The following are previews with betting tips for Round 26 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Thursday, April 18
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
7:50 PM AEST, Sydney Cricket Ground
Last time out Sydney drew a fiercely competitive derby 1-all against the Wanderers. Alex Brosque scored in just the 7th minute as his side fired well offensively taking 13 shots against the opposition. However, the red & Black also played well as they more then held their own with 16 shots at the Sky Blues goals. As per the usual it was a hard-hitting match with Sydney conceding 19 fouls and the Wanderers 12. And while Sydney pushed hard at the end to find a result, unfortunately it was to no avail. Fatigue played a factor in this game for the home-side as they were coming of their mid-week 3-all draw in the Asian Champions League. And for the Glory they get three cheers and more after they claimed their first piece of A-League silverware via the Minor Premiership courtesy of their gutsy 1-0 win over the Jets. Franjic scored the only strike of the match in the 65th minute on the historic occasion for Perth. The Glory dominated the game with 62% possession and shooting 8/18 shots on target. They also completed their passes at an exceptional 88% rate, 496/563. And to top it all of, they conceded just one yellow card the entire game.
When these sides last met the unexpected happened as Perth blew the game away with a commanding 3-1 victory. Joel Chianese scored a double, while Santalab continued his storied history against Sydney with a goal of his own. Le Fondre got one back for Sydney in the second-half, but it wasn’t quite enough for his side to overcome the deficit. That match saw Sydney’s poor shooting hinder them massively as they blew their chances going only 2/9 on target. Meanwhile Perth shot a very calm and collected 4/10 on target. And that was with less ball then the Sky Blues as well, 47% of the ball vs 53% of it. Will Perth for the second week in a row show why they are the best side in the A-League or will Le Fondre’s Sky Blues be up to the task?
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $2.50 (Bet365)
Also pick them to score first at $1.87 (Ladbrokes)
Friday, April 19
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEST, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide moved up to 4th spot, but it wasn’t the prettiest at times through their 0-0 stalemate with City. United to their credit landed 6/16 shots on target. And they defended City very, very well as they kept their numbers to being only 3/16 on the landing spot. Adelaide had one shot come of the woodwork, however, their opposition had three of those. Adelaide also won more duels then their opponents, 63 vs 58 and they gave away significantly less fouls as well, 12 vs 19. Izzo was key in this game for the away side as he made three crucial saves, including one from outside the box. For the Victory it wasn’t always easy as both Toivonen and Niedermeier got on the score-sheet in their sides tight 2-1 win over the Mariners. Melbourne shot only 4/14 on target but they dominated possession with 65% of the ball. And they were also spot-on passing-wise as they completed 84% of theirs, 524/621. And they gave away only 12 fouls to the Mariners 18. With that being said, one of their fouls was one by Thomas Deng which led to the Mariners converting their penalty attempt. But a wins a win and it leaves them only two points behind Sydney for 2nd spot on the ladder.
When these sides last met a short period of dominance, four minutes to be exact, 18th minute-21st minute, is what separated the two sides in Adelaide’s 2-0 victory. In that time period both Goodwin and Ilso found the back of the net in the incredible performance. This was a high octane game as Adelaide too 20 shots to the Victory’s 16. There was also a combined 29 fouls dished out as well as five yellows. A shot also came of the woodwork while 48 combined tackles were made. Both of these sides will be featuring in the finals this season. However, will it be Adelaide’s defence or Melbourne’s offence that shines brighter on the night?
Betting tip: Pick the Victory to win at $2.38 (PalmerBet)
Also pick them to score first at $1.87 (Ladbrokes)
Saturday, April 20
Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
5:35 PM AEST, Suncorp Stadium
Bautheac, Bautheac, Bautheac!!! He scored in the 37th minute and the 42nd minute for the Roar. And then he got himself sent of in the 95th minute. He had himself quite a game indeed. But it was his two goals that shone the brightest as they are what mattered most in Brisbane’s shock 2-1 upset over the finals bound Phoenix. Brisbane fired away at Wellington’s goals despite having just 38% of the ball throughout the match. This was a very encouraging result as they seek to end their season on a high note. They also gave away 20 fouls, OUCH, but they also won 90 duels, AMAZING. This game had everything as Brisbane made the Phoenix look like school boys. And for Newcastle their loss meant that Perth claimed the Minor Premiership in their 1-0 defeat. Last seasons Grand Finalists really held their own as they took the game to the Glory. They didn’t have much possession, only 38% inf-act, but they fought hard and never gave up against the far superior team and that has to be commended. They also managed to shoot a respectable 4/12 shots on target. And they gave away only nine fouls.
2-2 Was the score-line when these two teams last met and boy oh boy wasn’t it a thriller of a game. Petratos had one on the board within just five minutes of the game starting. Taggart then got the ball rolling in the second-half in the 65th minute with a fine goal of his own. Just two minutes later, Roy O’Donovan had quickly stolen the lead back for his side. And then the ever influential Bautheac scored the game tying goal very late on in the 87th minute. This was a match not to be missed. Neither side will be playing Finals Football this season, but which team wants to end their campaign on a high more, the Roar or the Jets?
Betting tip: Pick Brisbane to be victorious at $4.50 (Bet365)
Also pick them to be leading after sixty minutes at $4.20 (Ladbrokes)
Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
7:50 PM AEST, Central Coast Stadium
Matt Simon got one, although it wasn’t quite enough as the Central Coast fell 2-1 to the Victory in Melbourne. Considering the recent coaching change, playing Melbourne in Melbourne and being down 1-0 before the game was brought back to 1-all, the Mariners weren’t too shabby at all. And to top it all of, they had just 35% of the ball throughout the match, that while the Victory had 65%. Not helping the Central Coast’s cause however was their sloppy conceded 18 fouls. You can’t afford to do that against anyone in the A-League and get away with it, little lone the Victory! The Wanderers evened up the Sydney Derby through a converted Baumjohann free-kick in the 57th minute. But it wasn’t quite enough as they yet again failed to beat their cross-town rivals. However, it was a very impressive game from Marcus Babbel’s side as they shot 8/16 on target and had one thumping Reira shot bounce back strongly of the post. The Red & Black also forced former Wanderers turned Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne into a lot of decisive saves. And it was a derby filled with chaos as usual as both sides were shown early yellows + their was 31 combined fouls throughout the match.
When these sides last met it got pretty ugly at times, but the home-side got it done as the Wanderers won 2-0. The goal-scorers were Elrich in the 45th minute and the sealer through Sotirio in the 77th minute. Both sides played well in that match as the Wanderers took 17 shots and the Mariners 10. And somewhat ironically 17 was the number of fouls the Wanderers conceded. And 10 the exact same number for the Central Coast. Under a new coach a new type of game-plan should emerge for the Mariners, so a more solid defence, combined with a greater hunger in attack should see this be a more close match then last time. Will the coaching change be the difference or will the great Marcus Babbel run supreme once again?
Also pick the second-half to be the highest scoring one at $1.95 (TopBetta)
Sunday, April 21
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
5:00 PM AEST, Westpac Stadium
A final minute red to Brisbane didn’t do much for Wellington in one of this seasons biggest upsets. They went down 2-1 to the Roar away from home in what was simply a crazy upset. Taylor got one back for the Phoenix in the second-half. And they came so close to an equalizer right at the end, but they couldn’t do it. And so this result will be remembered for the rest of the season and for all the wrong reasons. Wellington had 62% of the ball and 16 shots, but it didn’t matter much in the end as the better side won. The result leaves Mark Rudan’s men in 5th spot and officially with no chance of claiming 3rd spot. City were pretty bad last game though, so a bounce-back result could well be on the cards for the Nix. 3/21! That was the number of on-target shots from the number of attempted shots that Melbourne had last game. That was a real howler for them. Combined with that, they also gave away 19 fouls. This definitely wasn’t the best effort from Warren Joyce’s side. Just about the only thing they did right this game was keeping the clean-sheet. Pretty much everything else they did horribly. And that’s putting it nicely!
David Williams was the difference when these sides last played each other in what was a fairly defensive orientated game. He scored in the 5th minute in the Nix’s tight 1-0 win and that was that. Both sides were pretty good with their passing with Wellington completing theirs at a 77% clip and City just behind them with a 76% clip. Wellington also made 27 tackles and City 23. The Nix gave away 14 fouls and for City that number was an even higher 17. Both sides need to win in this game to regain their morale heading into the finals. But only one can come out victorious. Will it be the Nix or Melbourne that take the W from this one?
Also pick the highest scoring half to be the second one at $2.00 (TopBetta)
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/best bet of the round is for the Victory to win at $2.38 (PalmerBet), they have all the motivation in the world to try and claim 2nd spot!!!