The following are previews with betting tips for the 2018/19 A-League Grand final between Perth Glory and Sydney FC.
Sunday, May 19
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
6:30 PM AEST, Optus Stadium
Diego Castro scored once in the 29th minute and then again for the second time in the 74th minute to give his side a healthy 2-0 lead over Adelaide. Then Diawara scored for the opposition in the 81st minute and then in the 94th minute Kitto found the back of the net. And with that final, late play goal, the game headed into extra-time. Scott Neville then gave the home side the lead again as he scored a rare strike in the 104th minute. But again Adelaide found a way back as Marrone got one in the 115th minute. The game then went into penalties. Both sides went at it with Lopez, Santalab, Reddy and Brimmer converting calmly for Perth. For Adelaide it was Goodwin, Elsey, Lia and O’Halloran. Then with the second last kick of the game, Kostandopoulos missed a huge, huge chance for the opposition. Chianese then converted to send Perth into the Grand Final. It was absolute scenes at NIB Stadium as the predominately Perth dominated crowd sent the stadium into ruptures with their celebrations of utter joy. Both sides had six shots on target, whilst the Glory had two of their shot attempts bounce of the woodwork. Both sides also completed their passes at a 77% accuracy. The Glory won 82 duels vs their 77. They also won 34 aerial duels to their 31. In addition, they also only conceded two yellows and 10 fouls. For Adelaide that number was four yellows, good four 14 fouls. One, only one converted spot-kick is all that separated these two sides in an absolute belter of an A-League game. Fair play to both sides for the insane magic they each produced.
Le Fondre twice, Calvver, Brosque, Ninkovic, an own-goal and a late consolation to Ola Toivonen resulted in Sydney’s 6-1 demolition job of the Victory in the two sides semi-final. Yes, you read that right, 6-1! In a finals game! The Victory were outclassed in every way possible as the Sky Blues handed Melbourne their biggest ever defeat. It was a simply insane performance from the home side as they had the games first goal after just three minutes of play. While Alex Brosque scoring in his final home game for his beloved side was a memory that many Sky Blue fans can treasure for years to come. Sydney shot 7/12 on target, despite only having 45% of the ball. And they took them on defensively as well as they blocked two of the Victory’s shots and forced them into four off-target goal attempts. The Sky Blues also made 23 big tackles and had 10 take-ons. That’s compared to Melbourne who ended the game with just six. Such was the performance from Melbourne that post-match Kevin Muscat apologized for his sides shocking showing and took responsibility for what Sydney FC funnily dubbed the Mothers Day Massacre. And in off-field news for the A-League’s on fire side, they have recently been linked to singing both Roy Krishna, and Kostas Barbarouses in the off-season. While Bobo’s name has also been thrown around as well. Any one of these three players linking up with Le Fondre and Ninkovic up-front would make Sydney an already more potent force then they currently are. And if those dreams do come true, it could damage the rest of the A-League entirely.
Diego Castro- The very well potential GOAT of the A-League scored two goals and was his usual amazing self in his sides tense victory over Adelaide. He has 11 goals this campaign to go along 46 shot assists from just his regular season. He has also won 61% of his regular season take ons. Despite being an offensive minded player, he’s not afraid to get down and dirty defensively. His link-up play with Ikonimidis and Keogh is something to behold as he, along with those two have absolutely scorched Australian Football this season. To top it all of, he also made 796 accurate passes (excluding the finals). He can pass and he can score. He’s a leader and will be looking to cement his status at the top with a Grand Final victory over Sydney. Regardless of whether or not Perth win, he will have a massive impact on their game. And it will be up for him to torch the likes of Zullo and Brillante for Sydney with his sheer individual brilliance.
Alex Brosque- Don’t count out the impact Brosque will have in his final ever professional Football game. Ninkovic or Le Fondre could easily be chosen in Sydney for this bit. But the captain should have a profound impact on his side as he searches for his third A-League Championship. He scored a goal against the Victory and has nine for the season. He also bagged a further three in Sydney’s FFA Cup final run. He bleeds Sky Blue and is as tough and as pesky as they come. He’ll take on Perth with no fear and will relish the chance to show his opposition what a gritty, yet talented player he is. To his credit he also had 24 shot assists during the regular season this year. And he also completed 88% of his passes during the regular season as well. He’s a seasoned and skillful veteran of the game who will have a massive impact on Sydney’s chances of winning yet another A-League title.
Sydney have been victorious in two of the three matches in which they’ve played Perth this season. The first of the three saw Sydney edge the Glory out 2-1 with De Silva scoring an 87th minute goal that gave them their second and most important one of the match. This was given that Ikonimidis scored just three minutes later to send a late scare through the Sydney camp. The second match-up saw Perth win 3-1 courtesy of a Chianese double as well as a rare one to Santalab. Le Fondre scored a 68th minute consolation goal for Sydney in that one. And the latest one was just five game ago for Sydney where they earned a hard 1-0 victory at home over Perth. Le Fondre scored the games only goal in the 37th minute in that one. Neither side shot particularly well in this game as Sydney went just 3/11 on target. And Perth went an even worse 0/8 on target. Only two yellows were given out the entire match. That while Sydney completed 79% of their passes and Perth an even better 85%. The Glory did however rest a handful of their stars for this game, while Sydney fielded a pretty much full-strength line-up.
Sydney will win a close game at Optus Stadium. Here are some reasons as to why;
-Tony Popovic isn’t good at Grand Finals.
-Le Fondre and Ninkovic are such a lethal threat.
-Perth haven’t ever won an A-League Grand Final and playing at home, they may well wilt under the pressure of their home fans as well as the occasion itself.
-Sydney will want to give retiring skipper Alex Brosque the send-off he deserves.
-Reddy while experienced, is also very un-predictable at times. And while he scored a penalty last weekend against Adelaide, it isn’t always exactly a good thing in his case.
-Sydney scored six last round against the 3rd placed Victory and also scored two goals and three goals against Shanghai SIPG retrospectively. This highlighting what they’re truly capable of when they are on their game and firing.
Betting tips: Pick Sydney FC to be victorious at $3.10 (Bet365)
Also pick both teams to score and find the back of the net at $1.66 (UniBet)
And choose the Sky Blues to score first at $2.10 (Bet365)
Finally pick the total goals bracket to be 4+ at $3.00 (TopBetta)