The following are previews with betting tips for Round 14 of the 2019/20 A-League season.
Friday, January 10
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
7:30 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
Last RD- The Jets conceded goals in the 9th, 61st, 64th and 86th minutes of their damaging 4-0 defeat to the Victory last round. The heavy loss has cosigned them to dead-last position on the A-League ladder (11th) on just nine points, with an also A-League worse GD of -14. But more importantly, what came was post the damaging defeat, Ernie Merrick is no longer with Newcastle. The Jets decided to part way with him after the four-goal defeat. During his time with the Jets, Merrick led Newcastle to their first GF appearance in more then 10 years, despite working with very limited financial resources. While they currently search for their new coach, both Craig Deans and Qiang Li will be there for the interim. All the best to Merrick, whatever his future may hold. And there are some suggestions that the Victory may want him back in the event that they sack their own under-performing coach, Marco Kurz. Who knows?
Sydney are still 1st and three wins clear of 2nd and 13 points clear of 3rd after their closely fought 2-1 win over Adelaide last round. Newly signed on Sky Blue Paulo Retre scored a double in the 20th and 26th minutes of the game to help lead his side to yet another win. Despite only having 44% possession, Sydney shot 10/20 on target + they had a shot hit the woodwork. They also completed 82% of their passes, good for 316/386. Retre’s extension is for a further two years, on top of his current contract. The former City player is an integral part of Sydney’s squad and throughout his two year tenure with the Sky Blues, he’s won all three major domestic trophies on offer and has proved to be quite a versatile player. So all the more credit to him because of it.
Past History- The past five scores between these two sides have been, 4-1 to SYD, 2-0 to NEW, 1-0 to SYD, 1-1 and 2-1 to NEW. These two sides evidently have had a mixed bag of results over that period of time and with Newcastle desperate to play hard for the now-departed Merrick and with absolutely nothing to lose, there’s a slight chance of an upset on the cards. In the 4-1 win, Ninkovic, Le Fondre and Barbarouses all got on the score-sheet. There was also a Koutroumbis OG, while Millar produced the Jets only goal of the game. The possession was at 60% for the winners and 40% for the losers. SYD shot 6/17 on target and NEW went 4/9. The 2-0 win (the match before the 4-1), saw Kantarovski (41st min) and Petratos (11 mins later) score for the Jets. Their win came despite Sydney going an impressive 10/23 on target.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $2.00 (SportsBet)
Also pick Le Fondre to score at any time at $1.88 (BetEasy)
Saturday, January 11
Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers
2:45 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Last RD- Gary Hooper in the 13th minute and David Ball 16 minutes later helped lead their resurgent Wellington side to a tight and tense 2-1 victory over the Mariners last round. A slight shock and scare was sent through the Nix camp when a DeVere OG in the 46th minute brought the margin back to a goal, but it didn’t matter, as they held on for their 5th win of the season and moved up to 4th spot impressively in the process. With 52% of the ball, they shot 6/14 on target. They also completed 82% of their passes, good for 416/509. Of the field, Olyroos player Brandon Wilson has signed on to try and rejuvenate his career with the Phoenix. He was previously serving an international ban for unprofessional conduct. He played just one match for the Glory this season before his contract was terminated last week. Last week all of Taylor, Rufer, Sotirio and Payne all got contract extensions as well, as the Nix look to build for next season and beyond.
Western Sydney sit in 8th with six losses from 12 games after their awful 2-1 defeat to Brisbane last round. This was a game that was a shoulda, coulda, woulda, as a win would’ve strengthened the Wanderers case for a finals berth. But instead playing at home on a holiday, they couldn’t get past one of the worst sides in the A-League. Duke scored in the 5th minute with what is his 5th goal of the season, but that’s about all the positives WSW could take from that one. Despite having 52% possession, they shot a horrific 3/18 on target! They also had a shot hit the woodwork. And they completed 82% of their passes, which was good for 399/489.
Past History- Wellington have won the past three consecutive clashes contested between these two sides. The scores have been, 2-1, 3-1 and 3-2. In the 2-1 win, both Sotirio and Davila got on the score-sheet. In the 3-1 win, all of Krishna, Mandi and Williams got on the score-sheet. In the 3-2 win, Krishna scored a double, while Fenton aso bagged one. The 2-1 win saw WEL own 49% of the ball and go 5/14 on target. The 3-1 win saw WEL own 50% of the ball and go just 3/11 on target. And finally, in the 3-2 win, they had 43% possession, as they went a nice 6/14 on target + they had a shot hit the woodwork. In the 93rd minute of the 3-1 win, Krishna was given his marching orders as he received a 2nd yellow card for the match. And in the closely fought 3-2 victory, Krishna’s 2nd goal was a late, late 89th minute winner. The Wanderers have a fair bit of history to turn around if they want to win this one.
Betting tip: Pick Wellington to win at $2.10 (SportsBet)
Also pick them to score first at $1.74 (BetEasy)
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
5:00 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium
Last RD- Posting their third win of the season and only a win out of the Top Six, things seem to be going a bit better for Brisbane after their surprise, closely fought 2-1 victory over Brisbane last round. Neville (20th minute) and Inman (61st minute) both scored for the Roar in the much needed win. With 48% possession they shot 5/12 on target. And they completed 78% of their passes, good for 360/481. Of the field, McDonald, the ex Socceroo and current Western United player has been linked to Brisbane as they attempt to fix their goal-scoring woes. Supposedly un-happy with his playing time and opportunities available to him at the club, McDonald is said to be currently looking elsewhere for a new home, Brisbane rumored to be among them. Rudan, the current United coach has also come out and publicly said, he doesn’t want anyone at the club who doesn’t want to be there. Juicy indeed!
For City, they posted a hectic and crazy 3-2 win over Western United last round in the Melbourne Derby. Maclaren scored a double in the 5th and 44th minutes of the game in what were his 11th and 12th goals of the season. Luna also scored in the 36th minute. City had an easy 3-0 lead. Nothing could go wrong from there right? WRONG! Firstly Berisha converted the spot-kick in the 75th minute which brought the margin back by a goal. Three minutes later Delbridge was sent of with a red card and Diamanti converted the next penalty. Thankfully for the 2nd placed side they held on from there with what was their 7th win of the season from only 12 matches played. With 54% of the ball, they shot 6/21 on target + they had a shot hit the woodwork. They also completed a strong 86% of their passes. Those were good for 462/536. City needed this win, good on them for holding strong in the end, especially so with them being a man down.
Past History- City have been fairly dominant against the Roar in the past, as they have won six of their past nine clashes that they’ve contested against them. However, the last one saw the Roar win 4-3 in what was a truly crazy affair. For the losers, Maclaren bagged three as he scored in the 6th, 29th and 51st minutes of the game. For the winners, O’Donovan scored three as he found the back of the net in the 50th, 64th and 83rd minutes as he scored the late winner. Amadi-Holloway also scored for Brisbane in the 60th minute. The possession was split evenly at 50% each. Brisbane shot 6/11 on target + they very unluckily had two shots bounce of the woodwork. And City went 9/22 on target. Here’s to hoping for more of that in this clash. Brisbane and Melbourne, it’s over to you!
Betting tip: Pick City to be victorious at $2.37 (SportsBet)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.50 (Bet365)
Perth Glory v Adelaide United
7:30 PM AEDT, HBF Park
Last RD- Perth had a bye last round, so their last game was in RD12. On a NYE clash they posted a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Mariners. Castro (46th min), Chianese (48th min) and Fornaroli (62nd min) all got on the score-sheet. That was Castro’s 4th, Chianese’s 2nd and Fornaroli’s 6th goal/s of the season respectively as they all caused some real damage to the Central Coast’s fragile defence. With 42% possession of the ball, they shot 6/13 on target. They also completed 78% of their passes, good for 292/372. Perth are now 3rd and only four points of 2nd. They’ve also played a game less than City as well. Tony Popovic recently sent out a warning to the rest of the A-League, claiming that his side still has plenty left to give this season. Per Popovic, “We’re not a finished article”. He also stated that the Glory may look to sign one or two players in January should the right player and opportunity arise to do so. “We’re always actively looking, searching, but if there’s a chance to bring anyone in we want it to be a player that can make a difference and help the squad in this period we’ve got coming up”. Keep your eyes open Perth fans, keep your eyes open.
Adelaide are now 6th on 15 points, the same number as 7th, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat away from home to Sydney last round. Conceding goals in the 20th and 26th minutes, it wasn’t exactly a perfect 1st half for Adelaide. But just 12 minutes after Sydney’s 2nd goal, McGree scored with his left-foot to the high-center of the box after an assist from James Troisi. This was his 7th goal of the season from only eight matches played. Pretty impressive eh. With 56% possession of the ball, the Reds shot 5/20 on target. They also had a shot hit the woodwork and they completed 85% of their passes. That was good for 404/477. Verbeek laughably labeled Sydney beatable post-match. Adelaide have lost both their games to Sydney this season by a one-goal margin. On both occasions the Reds came close, but not close enough. And with his side struggling to hold onto a finals spot, his comments seemed a little ill-timed. They best be hoping they can beat Perth this round, otherwise they may be out of a finals spot.
Past History- The Glory have won six of their past 10 clashes against the Reds. And with a spot on the line for last seasons Grand Final, they produced one of the best A-League games ever! Castro scored a double in regular-time for Perth. Diawara scored in the 81st minute for Adelaide to give them the slightest hope possible, although there wasn’t a lot of time left on the clock. No worries for the Reds, Kitto proceeded to score in the 94th minute in the absolutely hectic affair. Neville then scored in ET in the 104th minute, to give Perth a 3-2 lead. 11 Minutes later, Marrone scored to send this thing into a penalty-shootout. Each side were absolutely clutch with their spot-kicks. However, a Konstandopoulos miss and a Chianese make saw Perth advance after eight straight previously make kicks.This was truly a special game to behold. If we get anything close to that level of play in this one, we’re in for a treat.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to be victorious at $1.91 (SportsBet)
Also pick Fornaroli to score any time at $1.86 (BetEasy)
Sunday, January 12
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory
6:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Last RD- They fought and boy oh boy didn’t they fight hard. But in the end it was to no avail as the Mariners suffered yet another defeat en route to their away from home 2-1 defeat to Wellington. It was proven to be their 7th loss of the season. They currently sit in 10th place with the 2nd worst GD in the entire A-League of -9. They are also five whole points of 6th spot. OUCH! Their sole goal vs the Nix came via a DeVere OG in the 46th minute of the match. The Mariners owned 48% of the ball and shot just 3/14 on target. However, very, very un-luckily, they had two shots hit the woodwork. OUCH AGAIN! They also completed 78% of their passes, which was good for 355/453. They won 55 duels and 13 aerial duels. Outside of that, they gave away a high 17 fouls + two yellows.
Kruse, Basha, Nabbout against his old-side and a Millar OG saw the Victory thrash the Jets 4-0 last round. And they did it without Toivonen, making the commanding win all the more impressive. + As previously touched on earlier in the article, former Victory coach and ex-Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick was sacked because of it!!! The Victory had 47% of the ball throughout the match and shot 7/19 on target. They also completed a very, very solid 84% of their passes, which was good for 405/483. They won 60 duels and 15 aerial duels. As they beat the Jets by six and lost by one in those two respective departments. They also gave away only 10 fouls and crazily saw not a single card, neither a yellow or a red throughout the entirety of the game.
Past History- 14 Of the past 17 clashes played between these two sides have been won by the Victory. The Mariners are powerless when it comes to the might of Melbourne. The Central Coast’s kryptonite is literally the Victory. Chief among these games was in the 18th of March, 2018, when the Victory thrashed them 5-2 at AAMI Park. Pain scored a double for the losing side that day. For the winners however, Berisha found the back of the net three times, George had one, as did Theoharous. And the most recent match between the two, also in Melbourne, saw the Victory prevail 2-1. Simon scored for the Mariners in the 53rd minute. Toivonen in the 21st minute and Niedermeier in the 79th scored for the Victory. The Victory had 64% possession, shot 4/13 on target and completed 85% of their passes. That was good for 525/618. The Mariners had 36% of the ball and went just 2/6 on target. They also completed 74% of their passes, which was good for 249/336.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $2.05 (Bet365)
Also pick Nabbout to score any time at $2.18 (BetEasy)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Melbourne to win at $2.05 (Bet365)
Also pick Nabbout to score any time at $2.18 (BetEasy)