The following are previews with betting tips for Round 20 of the 2019/20 A-League season.
Friday, February 21
Wellington Phoenix v Western United
5:15 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium
Last RD- Wellington currently reside in 5th spot with 27 points and 8 wins to their name. As things currently stand, they’re just 3 points of 2nd placed City, with a game in hand over them. And they are two wins inside the Top Six, something that will be crucial as the regular season draws closer and closer to a close. Ball scored the only goal of the game in the 58th minute of their match vs City last round, his 4th of the campaign and one that resulted in a tight 1-0 win to the Nix at Eden Park. And it was a much-needed one at that, given their recent form headed into that encounter against Melbourne. And a big, healthy crowd turned out to watch them be victorious in style as well. They owned 56% possession of the ball and shot an impressive 4 of attempted 6 shots on target throughout the game. They also completed a strong 83% of their passes, which was good for 455/550.
As for Western United, they slumped into 7th spot after their 1-0 loss to Brisbane last round. They are now 4 points out of a finals spot and 8 points of a Top 3 spot. After an impressive run of form, things look to be turning quite sour and quite quickly for Western United. Currently they are just on 21 points and have only 6 victories to their name for the season. Their latest defeat at Mars Stadium saw them conceded the games only goal in the 61st minute. Despite owning 60% of the ball throughout the game, they somehow managed to go 0/5 on target throughout. They did however complete a very good 89% of their passes. That was something that was good for 616/693. Their last two matches prior to this one was a 0-0 draw vs Newcastle and a 4-3 loss to Adelaide, proving that they do have good form within them, if they can discover it before the Top 6 is officially settled and finalized.
Past History- In the history of these two sides games against one another, W.U. won the inaugural one, 1-0 in NZ and the Nix won the other and the latest clash between the two sides, 3-1 at Mars Stadium in late December, last year. That 3-1 win saw all of Ball (41st min), McCowatt (55th min) and Davila (80th min), find the back of the net for the Nix. Diamanti scored a late 89th minute consolation goal. Wellington owned 45% of the ball and shot 6/14 on target. They also completed 82% of their passes, which was good for 315/385. For United, they owned 55% of the ball, but only shot 3/18 on target! They had a shot hit the woodwork and they completed 88% of their passes, good for 402/456. In the other 1-0 affair, Berisha scored the games only goal in the 34th minute. United shot 6/16 on target that game and the nix, only 1/14!
Key Player/ Key Stat- David Ball has 4 goal assists so far this season. That ranks him equal 3rd in the A-League, ahead of Victory star Andrew Nabbout and own teammate, Gary Hooper.
Betting tip: Pick the Nix to win at $1.64 (BetEasy)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Adelaide United
7:30 PM AEDT, Bankwest Stadium
Last RD- It took just 5 minutes for Duke to score his 7th goal of the season to put him ahead of the likes of O’Donovan, Barbarouses and Duric. But a late conceded 74th minute goal saw the Wanderers draw 1-1 against the freshly inspired Jets last round. This was a result that has left them in 8th on the table. It was their 3rd draw of the season, as they currently sit a big 7 points of 6th position/ the final finals spot. They have just 5 victories from 16 games played so far this campaign. In the exciting home draw, Western Sydney owned 44% of the ball. They shot 7/17 on target, while having a shot hit the woodwork. They also completed 74% of their passes, which was good for 295/399. The Wanderers form has been patchy so far at best this season. They lack the impetus to really take games on by the scruff of their neck. And that lack of a killer instinct could mean that they miss the A-League finals for yet another consecutive season.
Toure, take a bow! Most 15 year olds work at McDonalds or shelf-stacking as a first time job. But for this uniquely talented 15 year old, he breaks records and scores goals. Last round in Adelaide’s 2-0 win over the Mariners, he became the youngest ever player to score an A-League goal. What a guy!!! The 15 year old found the back of the net in the 84th minute in his sides commanding win. While his teammate Blackwood, got a stunning effort into the back of the net in the 82nd minute. The result leaves Adelaide in 4th spot currently on 27 points. They have 9 wins for the season, and are just a win of 2nd place. Adelaide are quietly making some noise around and in the A-League. They owned 44% of the ball and shot 5/12 on target. They also completed 74% of their passes, which was good for 256/344.
Past History- The past five games between Western Sydney and Adelaide have seen two wins and a draw each, to either side. When they last went to battle at Hindmarsh, the Red & Black came away with a close 3-2 win. For the home-side Toure scored in the 19th minute and Blackwood in the 94th. While he also missed (Blackwood) a spot-kick in the 99th minute of added on time, that would’ve given Adelaide an incredible share of the spoils. Western Sydney’s goals came twice via Muller in the 11th and 59th minutes + Adam in the 77th minute. Western Sydney owned 43% of the ball, as they shot 6/13 on target. They also completed 70% of their passes, good for 215/307. For the Reds, they had 57% possession of the ball, as they shot 7/16 on target. They also completed 76% of their passes, good for 310/408. The previous affair before that one, the Red & Black also won 3-1 at Hindmarsh. Riera, Bonevacia and Majok all scored for the Wanderers. Kitto scored for Adelaide, whilst Goodwin missed a 17th minute spot-kick that would’ve made the score 1-all.
Key Player/ Key Stat- Mitch Duke has registered 25 shot assists so far this campaign. Yet he has 0 actual assists on his stats sheet. His team-mates lack of goal-scoring talents and abilities, is severely hindering his ability to show of his full arsenal of attack as a player.
Betting tip: Pick the Reds to win at $3.20 (SportsBet)
Also pick them to score first at $2.10 (Bet365)
Saturday, February 22
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
5:00 PM AEDT, Dolphin Stadium
Last RD- Brisbane are currently in 6th spot and are just 5 points (less then 2 wins of 2nd place). They are on 25 points and now have 7 wins for the season. This all comes/came about as a result of their closely contested 1-0 win over W.U. last round, away from home at Mars Stadium. They beat the struggling side courtesy of a 61st minute Muratovic goal. With 40% of the ball, they still somehow managed to shoot an impressive 7/13 on target. They additionally completed 83% of their passes, which was good for 373/451. And now head coach, former Liverpool player Robbie Fowler, isn’t setting any limits on what his side can potentially achieve in this competition. “I think what we can guarantee is we’ll put in performances like that where we’ll work our socks of every single week”.
As for Perth, their last game came in Round 18 when they beat the Nix 4-2 in a thrilling contest at NIB Stadium. The Glory conceded goals in the 68th and 76th minutes of the match. But got four of their own through D’Agostino (46th and 54th mins), Mrcela (43rd min) and Fornaroli (90th min). That high-scoring affair means that they are currently 3rd on the ladder. On 29 points, they are 2 ahead of 4th placed Adelaide. And they are just 1 of 2nd placed City. The Top 2 is well within play for Tony Popovic’s men here. On the season they have 8 wins from 16 games + they have 2 games in hand over City! Against Wellington they had 45% possession of the ball during the game and shot 7//21 on target. They also completed 84% of their passes. Something that was good for 391/463.
Past History- Perth have beaten Brisbane in five of their past eight clashes against them. The latest game however was a 1-1 draw back in October of last year at NIB Stadium. Ikonimidis sored in the 34th minute for the Glory. Before O’Donovan scored the late equalizer in the 95th minute of the game. The home-side owned 45% of the ball + they shot 2/6 on target. For Brisbane, they owned 55% of it and shot an even worse 2/11 on target. Perth completed 80% of their passes, good for 360/451 and Brisbane 83% of theirs. Good for 457/549. Before that, Perth smashed em 4-0. They owned 61% of the ball and shot 10/27 shots on target. Their goals came via Keogh twice (35th and 48th mins), Davidson (19th min) and Castro (54th min). And before that one, it was a 4-2 Perth victory. which saw Bowles receive a red card and Taggart miss a spot-kick attempt (but still score twice).
Key Player/ Key Stat- Jay O’Shea ranks 3rd in the A-League, with 7.1 crosses per game and 121 in total. The man has some strong passing abilities to find his teammates in good areas inside and around the box area.
Betting tip: Pick both teams to score at $1.59 (BetEasy)
Also pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring one at $2.02 (BetEasy)
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
7:30 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
Last RD- Newcastle are no longer on the bottom of the ladder after their 1-1 draw with Western Sydney last round. In the very closely contested game, they managed to hold out and in the process they jumped the struggling Mariners into 10th spot, in what was new head coach Robinson’s first official one in charge of the struggling club. Through 17 games they have 3 wins, 5 draw and 9 defeats. They are on 14 points, one ahead of the Central Coast. They conceded in the 5th minute via a Mitch Duke goal. But 69 minutes later they were on the score-sheet and had a point, after Millar scored courtesy of an O’Donovan assist and a right-footed shot. They owned 56% of the ball during the game and shot a very good 8/20 on target + they had a shot come of the woodwork. They also completed a strong 83% of their passes. That was something that was good for 410/493.
The Victory had the bye last round. And it was more then likely probably a good thing, given that they are languishing in 9th spot and are 9 points out of the Top 6. They have just 4 wins from 17 games so far this season + they have 9 defeats next to their name. They did however play recently in the ACL, where they came away with a good 1-0 win over Chiangrai United at AAMI Park. They scored through Toivonen in the 25th minute. I mean who else??? While the opposition had Banhan sent of in the 89th minute for violent conduct. The Victory owned 56% of the ball + they shot 3/11 on target + they had a shot hit the woodwork. They also completed 79% of their passes, which was good for 366/462.
Past History- The Victory have beaten the Jets in 10 of their past 18 games played against them. However, they’re always seemingly a mixed bag when the play the A-Leagues 2nd worst side. The last clash however on the 5th of January at AAMI Park of this year, saw the Victory thrash them 4-0. Kruse (9th min), Basha (61st min), Nabbout (64th min) and Millar OG (86th min), were all responsible for the Victory’s drubbing. A game that lost Ernie Merrick his job. The Victory had 47% possession of the ball and shot 7/19 on target. They also completed 84% of their passes, which was good for 404/482. Newcastle shot just 4/9 on target, with 53% of the ball. They also completed 84% of their passes, which was good for 463/550. Before that, the Victory were eliminated 3-2 by the Jets in the latest edition of the FFA Cup. Despite Nabbout scoring twice against his former side, Langlois scored the 133th minute ET winner for the Jets. Their other strikes came via Koutroumbis and Petratos.
Key Player/ Key Stat- Ola Toivonen ranks 6th in goals scored this season with 9 to his name. That has come from 17 on-target shots. I highly believe that he would start in any side in the A-League, including Sydney. And that he would do some serious damage in some of Asia’s top leagues, including the J-League and in China.
Betting tip: Pick the Victory to win at $3.10 (SportsBet)
Also pick them to score the games first goal at $2.14 (BetEasy)
Sunday, February 23
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
6:00 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Last RD- Courtesy of Newcastle’s draw and their 2-0 loss to Adelaide last round, the Mariners are back in last place. They have only 4 wins from 17 games and 12 losses to their name. They also have the = worst GD in the A-League at -17. They conceded goals in the 82nd and 84th minutes of the game. And only they, the Mariners, could let a 15 year old put one past them, as Toure of Adelaide, became the youngest ever player to find the back of the net in A-League history. The Central Coast owned 56% possession of the ball throughout the match, but shot a poor 5/23 on target. They also had a shot hit the woodwork. And they completed 79% of their passes, which was good for 343/434. Charlesworth needs to open up the purse strings a bit. Otherwise they’ll always be a mediocre team. As the old saying goes, you need to spend money to make money!
Last round FC had a bye and before that their game was rained of. So their last match was on the 31st of JAN, a game which they won 1-0 and controversially against Brisbane. The only goal of the game came via a 57th minute Le Fondre goal. Also during the game, Sydney had a penalty blown for them, looked at by VAR, then probably rightfully dismissed, in another notable moment from this other-wise pretty boring affair. Neville also saw red in the 55th minute for a handball, which resulted in Le Fondre’s eventual converted spot-kick. Sydney owned 53% of the ball and shot 7/13 on target. Outside of that, they completed 53% of their passes, which was good for 541/609.
Past History- Sydney have a dominant history against the Mariners. They’ve won 12 of the past 16 games in which they’ve competed against them. And they’ll be looking to make it 13/17. The last match played saw Sydney win 1-0 at home via 5th minute Barbarouses goal. Sydney owned 56% of the ball and shot just 2/8 on target. They also completed a strong 86% of their passes, good for 544/630. For the Mariners, they had 44% possession of the ball throughout the game and shot 3/11 on target. They completed a very good as well 85% of their passes. Something which was good for 407/481. Before that it was a 1-1 draw at Leichhardt Oval. O’Neil scored in the 36th minute for the away-side and Le Fondre in the 76th for the home-one. Sydney shot 8/22 on target + they had a shot bounce of the woodwork. They did that with 68% of the ball. The Central Coast owned 32% of it and shot 3/5 on target. This was a hugely courageous effort from the Mariners given the circumstances of the game they were playing in!.
Key Player/ Key Stat- Barbarouses and Baujohann both have 5 assists so far this season. That ranks equal 2nd in the A-League and they have both been massive parts of Sydney’s crazily-good attack so far this campaign.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $1.55 (BetEasy)
Also pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring one at $1.98 (BetEasy)
Best Bet of the Round
Brisbane Roar vs Perth Glory
Pick both teams to score at $1.59 (BetEasy)
Also pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring one at $2.02 (BetEasy)