The following are previews with betting tips for Round 23 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Friday, March 29
Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
7:50 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
An Eric Bautheac strike in the 50th minute didn’t matter in the end as the Roar succumbed in their 2-1 loss to the Victory due to a strong Barbarouses double. Brisbane actually shot the ball quite well going 4/9 on target, however Melbourne were stronger as they fired away at the Roars defence with 14 shots to their name. Not aiding Brisbane’s cause was their high-foul total as they conceded 17. As it stands they are five points ahead of last place, but also five behind 8th place. Despite every game meaning something for one reason or another, the Roar really don’t have that much to play for this season. But putting some respect back in the jersey would be a start for their suffering fans. They’ve seen their club fall out of finals contention long ago and get rid of their best player as well as their ex-coach. It’s been a pretty dismal season for the QLD based side. However an un-expected win against a Sky Blues side dealing with a bunch of games close together could do wonders for them.
2-0 To City was the score as Sydney suffered their most un-expected loss of the season in what was a pretty bad performance from the home-side. Sydney had eight shots but landed absolutely zero of them on target as they seriously struggled. And with Melbourne already leading 1-0 Sydney’s night went from bad to worse as Retre scored an OG against his former side. Sydney did give away only nine fouls, but also won eight less duels then City and five less aerial duels then them. Despite the defeat the Sky Blues still are holding down the fort in 2nd place despite the defeat. However, Perth are nine points ahead of them at the top while the Victory are now only a point behind them. Given they face Melbourne next round and the Victory have to play Perth in this current one, this match presents and excellent opportunity for Sydney to extend the points gap between themselves and their Big Blue Rivals.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $1.57 (UniBet)
Also pick Sydney to lead after 60mins at $1.83 (Ladbrokes)
Saturday, March 30
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Spurred on by the simply horrendous events of Christchurch the Phoenix put in a performance to remember as all of Krishna, Mandi and Williams found the back of the net in their 3-1 win over the Wanderers. Krishna now leads the A-League with 15 goals scored this current amazing campaign. The opposition also missed a penalty in the 72nd minute while the Flying Fijian received a late red meaning he’ll be missing from his teams line-up to face the Jets. The Phoenix only had three shots on target but at least they made them all count. Meanwhile they kept Western Sydney to the solitary one despite their 14 shots. Of a bit of a concern to Mark Rudan’s men should be their 18 fouls conceded last match, something they’ll have to fix up against the Jets. And the Phoenix now have a much coveted Top Four spot as they sit on 34 points. If they get the win here they’ll be pretty much sewing up their finals spot while basically ending Newcastle’s in the process. And a win here and a Victory loss to Perth will see them only four points of 3rd place!
It’s basically do or die here against Wellington as the Jets massively stuffed up in their 3-2 F3 Derby loss to the fired-up Mariners. Their rivals under a new coach opened up an impassioned 3-0 lead. However the Jets brought it back to 3-2 with goals from O’Donovan and Vargas. And with one of the final two plays of the game the Jets could’ve snatched the draw. Instead they blew it as O’Donovan had two penalty attempts in succession saved by Kennedy as he couldn’t get the desperately needed strike. Could that well prove to be the difference in the Jets finals hopes this season? Newcastle had 24 shots to the Mariners five and 66% possession. It’s all on them that they couldn’t get something out of the game. The Mariners wanted it more and it showed. Now the Jets need a minor miracle to feature in the finals as they are currently five points of a finals berth.
Betting tip: Pick Wellington to win at $2.25 (TopBetta)
Also pick them to score first at $1.82 (BetEasy)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City
7:50 PM AEDT, ANZ Stadium
A Krishna red-card, a missed penalty and a Mitchell Duke goal were three things to note from the Red & Blacks 3-1 loss to Wellington. And shooting 2/14 on target is most definitely another. They gave away 14 fouls and were forced to make 17 tackles in a very lethargic effort from a side that had been playing pretty well up until that point. Just a single round before they had smashed Brisbane 4-1. And before that it was a draw with Perth. This result was at least recently speaking, rather out of the ordinary for them. 11 Points of a finals spot, playing late-into-the-season-Football is virtually impossible for them at this point. However, they are only two wins behind the 7th placed Jets and still have plenty left to play for this campaign even if the Finals aren’t a realistic possibility. Up until City’s 2-0 win over Sydney, City were relatively good to grind out a draw with the opposition. Look for Duke and Riera to try and smash that game-plan to bits as they shape to be the Wanderers focal players in this match.
City snared an upset win over Sydney becoming victorious 2-0 in some heavily-rain affected conditions in Sydney. A Harrison goal and a Retre OG is what got Warren Joyce’s side the decisive victory. City kept the Sky Blues to 0/8 shooting while Melbourne themselves went a somewhat respectable 3/7. City also only had 44% of the ball but they managed to make it count where it hurt Sydney the most. Harrison won 5/18 duels. This isn’t a major concern to City. However, he will need to fix it if he wishes to get more minutes or he’ll need to fix it when he’s playing longer periods. Melbourne are now seven points ahead of 7th place so it’s unlikely that they’ll miss the finals this season. And what’s most concerning is if Maclaren can find his touch against the Wanderers. For context, he already has five goals from five games this season and he’s pretty much a lone attacker. Imagine if City give him some quality help against the Wanderers. Oh boy, oh boy!
Also pick Jamie Maclaren to score any-time at $6.00 (UniBet)
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
10:00 PM AEDT, HBF Park
Castro and Keogh turned the magic on as both players scored in their sides easy peasy lemon squeezy win over Adelaide. This was Perth’s 13th un-beaten match in a row, a club record. They’re firing on all cylinders and the win against United was pretty easy for them. Despite having only 42% possession, they still managed to shoot 8/14 shots on target. They also had to make only nine tackles as they kept the clean-sheet. And the positive news keeps on rolling in for Tony Popovic’s men after they are pretty much assured the Minor Premiership after Sydney’s 2-0 stuffup to City. This would be Perth’s first trophy of the A-League era and a much-deserved one at that. They are currently nine points ahead of Sydney and 10 ahead of the Victory. A win here for Perth will not only more then likely give them the Minor Premiership, but it will also be a massive statement of intent in their search for a first ever A-League GF victory.
10 Points of Perth, the Victory are better of preparing for Finals Football given their slim, slim, slim chance of catching them at the top of the table. But you wouldn’t know it given the tough way they’re competing in the ACL. They led then lost and then conceded an 86th minute goal to lose. However, in the A-League they are doing fine as Barbarouses scored a double last time out to beat Brisbane 2-1. Barbarouses now has 13 goals for the season and is only one of Le Fondre and two of Krishna. It’s all to play for in 2nd spot though with Melbourne only a point of Sydney who currently reside in 2nd spot. The Victory will have to push and push and push to get something here. But who’s to say they can’t? The in-form Barbarouses should certainly have an impact on the game for Victory! That’s for sure!
Betting tip: Pick Perth to win at $1.95 (Neds)
Also pick them to score last at $1.68 (Neds)
Sunday, March 31
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
5:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
MOSS OUT! OKON OUT! MULVEY OUT! FFA REJECT IN! Hold on, wait, what! After being sacked from the Matilda’s role, one of the most-maligned men in Australian Football stepped right into the toxic role at the Mariners and it was like he was Arnie during his time in Gosford. It was an absolutely beautiful sight to watch as the Mariners saved two penaltys at the death and slightly redeemed themselves in their crazy, hectic and shock upset 3-2 win over the Jets. Murray, Karcan and Pain all got in on the action in the sublime occasion. At home who’s to say they can’t back it up against Adelaide? Not this writer, that’s for sure! They played as a team and they played together as they claimed a much-important and much-needed three points. Now they are only five points of the bottom. Anything is possible after that historic occasion!
Adelaide need a win and bad after they were thumped 2-0 by Perth. They are now only five points ahead of the closely chasing Jets and it’d be four if they didn’t turn ice-cold right at the end of their most recent defeat. Adelaide shot 5/11 on target against the Glory but it wasn’t enough for even a goal, little-lone a point. And equally as concerning is Marco Kurz’s delayed contract talks as rumours heat up he could be headed to Brisbane at the conclusion of the season. He recently stated that despite making contact with the clubs chairmen a while back, he had heard nothing back. Letting him go would be a massive, massive mistake. He;s one of the hottest managers in the A-League and losing him would do more harm then good for Adelaide.
Betting tip: Pick the Mariners to be victorious at $5.25 (Bet365)
Also pick both sides to score at $1.58 (Neds)
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/best bet of the round is for Perth to score last at $1.68 (Neds). They know how to score a late goal, that’s for sure!