The following are previews with betting tips for Round 9 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Friday, December 21
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
8:30 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
Last Round: Both sides claimed a victory last week with the Glory coming out on top against Newcastle 2-0. While Sydney topped the Wanderers in the Derby 3-1. Perth opened the scoring very quickly through Neil Kilkenny in the 3rd minute and it was already 2-0 by the 25th one due to a Jason Davidson goal. Perth won the match despite just having 41% possession and taking only four attempts at goal. That being compared to the Jets 22 attempts. The Glory were also very well-disciplined as they gave away only nine fouls in comparison to the Jets 16. As a result of the win Tony Popovic’s men moved back up to first place.
For Sydney their hectic Derby win was marred by a Vedran Janjetovic red card in the 26th minute of the match after he touched a Sydney shot at goal outside the box. The Wanderers had actually taken the lead before that, but after the stupid decision made by one of the opposition leaders it was all one way traffic from there. Brosque got himself another Derby Day goal, de Jong also found the back of the net, while there was also a first ever A-League goal to Jacob Tratt. And the game was also delayed by 40 minutes due to the severe thunder storms that were happening in Sydney, however what happened out on the field was all Sky Blue dominance.
This Round: Well, boy oh boy didn’t Sydney answer their critics. Steve Corica was under the pump as was the entire playing squad after some pretty ordinary performances vs Melbourne and Wellington. However it didn’t matter in this game as they thumped their rivals and cosigned them to yet another Derby defeat. Expect the good times to continue rolling into their game against Perth. Neither Le Fondre, no De Silva were amongst the goal-scorers vs the Wanderers and that really say’s something about their team mantra and where the Sky Blues are at the moment. Expect a team effort to see them hand Perth their first loss of the season.
Also pick them to score last at $2.10 (Neds)
Saturday, December 22
Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Last Round: Wellington moved into the Top Six with a nice 2-0 win over the Mariners. And as for Brisbane they lost what was a crazy, crazy game against the Victory 4-2. Louis Fenton had the Phoenix in front inside the games opening 10 minutes and Sarpreet Singh sealed the result with a strike on the edge of half-time. Wellington managed to rival an impassioned Central Coast attack (15 shots), to shoot 4/10 of their attempts on target. However when it came to dueling, they were completely outmatched. The Mariners won 73 duels to their 52 as well as 24 aerial duels to their 19. The Phoenix were also very ill-disciplined giving away 21 fouls. However despite all of that a win is a win and Mark Rudan’s side are showing they are legit this current campaign and won’t be the A-League’s whipping boys anymore.
A Bautheac red card just compounded the misery in Brisbane’s 4-2 defeat to Melbourne. Down 1-0 an Adam Taggart penalty evened things up. However a Victory goal just five minutes later saw them take the ascendancy again. Honda would then strike for Melbourne before two minutes later an OG saw the Roar down 3-2. The Victory then scored again on the stroke of half-time to secure the eventual win. And this was all done in the first-half in a simply crazy affair. And in the most telling stat from the game, Brisbane had only 26% of the ball as they were dominated from end to end by the Victory. John Aloisi’s men are now embroiled in a dog-fight with the Mariners to avoid last place.
This Round: 26% of the ball vs Melbourne, 26!!! That is a simply shocking stat to come out of Brisbane’s game against Melbourne. The dominance that Melbourne showed, expect it to be reflected through the Phoenix as well. Krishna is going strong at the moment while his partner is crime Singh is equally as crazy and as fast. And at the back Goalie and import player Kurto is keeping the goals out. Under Mark Rudan the Phoenix look as good as they have for many seasons and he has them on absolute fire. That fire is going to hurt a one-win Brisbane team and see the Phoenix claim another win.
Betting tip: Pick Wellington to win at $2.40 (UniBet, Neds)
Also pick them to score first at $1.90 (Neds)
Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Last Round: Melbourne City’s active support group are officially retiring after their Derby against the Victory due to a ‘lack of support’. Despite City being the less supported Melbourne team and with the recent introduction of a new Melbourne side for next season, this is very sad news. Active supporter groups are one of the things that make Australian Football so great and the A-League is already so behind in many different ways, this just compounds the misery of Australian Football. However they did seek to say that it had nothing to do with the recent saga surrounding Bruno Fornarolli. And on the field they produced the goods beating Adelaide 2-0. Their goals were via a Jordan Elsey OG and one from Luke Brattan. Despite everything that’s happened to the club recently, they are still going pretty well in fourth place.
As for the Victory, an early opposition red card made it all the more easier for them in their thumping 4-2 win over Brisbane. At various points during the first-half the game was even/ close, but Melbourne flexed their muscle by eventually pulling away from their QLD rivals to move into 2nd place on the ladder. The Victory’s strikes came via two to Barbarouses, one to Toivonen and one to Honda. All three players in absolutely scintillating form at the moment. Melbourne killed it with 74% possession to go along with them nearly doubling Brisbane’s shot amounts, 11 vs 6. Passing wise the Victory were also very strong at 89% completion, 662/743.
This Round: The past four Derbies have been very evenly split with City winning two of them 2-1. And the Victory have also won two of them one 2-1 and one 1-0. They also always produce fiery and entertaining affairs. Expect this game to be no different to ones of that in the past. The last match between these two sides saw de Laet and McGree step up to the plate and produce the goals. And with no Fornarolli expect these two plus Luke Brattan, a man who embodies the City passion more then anyone else to step up and deliver them the win. Against Adelaide de Laet won 100% of his duels, made seven accurate passes out of 10 and won 2/3 tackles. While McGree this season has two goals and one assist. Pick City to win a fiery thriller.
Betting tip: Pick City to be victorious at $3.25 (Neds)
Also pick Riley McGree to score anytime at $8.00 (Neds)
Sunday, December 23
Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
5:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Last Round: It’s official, history was broken. With only two draws from their opening eight games the Mariners have started of the new season worse than any other A-League side in the history of the competition. This was a result of their disappointing 2-0 loss to Wellington. The Mariners took the L despite having 54% of the ball and having taken 15 shots. They also completed their passes slightly better then Wellington as well, 69% vs 65%. They also won a hell of a lot more duels and gave away significantly less fouls, 21 vs 12. Mike Mulvey must be wondering what the absolute heck he ‘s gotten himself into with this job. However the Mariners will continue to battle away as they are at the moment.
The Jets were pretty average if that in their 2-0 loss to Perth. They allowed the Glory to have the lead inside the games opening 3-0 minutes before it was game over by the 25th. Newcastle lost the game despite owning 59% of the ball. They also had a massive 22 shots at goal, but only six of them were actually on target. They were also very lacking in ability as they conceded 16 fouls. Put that in comparison into Perth’s nine and it’s pretty bad. But passing wise they were very strong with 85% of theirs being completed, 465/550. With only two wins on the season, they’ve been disappointing to say the least, however they sit only one win outside of a finals spot.
This Round: Revenge! The last two games where the Mariners have played the Jets at home they have lost 8-2 and 5-1 respectively. That’s good for 13-3 over two games! Absolutely pathetic by the Mariners! However the Jets are by no means world beaters this season like they were last and the F3 Derby is the perfect chance for the Mariners to stand up and finally deliver for their long suffering fans. The Mariners are slowly building towards something, withstanding their most recent loss, they’ve been encouraging particularly against A-League heavy-weights like Sydney and Perth. Expect the 15 match losing streak (all competitions) to finally be ended here.
Betting tip: Pick the Mariners to be victorious at $3.70 (UniBet)
Also pick them to score the last goal of the game at $2.40 (Neds)
Wednesday, December 26
Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Last Round: Both sides were whipped by their opposition last round as Adelaide went down 2-0 to City and the Wanderers went down 3-1 to Sydney. A Jordan Elsey OG left Adelaide behind a goal before Luke Brattan’s strike eventually sealed the result for the opposition. One reason why Adelaide wasn’t in the game was because of their atrocious shooting. They put 2/7 on target. Not even pub teams are that bad! They were also forced to make significantly more tackles then Melbourne 22 vs 12. And they won only nine aerial duels to their 15. All strong contributing factors in the defeat. As a result of the defeat, Adelaide have all of Wellington, Newcastle and the Wanderers closely trailing them and trying to get them out of the Top Six.
Vedran Janjetovic take a bow! He made possibly one of the most bone-headed defeats in A-League history when he touched a Sydney shot outside of the box with his hands, thus resulting in a red. This changed the entire outcome of the Derby as previously the Wanderers were up 1-0. But from there it was all Sky Blues doing the talking as the Red and Black went on to lose 1-0. Their coach later hit out at their “DNA”. It’s been pretty dire for the Wanderers this season so far. Their only goal however was via Oriol Riera so it was nice for them to see their struggling Striker claim a goal, But they are out of the Six with no help in sight and with Janjetovic set to miss some game-time. It’s not great out at Rooty Hill at the moment.
This Round: There’s no Janjetovic for this match. Compounding that, Riera is only just getting back into form after his goal vs Sydney. And outside of him everyone else is struggling. Other attacking options such as Kamau has zero goals, Bridge zero goals and zero assists and Bonevacia has only two goals. It’s pretty simple here, if Adelaide can fix their shooting woes from last game then the Wanderers may as well not even turn up because it’s already over. Adelaide should win this game and quite possibly comfortably.
Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to be victorious at $1.95 (Neds)
Also pick Craig Goodwin to score at anytime at $6.75 (UniBet)
Best Bet of the Round