The following are previews with betting tips for Round 27 of the 2018/19 A-League season.
Thursday, April 25
Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
2:00 PM AEST, Suncorp Stadium
For Brisbane it got pretty ugly pretty quickly as they suffered a heavy 6-1 loss to Newcastle at home. They conceded two goals in the opening half and then another huge four in the second stanza. One of the few positives from the otherwise devastating result was teenager Zach Duncan getting his first Roar goal. With Brisbane unable to change their position on the ladder regardless of their result against Adelaide, this match will prove to be just another test for Brisbane to experiment with their talented youth core in. However, off the field is where the Roar have been most relevant with several reports suggesting this week that former England and Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler could soon be announced as their newest head coach. He scored 120 goals for Liverpool as well as 21 for Manchester City. He also had a combined 18 goals during his time in the A-League for Perth and the now-defunct North Queensland Fury. Regardless of his credibility as a manager, him managing the struggling Roar would shoot them to relevancy pretty quickly once again, that’s for sure!
A win here and Adelaide have secured a home final in the first week of the playoffs. This nice treat comes after their shock 1-0 win over the Victory in front of what was a sell-out home-crowd. It was looking like it was going to be a tightly contested draw until George Blackwood drew first blood with a late strike in the 81st minute to seal all three points for Adelaide. However, the opposition could feel a bit hard done by as they had a goal a little bit earlier ruled out by the VAR. That somewhat controversial decisions turned out to have a massive impact on the outcome of the game. Adelaide had only one shot on target the entire game, but they clearly made it count. That was while they kept the Victory to 0/8 on target throughout the match. Adelaide also conceded a huge 16 fouls, but surprisingly gave away no yellow or reds for any of them.
Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to win at $1.53 (PalmerBet)
Also pick the second-half to be the highest scoring one at $1.88 (TopBetta)
Friday, April 26
Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners
7:50 PM AEST, AAMI Park
Riley McGree scored a fine double! But he was outdone by Roy Krishna who scored with the final play of the match to hand City an entertaining but devastating 3-2 defeat. City played a good, solid game and deserved at least a point as they had 60% of the ball throughout the match. They also shot a pretty damn good 9/18 shots on target. They completed 84% of their passes and they also had one shot come of the woodwork. And they had to do all of this while playing away from home. Not a bad effort! However, it now means thaty barring some insane results, City will be having a Melbourne Derby in week one of the finals. And what better way to flex their muscle in the warm-up to the finals then by playing the A-League’s Wooden Spooners. If City can manage to pile on the goals here then they’ve done some pretty good prep to face their older brothers.
Matt Simon had a double, Rowles also had one, Rowles was then later sent off and just before that the Wanderers converted their penalty, but despite all of that utter craziness, the Mariners held on for their 2nd win from 5 games in the new era of Central Coast Football. Simon’s strikes were his 6th and 7th of the campaign as the captain put on a rousing display for the home-side, including his first goal being an absolutely smashing free-kick. The Central Coast also shot 50%, 6/12 shots on target. They also killed the Wanderers duels-wise as they won 71 to their 57. They also won 29 aerial duels to their 18. However, of a bit of a concern to them will be the fact that they gave away a game-high 17 fouls. That’s something that needs to be fixed on their end.
Saturday, April 27
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
5:35 PM AEST, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle officially won’t be playing finals Football this season and that’s pretty damn disappointing for last seasons Grand Finalists. However, if last rounds display is anything to go off then the future of Football in Newcastle is in pretty good hands as they absolutely whipped the Roar 6 goals to 1. Champness and O’Donovan each had a double. Petratos and Appiah-Kubi also both had one goal each. They were Champness’s 2nd and 3rd goals of the season. And they were also O’Donovan’s 11th and 12th strikes of the campaign. Newcastle had 55% possession as they shot a very good 11/19 on target. They also completed 82% of their passes and gave away only 14 fouls. This was a complete performance from Newcastle! And their last home-game against Sydney saw them secure the late draw so you can’t discount the fighting Jets from this one.
Sydney secured the 1-0 win against Perth, but it mattered little as the Glory had already lift the Premiers Plate the week before. However, mentally it mattered/matters a lot as the Sky Blues now have that slight edge heading into the finals. The only goal of the game through Adam Le Fondre in what was his 16th strike of the season. The Striker has so far proved to be an instant hit in the A-League and his goal-scoring abilities will be absolutely crucial for the Sky Blues heading into the finals. This was a game dictated by great defence as Sydney shot only 3/11 on target. And Perth went 0/8 on target. Sydney will finish the season in 2nd place no matter what. Off the field for Sydney, recent rumours had Bobo returning to the club next season. He’s been struggling in Turkey but was an absolute gun in the A-League. He scored 42 goals in 57 games for Sydney as he won several trophies during his short stay at Moore Park. He would be a welcome addition to Sydney and an up-front partnership of Le Fondre and Bobo would more then likely leave the rest of the A-League in stitches.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $3.00 (PalmerBet)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
7:50 PM AEST, ANZ Stadium
Mark Bidge scored in his 250th A-League match, but that was about the only positive to come out of the Wanderers shock 3-1 defeat to the Mariners. There was a late red-card to the opposition but it didn’t help them much as the Wanderers played a disappointing game of Football as they will more then likely end their season with another defeat. Recent news emerged that a host of players have been told that they can look for other clubs to play for next season. Oriol Reira and Vedran Janjetovic being two of the main players who will more then likely depart the club after this match. Riera could definitely be a good fit at Brisbane as they need a good striker who can score goals on a consistent basis. While Janjetovic would be a solid fit at the Mariners as well. To put it simply, there will be a lot of players repping the Red & Black playing for their futures in this game. While it will also be Mark Bridge’s final game for the club.
SYDNEY STRIKES AGAIN! Last season former Sydney player Terry Antonis scored the match-winning goal in extra-time in the semi-final to send the Victory through to the Grand Final. And this time it was former Sydney man George Blackwood scoring the late winner against Melbourne, thus denying them any chance at claiming 2nd spot and a second week home-final. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you. Reports are emerging that the Victory are trying to secure the signature of Fijian Flyer Roy Krishna from next season onward. He recently scored three goals against City and has 18 in total this season + five assists. He would be a massive, massive signing for them and would instantly make them one of the favourites to take out the Grand Final once again.
Sunday, April 28
Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
7:00 PM AEST, HBF Park
Sydney now have the mental edge headed into the finals as Perth suffered a tightly contested 1-0 defeat to them. Perth are the top dogs with the Minor Premiership in their hands. But how much this defeat will impact them remains to be seen. They kept Sydney to only 3/11 on target. But they themselves shot only 0/8 on target. Perth did however complete 85% of their passes and gave away only 12 fouls. Both strong positives for them to take from the loss. A win here against Wellington would be massively beneficial heading into the finals. And their last game was a 3-0 win against them. And they already had two goals by half-time and both Ikonimidis and Keogh were among the goal-scorers. If those two plus Castro can fire in this game then god help the Phoenix. And also god help whoever Perth end up facing in the finals!
Roy Krishna 1, Roy Krishna 2 and Roy Krishna 3! He had three goals and scored on the final play of the game in the 94th minute to help his side beat City 3-2 in an absolutely frenetic affair. Those were his 16th, 17th and 18th goals of the season as he leads the A-League in that department. He is two ahead of 2nd placed Adam Le Fondre and four ahead of 3rd placed Kosta Barbarouses. Wellington managed to shoot 6/14 on target despite only having 40% possession. This was a very impressive performance from the Phoenix. They also gave away only eight fouls and had no yellows or reds. That’s just plain crazy! Wellington are raring heading into the finals and are a genuine dark-horse to take out it all!
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/ best bet of the round is for Sydney to win at $3.00 (PalmerBet).
They’ll be looking to prepare well heading into the finals and they have a good recent record against Newcastle as well.