star Jair. Newcastle had 16 shots and also had one come of the post, they were all out in their ruthless attack on Brisbane’s defence. While for Perth Ikonomidis claimed yet another strike in his sides close win. Although helping the Glory’s cause was an opposition red to Good in the 80th minute of the match. The Glory also shot 4/10 on target, had a shot come of the woodwork and won 46 duels. Not a bad effort by them. And in a major strength from Newcastle’s game they completed 78% of their passes (311/399).
This Round: Could Perth be dropping the ball a little bit? They struggled to a draw against the then struggling Phoenix and they only just beat a Melbourne City side missing their best player. The Jets meanwhile appear to finally be finding their niche without Roy O’Donovan as players such as Kane Sheppard and Soceroo Dimitri Petratos are stepping up to the plate to fill the void. Sheppard worked hard against the Roar and got his first Hyundai A-League goal as a result, while he personally completed a strong 82% of his passes. Meanwhile Petratos has 10 shot assists and two goal assists this season. If these two can play to their game and help counter what the combination of Ikonomidis/Keogh/Castro will bring, then maybe, just maybe, Newcastle can claim the three points.
Betting tip: Pick Newcastle to claim the upset victory at $2.50 (Palmerbet)
Also pick the previously mentioned Petratos to score anytime at $3.40 (Bet365)
Adelaide United v Melbourne City
7:00 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Last Round: Adelaide went down 2-0 to the 2nd placed Victory and City went down 1-0 to the 1st placed Glory. Both sides put in the rounds but couldn’t quite get it done against the superior opposition. To Adelaide’s credit they still managed to fire away 16 shots against the Victory’s defence. They also completed 80% of their passes (307/386). And in addition to that they won more duels, 55 vs 53 and aerial duels 17 vs 13 then the opposition. As for City a Good red card in the 80th minute hampered their comeback efforts against Perth. However all of their major news laid/lays of the field as Bruno Fornarolli yet again did not feature for City. With rumours going on that he may have pulled on a City jersey for the last time this is massive when talking about how far they can go this campaign. Supposedly Sydney wanted him and may still be interested in his services. While ironically former Sydney man Bobo is looking for a return to the A-League (reportedly). Maybe he could be his replacement? Who knows. But it’s turning into one hell of a circus that’s for sure.
This Round: First game without Bruno they smacked the Jets 3-0. Second game they were a bit lethargic going down 1-0 to Perth, however still not a bad effort against the A-League’s top dog. It’s a bit hard to get a read on City at the moment. Likewise Adelaide who dominated their way through to a Cup Final victory, but also have at times struggled to produce goals this season ala their 2-0 last round loss to Melbourne. However expect it to be a low goal-scoring affair with the victor coming out on top by only a single goal. And in 2/4 games between these sides there has been a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 victory.
Betting tip: Pick City to win at $3.05 (UniBet)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.79 (UniBet)
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/best bet of the round is for Wellington to beat the CCM at $1.91 (Sportsbet), they are in form and ready to beat the cellar-dwellers!