The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Friday, January 25
Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
Five reasons why Brisbane are the A-League’s worst
Five-nil was the score as Brisbane were thumped at home by the Victory. Barbarouses led the opposition with three goals in the absolutely humiliating result for the 9th placed Roar. And ironically had they taken advantage of what they had, then it could have been a very different game given they took 21 shots and had six go on target. That compared to Melbourne who had 12 shots and seven on target. Brisbane also held 46% of the ball. And when it came down to the passing they were pretty solid as well at a 77% completion rate (349/451). Conceding fouls wise they were utter garbage as they leaked 16. That’s compared to the Victory who’s number in that department was seven. The Roar now have a GD of -16, 2nd worst in the A-League behind only the struggling Mariners who have -20 next to their name.
Heartbreak again for the Wanderers
As City scored the 94th minute winner after coming back from a 3-2 deficit at home, it simply broke the Wanderers hearts. Again they were in the game, but again they couldn’t quite convert on it as a 66th minute Baccas red for the Red & Black changed the entire complexion of the match. And within the first minute of the game the Wanderers were already down 1-0 which certainly didn’t help their cause either. However a strike to Bonevacia, one to Mourdoukoutas and one to Sotirio as well made the 4-3 score-line what it was in an entertaining affair of Football. The Wanderers shot the ball extremely well as they went 8/16 on target throughout the match. However, they were dominated possession wise as they held only 41% of the ball. As it stands the Wanderers are currently on a six game losing streak and reside in 8th position.
Saturday, January 26
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Are they actually all that of a lovable side?
They were unfairly favored by the referees in their 1-0 loss to Sydney. And their penalty decision, which Redmayne eventually saved, was an absolute joke. As was Fenton handling the ball in the box and the Sky Blues not receiving a penalty of their own. And despite all that went their way for Mark Rudan’s side, they just couldn’t find a way to share the spoils as they currently sit 6th on the ladder. Wellington dominated possession at 64% and they also gave away only one yellow. However it didn’t matter as the visitors stayed strong and avenged their humiliating 3-1 result back from earlier in the season. A questionable Durante tackle on De Jong which saw him injured and leave the field was also left un-noticed by the referees in a poor display from the officials. The Phoenix did on a positive note complete 83% of their passes, 486/584. They also won more duels, 53 vs 50 and aerial duels than the Sky Blues, 18 vs 11.
Schenkeveld plays the role of hero for City
93rd Minute, the scores are all level and it looks like City will only be leaving home with a point against the A-League’s stragglers. Enter the 94th minute and Schenkeveld is the hero as he heads in the ball for the un-likeliest of victories after they had previously been down 3-2. De Laet scored two for City, including one within the games opening minute. While Brattan and of course Bart all got on the score-sheet in the eventual 4-3 victory. City were very clinical indeed as they had 59% of the ball and shot 10 on target from 24 attempts. And off the field Malik has departed the club while it’s rumored that Fornarolli could go soon to. However in a positive spin on things for Melbourne for once, rumors are circling that Jamie Maclaren could soon join the club. The Socceroos striker is currently on Asian Cup duty at the moment but would be the absolute perfect replacement for Bruno. While during his time in the A-League he absolutely tore it up. Here’s to hoping it happens, ay City fans?
Betting tip: Pick City to win at $2.80 (Sportsbet)
Also pick them to score last at $2.10 (Neds)
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
7:50 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Barbarouses laughs all the way to the bank in a stunner of a victory
He scored not one, not two, but three in what were his 6th, 7th and 8th goals of the campaign. That while Toivonen bagged his 9th of the season and Storm Roux got on the board as well as the Victory smashed Brisbane 5-0 up at Suncorp. It was a simply embarrassing performance from the home-side as Melbourne taught them how to play proper Football. While the Roar could only shoot 6/21 on target, the Victory were far more clinical as they went 7/12 on target. Also aiding them in that was their 54% possession. They also successfully completed 82% of their passes, 462/563. However as a result of their more recent game, a tense and tight 3-3 draw with the Phoenix, has seen them drop to 3rd on the ladder ahead of their clash with 2nd placed Sydney. And off the field the Victory have been busy with Nick Ansell departing the club and James Donachie returning. Donachie was previously playing for Jeonnam in the K-League. Donachie’s return gives the Victory another solid defensive option alongside the likes of Leigh Broxham and Co.
Hahaha, the FFA’s all for Sydney is it?
Sydney were both denied a clear penalty-shout and un-fairly conceded one in their closely fought 1-0 victory against the Nix. It didn’t matter though as De Jong’s goal eventually is what separated the two sides from one another. However he was injured in the process of scoring the goal by Andrew Durante, a tackle which the referees did not act upon despite his seemingly malicious action. And Redmayne saved the day when he saved Krishna’s late penalty attempt. Caceres, Sydney’s new Manchester City loanee also went of injured in some worrying signs for Steve Corica’s side. The Sky Blues played extremely well despite holding only 36% of the ball as they shot 6/13 on target. They also only conceded 13 fouls and managed to withhold a strong Phoenix attack which included eight corners to the opposition. For comparison Sydney had only half of that with four. The tight win now sees them in 2nd ahead of the Victory on 32 points and only two of 1st placed Perth.
Also pick Adam Le Fondre to score at anytime at $5.30 (UniBet)
Sunday, January 27
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
6:00 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
A sizable scalp
Keeping Perth to zero goals ain’t an easy feat and claiming something of them is equally as hard, yet Adelaide somehow did it in their 0-0 draw against the Glory. That being a result that now sees them in 5th place and only four points of 4th. Adelaide had 11 shots and saw four go on target. They also held 56% of the ball. As well as that they gave away only 12 fouls and completed 76% of their passes, 383/502. Izzo was again a star-player as he made three saves, one of which came outside the box. And Ilso was good with what he did as well as he completed 100% of his passes and won both of his duels. Adelaide are sneakily doing good things this season and no-one is really noticing them. They beat Sydney to claim the FFA Cup. That was their 2nd Final in as many seasons. They shut-out the Victory fairly recently. And now they’ve kept Perth to zero goals. Their defence could very well win them an A-League Championship. Make no doubts about it, if you doubt them you do so at your own peril!
F3 Derby agony, again for the Mariners
1-0 Was the score as the CCM again suffered agony against their rivals Newcastle. Newcastle are pretty shabby this season and this presented the perfect opportunity for the somewhat resurgent Mariners to take advantage of it and claim a win, but they just couldn’t do so. They had their fair share of chances with 18 shots but with only five going on target they were always going to make it hard for themselves to have a realistic shot of doing some damage in the match. However, in what can only be described as a small positive for them they gave away only eight fouls. Maybe they needed to show some more fire in the Derby? Who knows? However, they’ve done some work to fix their woes recently with the acquisition of Jem Karacan. He formerly played for Galatasaray. As well as them he previously featured for both Bolton and Reading. He’s a good and experienced player who should no doubt provide some veteran leadership and quality skills for a side that needs both of it in bunches. Thumbs up to Mike Mulvey for this one.
Betting tip: Pick the first half to be the highest scoring one at $3.10 (Neds)
Also pick the total goals bracket to be 2-3 at $2.06 (TopBetta)
Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
8:00 PM AEDT, HBF Park
Perth’s slowly losing their grip on the top
They drew against Adelaide 0-0. That result now sees them still in 1st but only two points ahead of 2nd placed Sydney and four ahead of 3rd placed Victory. They saw only three shots go on target from 12 attempts, something which severely hindered them. They also had only 44% possession. They also gave away 14 fouls and were forced into making 21 tackles. This was by no means an easy game for Perth as Adelaide made it really hard for them as is accurately reflected through the score-line. However, no Castro, no Keogh and no Ikonimidis, with the first two on the bench meant that Perth’s focus for this match was resting some of their super-stars. And maybe, just maybe it worked out alright for them. They’re still first and didn’t lose. And Santalab was able to get what was probably a well-deserved start as well. But slowly and surely the Sky Blues are catching up on them. Who’ll be 1st come the end of the regular season.
Sheppard’s the man
Another one. Well DJ Khalid said it best as Sheppard got another and the only goal for the Jets in their 1-0 F3 Derby Day victory over the Mariners. Besides his goal it was a pretty boring hit and miss affair between the two non-finals contending sides. And if the Mariners had played better, the Jets probably would’ve lost 3-1 or 4-1. Against an actual decent side they would have been smashed with the way they were playing. Newcastle shot only 5/15 on target in a performance pretty indicative of how simply crap they’ve been this season. They also completed a pretty poor 72% of their passes while they had three of their shots blocked by the CCM’s defence. This was most definitely not an easy game on the eyes as the Jets are currently 7th. They are still eight points, so over two victories of a finals berth. As to whether or not they can actually do the impossible and claim a spot in the Top 6, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Also pick the Glory to score last at $1.65 (Neds)
Best Bet of the Round