The following are previews with betting tips for Round 19 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Friday, February 15
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City
7:50 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
The Jets couldn’t quite close the gap on Wellington as they drew 1-all, a massive blow for the Jets finals aspirations. Vargas opened the scoring for Newcastle in the 33rd minute of the game. However, if it weren’t for an 88th minute Moss penalty save, the home-side would’ve taken all three points from the encounter. And so it stands that the Jets are eight points of a finals berth. Thus, this makes this game kind of a must win for Ernie Merrick’s side if they wish to keep up the fight for 6th spot. And while Maclaren’s still settling in, there might be no better time to face City then this round. To their credit, the Jets weren’t at all shy shooting the ball as they took 16 shots. However, as has been a major problem for them all season, they landed just five of them on target. It also didn’t help aid their cause that they had just 41% of the ball, while the Phoenix dominated possession with 59% of it.
While for City, despite drawing 1-all with Adelaide, a game in which they wanted to win, they still looked strong never the less. Jamie Maclaren opened his account for City in his debut game and already showed glimpses of how he could help lead City to an un-likely title charge this season. Melbourne are only two points of 4th placed Adelaide. The possession was shared with both sides having 50% of the ball each. But Melbourne couldn’t quite take advantage of that as they fired only 4/15 shots on target. And fouls wise they were very ill-disciplined as they gave up 16 of them. But a positive to come from their solid result was their 82% passing accuracy, as they completed 374 of their 458 attempted passes. A win here and Warren Joyce’s side will at least temporarily move into the Top Four.
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
5:35 PM AEDT, Eden Park
Krishna cost them, while Sail saved them, while Williams bailed them out. Roy Krishna missed a late spot-kick that if converted would’ve given the Phoenix the late, late lead. However, he fluffed it and his side had to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Jets. And standing in for Kurto, Oliver Sail did a simply magnificent job in goals as he saved four shots including two form outside the box as he was the hero of the game for Wellington. And Williams had his 6th strike of the season as he was responsible for levelling up the scores. As a result of the draw, the Phoenix currently have an eight point gap between them and the 7th placed Jets. Wellington also dominated the ball as they owned 59% of it. However, against their favour was their poor shooting as they went just 4/13 on target. And luck wasn’t exactly on their side either as they had two shots come of the woodwork. This match should prove to be a massive test of their finals credentials.
The Victory ended up losing 2-1 to Perth at home in a top of the table clash, despite Barbarouses scoring his 10th of the season in the 78th minute. Melbourne gave away only 10 fouls and they also completed 80% of their passes, two massive pluses for them to take from the game. However, they won only 33 duels vs Perth’s 45. And they also won only 15 aerial duels to Perth’s 17. Perth out-battled them, both in that department and on the score-board. Also working against the Victory’s favour was the four shots they had on target. When you have players such as Troisi, Barbarouses, Antonis, Honda and Hope playing, that’s simply not good enough! As a result of the defeat, the Victory are currently seven points of 1st spot. This game will need to see a significant improvement from Kevin Muscat’s men, otherwise Wellington will pull down their pants in the same manner the Glory did.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $2.10 (BetFair)
Also pick them to score first at $1.74 (BetEasy)
Saturday, February 16
Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Craig Goodwin continued his so far excellent season as he bagged his ninth of the season in his sides 1-all draw with City. It was a good result for Adelaide as it keeps them in 4th spot and two points ahead of 5th placed City. United took advantage of what they had as they went 3/7 on target and held 50% of the ball. They also successfully completed 81% of their attempted passes, 381/473. Fouls-wise however, they were appalling. They gave up 20 fouls! That’s simply not good enough for Kurz’s side if they wish to be a legitimate contender. However, what better way to bounce-back then against the struggling Wanderers. Adelaide have won four of their past six matches against WSW, with the other two being draws. So you can be sure as hell to expect Adelaide to come out firing immediately in this one. If Adelaide are on their game, they could potentially make this very embarrassing, very quickly for the Wanderers.
The Wanderers fought hard and got only their 3rd win of the campaign as they beat the Mariners 2-0. Elrich opened the scoring in the 45th minute, while Sotirio finished things of in the 77th minute. WSW were pretty shocking in front of goals, despite their two strikes, as they shot just 4/17 on target, shocking indeed! They also completed only 65% of their passes, a pretty lowly rate. And they conceded 17 fouls. Lucky for them they were playing the last-placed and hapless Mariners. The Wanderers currently sit 8th on the table with the 9th placed Roar only a win behind them after their shock upset win over Sydney. The Wanderers need a win here, or need to hope that Perth takes care of business in order for them to avoid falling down to 9th place.
Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to win at $1.67 (TopBetta)
Also pick Craig Goodwin to score at any time at $5.80 (UniBet)
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar
10:00 PM AEDT, nib Stadium
The Glory grabbed the Minor Premiership with one hand after their 2-1 defeat of the Victory last round. The result currently leaves them seven points ahead of 2nd placed Melbourne and eight points ahead of 3rd placed Sydney. Kilkenny opened the scoring for the Glory in the 61st minute and then Castro bagged one just eight minutes later in the commanding performance. And the Glory only had three shots on target, but they most definitely took advantage of all that they had. They also held just 46% of the ball. And fouls-wise they were un-believable as they gave away only four. Simply amazing! And to do it to the Victory on their home-turf is truly something special. The Glory rightfully deserve to be the favourites to claim this seasons Grand Final and coming up against Brisbane, the Glory could make things very ugly, very quickly if the Roar don’t turn up to play.
What more can you say about the Roar, they are on of Asia’s most un-predictable teams. One moment they’re blowing 3-0 leads, the next their winning games at the death. They beat Sydney 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium in what was an amazing match by them and once which they’ll remember for a very, very, very long time. Mikkelsen made it one-one in the 77th minute. And then cometh the 90th minute, youngster Wenzel-Halls made an unforgettable impression as he scored the winner. What a moment and dream come true for the young lad! His goal lifts Brisbane to within only a point of the 8th placed Wanderers. This was a super result for the Roar. Especially so considering they had only 39% of the ball. Could they cause some more damage against the Glory? Maybe, just maybe, but we’ll have to wait and see
Betting tip: Pick the Glory to win at $1.36 (BetFair)
Also pick the second-half to be the highest scoring one at $2.05 (Neds)
Sunday, February 17
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
5:00 PM AEDT, Leichhardt Oval
Sydney are now eight points of Perth after their 2-1 loss to the Roar. There ain’t gonna be no Minor Premiership for Sydney this season. De Silva banged one in, but that was about it for the Sky Blues in their horror and un-needed result. They got embarrassed by the team that wanted it more! It’s as simple as that. The Sky Blues missed some easy chances and that came back to haunt them in the end. The Roar smacked them where it counted and Sydney weren’t or couldn’t do much about it. Sydney also had 18 shots and 61% possession but they couldn’t make it count as they currently sit 3rd on the ladder. This was a match they should’ve won but didn’t. Arrogance perhaps was a contributing factor in the defeat. Steve Corica better teach the boys some valuable lessons after that loss otherwise you can count it as two on the trot that they would’ve lost, cause the Mariners will come to play, no doubt!
2-0 Was the score as the CCM went down to the Wanderers. It was a tough effort from the Mariners in what was a scrappy affair. A game that was very similar to a lot of other ones they’ve featured in this season. The Mariners actually shot the ball quite well going 4/10 on target. And they also had 52% possession. 10 Was also the low, low number of fouls they conceded. But they just lacked that finishing touch which was and still is very unfortunate for them. And they couldn’t take advantage of their corners as they had eight compared to the Wanderers four. The Mariners have a chance in this one given they always push Sydney to the brink. Expect it to be a tight battle with the Mariners giving it their absolute all!
Betting tip: Pick the Sky Blues to win at $1.31 (UniBet)
Also pick only Sydney to score at $1.95 (Neds)
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/best bet of the round is for only Sydney to score at $1.95 (Neds), expect Sydney to rebound defensively after their horror show against the Roar!