The following are previews with betting tips for Round 15 (Midweek round) of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Tuesday, January 22
Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Misfiring City play themselves into a draw
A round after their shock 2-1 defeat to the Central Coast, Melbourne couldn’t muster up much either in their 0-0 draw against Perth, both literally and figuratively as they failed to register a shot on target throughout the entire match. To make matters worse they had only 45% possession as well as having conceded four yellow cards. The hard-fought draw also leaves them one point ahead of Wellington in 5th place and two in-front of Adelaide in 6th. The Glory also won more duels then them, 65 vs 58 and aerial duels as well, 20 vs 19. Melbourne were also forced into making 23 tackles. So despite the Glory playing well and hard, Warren Joyce’s side really had to dig low and deep to muster up the draw in what was most definitely a fair play effort to them.
No finals for the Wanderers
Playing at Homebush (ANZ Stadium), against an Adelaide side coming of a loss, it was the perfect opportunity for the Red & Black to give their home fans a little bit of hope that they could actually make something of their so far pretty dismal season. Instead they were forced to come from behind as an eighth minute Adelaide opener set the tone for the match in the Wanderers 2-1 defeat. Bonevacia was the home-sides goal-scorer as he registered what was only his fourth goal of the season. The Wanderers to their credit had plenty of opportunities to put the ball past Paul Izzo, but couldn’t quite do so as they shot 4/15 on target. While at the worst of times they were pretty ordinary with their fouling as they conceded 16. Also, that’s compared to Adelaide who gave away only 10. The Red & Black now sit 13 points out of a finals spot and with Newcastle still ahead of them in seventh, it’s safe to pull the plug on their finals aspirations for this season, or whatever’s left of them that is.
Also pick them to score first at $1.60 (Neds)
Wednesday, January 23
Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Wellington or Barcelona? What’s the difference?
One well-deserved comparison is that they are both amazing teams. And even though it may be intended as a joke, the Phoenix are quickly becoming the A-League’s version of the reigning LaLiga champs. And Roy Krishna may as well just be Messi as in his sides 3-3 draw with the Victory in Melbourne, he bagged a nice double, with the other goal-scorer being David Williams. In the process he tied himself up with Adam Le Fondre in leading this season in goals scored, 11. While he also became the first player in A-League history to score a double in three consecutive games. Not even players like Bobo, Fornarolli or Taggart have done that, take a bow the Flying Fijian. Wellington are now fifth on 23 points and only one of City in fourth. And making their draw all the more commendable is the fact that they scored three straight after conceding an early opening lead, they had only 41% of the ball and they leaked 14 fouls.
Not Le Fondre, but Boogard gets the win for Sydney
Confusing headline I know, but an OG to Nigel Boogard was all that separated the Sky Blues and Newcastle in their 1-0 victory. However also helping the cause for Sydney was Jason Hoffman’s 73rd minute red card after he lashed out at Brandon O’Neil. Despite the one-goal margin it was a big effort from Sydney and one that should have ended two or possibly 3-0 had both Le Fondre and De Silva not spurned excellent chances to land some late blows for Sydney. The Sky Blues ended up shooting a very respectable 6/15 on target to go along with their 59% possession. They also completed a cool 77% of their passes (401/522), however they did also give away a big 16 fouls, good for three yellows. In great news for Sydney, the tight victory leaves them only four points of first-placed Perth and one of the second-placed Victory. However, Melbourne have played one more game already then Sydney.
Betting tip: Pick both teams to score at $1.61 (Bet365)
Also pick Adam Le Fondre to score at anytime at $4.80 (UniBet)
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
7:50 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
And another one bites the dust
Freddy Mercury and the Newcastle Jets, huh? Well in reference to Queen’s famous hit, the Jets are now done, their campaign is over. That despite Ernie Merrick crazily thinking his team is still within a shot of the finals despite sitting 10 points of Adelaide and having only three wins from 14 games played already. Their campaign was put in it’s coffin by a Boogard OG and a Hoffman red in Newcastle’s tight and tense 1-0 defeat to Sydney. The Jets weren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. However, their shooting definitely didn’t help their cause as they went 1/9 on target. They also had just 41% of the ball, while they also only completed 67% of their passes, 241 out of 362 attempted. 14 Was also the number of fouls they conceded, however it was still better than the opposition who leaked 16. Coming up against the Mariners in the F3 Derby they should really be up for it having won 6/9 past matches against them. While the past four collectively have been four wins for the Jets and for an insane aggregate score of 17-4! Now that’s ballistic.
They’re lions early, but kittens late
Recently the Mariners have been able to carve out early leads in games, but they can never quite hold on to them. And that again was the case here as they had a third minute lead over Brisbane courtesy of a well-deserved goal to Matt Millar. However a 46th minute strike to Luke De Vere meant that the spoils were shared, that despite the Mariners being the better side for the majority of the match. And this was a game that the Mariners really needed to win in the battle to avoid finishing in last place as they are still two points of the Roar. The Central Coast to their credit weren’t afraid to fire at Brisbane’s defence. However they couldn’t quite capitalize on their chances as they shot just 4/16 on target. However, in some positives for them, they managed to keep Brisbane to only two shots on target throughout the entire match, it’s just a pity for them that the Roar had to score with one of them. Ronald Vargas’s late winner earlier this season will still be fresh in the Mariners wounds, expect them to be really pumped up for their clash against the Jets.
Betting tip: Pick the Central Coast to open the scoring at $3.20 (Bet365)
Also pick the second-half to be the highest scoring one at $2.05 (Neds)
Perth Glory v Adelaide United
10:00 PM AEDT, HBF Park
Are the Glory blind?
Are they? Well they certainly seemed it last round after their 0-0 draw with City. In a side that had both Andy Keogh and Diego Castro starting they should have done a lot, lot better after the Glory shot only two shots on target for the entire match! And this was despite them owning 55% of the ball and having completed a very sweet 80% of their passes (444/558). But despite the disappointing result, Perth are still on track to do amazing things this campaign such as possibly win a maiden A-League Grand Final, as well as finishing first at the end of the regular season + ACL qualification. Popovic’s men are firing on all cylinders and their deadly front-three of Keogh, Ikonimidis and Castro are a big, big reason for that. While having Kilkenny being the player feeding the ball through to this hungry three-headed beast has been an absolute godsend for them. And against Adelaide, they’ll no doubt be keen to return to their winning ways.
Kruse over Goodwin, the biggest joke in Australian sports
How Robbie Kruse is currently competing in the Asian Cup and Craig Goodwin is not is one of Aussie sports biggest jokes. Kruse brings next to nothing on the table, whereas Goodwin brings pretty much everything. And as he scored the 66th minute winner against Western Sydney, that proved to be his seventh goal of the A-League campaign. While Vince Lia opened the scoring for Adelaide in his sides 2-1 victory. Adelaide also shot 7/17 on target and had 52% possession. They completed 82% of their passes (358/434) and they gave away only 10 fouls. Simply put this was an awesome shift from Marco Kurz’s side who are now pretty much all but assured of featuring in this seasons finals series. They currently sit 10 points clear of the drop and they are only two points of fourth place. They’ve won an FFA Cup already this campaign and Adelaide are clearly raring for more. They’ll be the underdogs, but an A-League Championship is there for Adelaide if they want it badly enough.
Betting tip: Pick the Glory to be victorious at $2.10 (Neds)
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/best bet of the round is for the Central Coast to open the scoring at $3.20 (Bet365), they’ve made a habit of doing it in recent matches, why won’t it continue against Newcastle?