The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2019/20 A-League season.
Friday, January 24
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
5:15 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
The Nix got nixed
Last round Wellington were on the verge of history as they aimed to go a club-record 10th straight match undefeated. Brisbane had other ideas as a 69th minute Wenzel-Halls goal saw them claim a decisive and upset 1-0 victory. Wellington as a result are 4th on the ladder and just a win of 3rd. However, had they claimed all three points, they would’ve been equal 3rd and less than a win (2 points) of 2nd. They had the lions-share of the possession owning 57% of the ball. Not aiding them however was their horrific shooting, which saw them land a paltry 3/20 shots on target. They did have two shots hit the woodwork in a bit of bad luck for them. And they completed 89% of their passes, which was good for 551/619.
Newcastle again failed to fire in a big match as their recent woes, or all season long woes, continued in their disjointed 2-0 effort vs City last round. They are still 11th, they have just two wins from 13 games played this season and to top it all of, their GD is now -17. The next worst is the -11 Mariners. They conceded in just the 8th minute of the match and they allowed Jamie Maclaren to convert the 63rd minute spot-kick after a Topor-Stanley hand-ball in the penalty area. Despite owning 49% of the ball throughout the game, they shot just 4/14 on target. They also completed 79% of their passes, good for 390/496.
Wellington have won five of their past nine contested clashes against the Jets. The last game played between the two sides saw the Nix come out with an easy 4-1 victory. That day saw David Williams bag three (1st, 60th and 65th minutes) + one to Singh as well (73rd minute). O’Donovan was the sole goal-scorer for the Jets in the 62nd minute. Wellington had 44% possession and shot 7/20 on target. Newcastle owned 56% of the ball. Yet despite this, they shot an absolutely dismal 1/16 on target! The Nix completed 75% of their passes in that one and Newy 76%. Those were good for 236/315 and 289/381 respectively. The match before that one was a 1-1 draw. Vargas struck first in he 33rd minute and Williams responded in the 58th minute.
Betting tip: Pick the Nix to win at $1.91 (SportsBet)
Also pick them to score first at $1.62 (BetEasy)
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
7:30 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Still no victories for the Victory
Despite a new coach and everything to play for after the sacking of Kurz, the Victory still couldn’t find it in them to win, as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Adelaide in the Original A-League Derby. This was disappointingly Melbourne’s seventh defeat from 14 games played so far this campaign. As a result they are in 8th place behind the likes of Adelaide themselves and Brisbane. They are on just 15 points and they have a GD of -2. They conceded in the 32nd minute as they went just 4/11 on target. They did that while owning 48% of the ball throughout the game. They completed 79% of their passes, which was good for 294/372. This was Salvachua’s first game in charge of the Victory, as he will coach the side for the rest of the 2019/20 season. He was appointed in 2018, originally as Kevin Muscat’s assistant. The Spaniard was quoted as saying, “I know this club is an important team in Australia and always they play to win”. He might have lost his first game in charge of the prestigious club, but its safe to say he wants their rest of the season to be a good one.
O’Neil has departed and Redmayne’s signed on + some youth too, but its always the same winning feeling around the Sky Blue camp as their last match was a 2-1 win vs Newastle. Despite a Ugarkovic worldly, 1X goal to Le Fondre and 1X goal to Barbarouses saw Sydney get home in the end. They are currently in 1st place with an eight-point gap over 2nd place City + they have a game in hand. They are also 10 points ahead of the 3rd placed Glory. It was the Sky Blues 11th win from 13 games played this campaign. They had 49% possession and shot 3/4 on target. They had one of their shots blocked and they completed an outstanding 86% of their passes. That was good for 419/489. Sydney just haven’t taken a backward step at all this season as they continue, week after week, to send out danger signs to the rest of the competition. They got Victory next!
Two games ago between these two sides, Sydney slaughtered them 6-1 in a Semi Final of all games. Le Fondre (63rd and 68th minutes), Calver (3rd minute), Brosque (43rd minute), Ninkovic (88th minute) and a Broxham OG (47th minute) were all responsible for the Sky Blues goals. Toivonen got a late consolation strike for the Victory in the 91st minute of the match. And the latest edition of the Big Blue saw Sydney win 2-1 at home. Le Fondre (61st minute) and Barbarouses (68th minute), were good enough to outlast Toivonen’s 45th minute effort as the New Zealand international scored the winner vs his former side. Sydney have dominated this fixture as of late. They’ve won 10 of their past 13 matches against the Victory. And come Friday night, they’ll be aiming to make it 11/14!
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to be victorious at $2.40 (SportsBet)
Also pick the Sky Blues to score the games first goal at $1.86 (BetEasy)
Saturday, January 25
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
5:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Big Bad Bes haunts the little wittle Mariners
Berisha has a history of lighting up the Mariners and last Sunday was no different as he scored twice in Western United’s 3-0 dismantling of one of the A-League’s most inconsistent teams. His goals came in the 6th and 21st minutes of the game, as a Rowles OG was sandwiched in between the two (18th minute). The Central Coast couldn’t continue on from their historic victory against the Victory last season, as the 3-0 loss marked around two years now that the Mariners haven’t been able to claim back-to-back wins. It’s left them in 10th on the ladder with just 13 points, in what was their 8th loss of the year. Their GD also took a fair hit as it is now at -11. The Mariners had 55% possession, but shooting-wise they managed to go only 4/19 on target. This definitely hurt them against the opposition. They had four of their shots blocked, yet they completed an impressive 86% of their passes. That was good for 395/459.
Brisbane, unlike their opposition for this game, were all smiles come the full-time siren of their game last round as they claimed the unlikeliest of victories in their shock 1-0 win vs Wellington. They shattered the opposition’s club record run in the process and boosted their own season as well. That was their 4th win of the season and they sit now just two points outside of the Top Six. With 43% of the ball, they shot 4/15 on target. They also completed a great 86% of their passes. That was good for 405/472. And it was announced recently that both Brown and McDonald had signed for the club. Brown (released from the Victory) will give them a great boost in defence, something the Roar have struggled with all season long. McDonald will give them a capable scoring threat up front and if he can put his messy Western United tenure behind him, he could prove to be an astute signing for a finals aspiring Roar side.
The Roar have won 12 of their past 16 fixtures against the Mariners as the recent games contested between these two sides have been fairly one sided to say the least! Last time out it was easy pickings for Brisbane as O’Donovan in the 61st minute and Neville five minutes later secured them the 2-0 victory. With 52% of the ball, the Roar shot 6/15 on target. And with 48% of the ball, the Mariners went just 5/16 on target + they had a shot hit the woodwork. In the FFA Cup encounter before that, the Mariners won 4-2 on spot-kicks. Melling converted what proved to be the winner for the Central Coast in the penalty shoot-out. Their regular goals came via Simon and Silvera. The Roar’s regular strikes came from Inman and O’Donovan.
Betting tip: Pick Brisbane to win back-to-back games at $2.50 (SportsBet)
Also pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring one at $1.99 (BetEasy)
Melbourne City v Perth Glory
7:30 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Cunning City do it again
City claimed a relatively easy 2-0 win over the Jets last round. Noone scored his 3rd of the season in just the 8th minute of the match. Then in the 63rd minute Maclaren converted the spot-kick after a hand-ball in the penalty area, to bring his tally up to 13 for the season, equal 1st in the A-League. This was Melbourne’s 8th victory of the season from 14 matches played as they sit pretty in 2nd and two points clear of 3rd. And they are also five points clear of 4th. City are running and gunning this season and behind Sydney, are arguably the A-Leagues favorites for this season. With 51% of the ball they shot 8 of their 19 shots on target. They had 3 of their shots blocked. They also completed 77% of their passes, that was good for 401/520. Recently announced was their quite amazing signing of La Liga veteran Susaeta. “Achieve the success the group has set out at the start of the season”. He’s a talented singing, wants to win, is experienced and is marketable as hell. Kudos to City, he’ll be an AMAZING signing for them (as mentioned before).
Perth are currently 3rd and just two points of 2nd after their closely fought 1-0 victory over Western Sydney. A game that was the final nail in the coffin for today-sacked ex-Wanderers coach Babbel. Cough, cough, Popovic, that’s your former joint. Fornarolli scored his 8th of the season in just the 6th minute of the game. And that was the only goal for the duration of the match. Perth claimed all three points despite having just 38% possession of the ball. And they hsot only 2/9 on target. Although in all fairness to them, they kept the Red & Black to a much, much worse 2/22 on target. The Glory also completed 73% of their passes, which was good for 257/350.
Perth 3-0, 2-2, 0-0, Perth 1-0, Perth 2-1 and City 2-0. All of their recent games as you can see have been extremely tight. The 3-0 was closer than the score indicated as City had 62% possession and shot the ball 13 times. However, they lacked the finishing touch required to beat Perth as only 2 of their shots went on target. The Glory only had 38% of the ball and that was reflected adequately through their 3/10 shots on target. The goals came via Fornaroli against his ex-team (27th min), Delbridge OG (47th min) and finally via Mrcela (71st min). City completed 84% of their passes and the Glory 78% of theirs. They were good for 501/598 and 282/361 respectively. The 2-2 draw, which was the game before that, ended that way after a Macca double for Melbourne and goals to Chianese and Castro for Perth. City shot 2/3 on target that day and Perth, 4/11. City also had a shot bounce of the woodwork.
Betting tip: Pick the Glory to win at $3.00 (SportsBet)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.61 (Bet365)
Sunday, January 26
Western United v Adelaide United
6:00 PM AEDT, GMHBA Stadium Stadium
Finals bound in their first season?
Western United appear to be well on track to make the finals in their maiden season in the A-League after their 3-0 thrashing of cellar-boys, the Central Coast, last round. They are in 5th place on 20 points at the moment after the commanding win. They also sit just a point of 4th and just two wins of 2nd. Berisha scored a double in the 6th and 21st minutes of the game, while there was also a Rowles OG in the 18th minute. This game meant nothing to most casual fans, yet it meant everything to Western United who claimed just their 1st win in around a months time. They had 45% possession of the ball throughout the game and they shot a decent 6/11 on target. And they very, very unluckily had two shots hit the woodwork. And they completed 82% of their passes, which was good for 337/411. Prior to this their last W was against the Roar (2-0), on the 13th of December, 2019.
Adelaide allowed themselves two points breathing room within the Top Six after their tightly contested 1-0 victory over fellow finals aspirants the Victory last round. It was the Reds 6th win from 13 games this season and was a hugely needed one at that. Had the Victory bettered them last Friday, Adelaide wouldn’t be sitting in the Top Six here today. Halloran scored the games only goal in the 32nd minute.The Reds owned 52% of the ball, yet they managed to shoot a dismal 5/25 on target + they had a shot come of the woodwork. They had 11 of their shots blocked, YIKES! and they completed 80% of their passes. Which was good for 326/410.
Western United and Adelaide have never, ever, faced of against one another. That should mean this game is an absolute treat to watch and in the process history will be made/ a new rivalry will be born. Even if you follow another side, tuning into this match will do you no harm. One of the defining matches from Western’s campaign so far would have to be their comeback 3-2 win vs Victory. Down 2-0 after just the 7th minute, they looked down and out. But Diamanti, McDonald and then Bes with the winner against his former team proved to be all the difference in the world, as they at least temporarily, made themselves the Kings of Melbourne that day, For the Reds it would have to be their 4-0 FFA Cup win over City. They lifted the prestigious trophy yet again, as they showed City up and made them look like a bunch of school-kids. While neither side consistently displays that form, if they can do so this game, then it’ll be close, fierce and one that won’t be forgotten in a while! Bring on this crazy thing of a spectacle!
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the Glory to win at $3.00 (SportsBet)
Also pick both teams to score at $1.61 (Bet365)