The following are previews with betting tips for Matchweek 14 of the 2020/21 A-League season.
Friday, March 26
Melbourne City v Western Sydney
7:05 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
The battle up front between Jamie Maclaren and Mitch Duke in this clash is sure to be one to remember. Current Socceroo ‘Macca’ has 10 goals and 4 assists from only 10 games played this season. As for former A-League Championship winner Duke, he’s banged in 4 strikes from only 6 appearances this year. And as if that wasn’t enough, Maclaren has found the back of the net 6 times from his past 4 games played vs Western Sydney. And both players also scored 2X each in their sides latest wins. For City it was 3-0 over Macarthur at AAMI Park. As for the Wanderers, it was 3-0 over the Glory in Parramatta. These two players know how to entertain.
With City in 5th and the Wanderers 2nd, it’s guaranteed to be a good game, especially so with each side sitting on 6 wins for the campaign. And while the attack is set with both Maclaren and Duke in tow, look out particularly for the Wanderers defence in this affair as well. In 3 out of their last 7 games they’ve kept clean sheets, including 2 of the past 3. That’s been in no small part due to the gritty impact that Keanu Baccus has been having on matches this season. Leading the league with 3.5 tackles per game (45 in total), he’s been making himself felt physically on the opposition. He’ll be vital to ensuring that City don’t get as much easy ball in the Wanderers half then that of what they’d like.
Betting tips: Pick both teams to score at $1.57 (bet365)
Also pick Maclaren to find the back of the net at anytime at $1.68 (UniBet)
Saturday, March 27
Brisbane Roar v Western United
5:05 PM AEDT, Dolphin Stadium
Jay O’Shea had himself one hell of a game in his sides 1-1 draw against Wellington didn’t he? Playing in Newy as part of a double-header, the Republic of Ireland born Midfielder simply bossed against the opposition. He completed 89% of his attempted passes (79 in total) and also had 2 shot assists. He also won 2/2 tackles and 3/3 aerial duels, as well as his only take on attempt. He also won 6 duels. The former Sheffield United man has consistently turned up big for the Roar this season when they’ve needed him the most. And although W.U. might be struggling and a bit out of form at the moment, they offer threats on both sides of the field. So O’Shea’s responsibilities will become ten-fold in this one as he attempts to lead 7th placed Brisbane into the Top 6.
Analyzing Mark Rudan’s side, they’ve been in a poor slump lately. On the season they’ve won only 4/11 games and sit in 8th position. They’ve also lost 3 of their latest 4 games, going down 2-1 to MAC, 2-0 to SYD and 1-0 to WSW. Suffice to say they need to find a way to pick up all 3 points in this encounter! There’s a lot of players who need to pick up their act within the side, but one that stands out like a sore thumb is ex-Sydney FC Defender Aaron Calver. In his sides soaking wet defeat out West, he won just 1/3 duels. He also was 0/2 with his aerial winnings and made and won only a single tackle. His sole shot was also off-target. If he continues to play like that, he shouldn’t start. He’s one to keep an eye out on as he attempts to put in a rebound performance.
Betting tips: Pick both teams to score at least once each at $1.64 (UniBet)
Also pick Brisbane to score the games last goal at $1.66 (bet365)
Central Coast v Melbourne Victory
7:10 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
What more could you possibly say about the ladder leading Mariners latest efforts? Luke Bodnar of the Glory in the 86th minute pushed into the Central Coast’s back and after a VAR review it was a penalty. It was then the affectionately nick-named ‘Wizard of Woy Woy’ who stood up to the task and calmly slotted in the equalizer much to the delight of all those in attendance at Bluetongue Stadium. And there the game ended in a tight and tense 2-2 draw. When it comes to strikes, he’s equal 4th in the league this season with 6, the same number as burgeoning 21-year-old Alou Kuol. Both players also have 2X assists each. And looking at a Victory defence that have leaked 13 goals over just their last 3 games, this deadly combination of the Veteran and the Kid should tear them to absolute shreds!
Kusini Yengi is a name not known by many in the A-League, but it’s also one that gives Melbourne fans absolute nightmares. With the scores locked at 1-1 in the 2nd half, the young kid scored a nice goal and proceeded to celebrate in front of the Melbourne Victory faithful. As an Adelaide born and bred lad, that goal meant the world to both him and his beloved Adelaide side. This is where their season is at right now, a relatively unheard of 22-year-old is doing better then them. The end result was a shocking 3-1 home defeat. How do the Victory pick it up from here? It’s a question that gets asked most, if not all weeks now and is very, very difficult to answer. One things for sure though, this game will quickly become another nightmare for them if they don’t change it up and Grant Brebner doesn’t attempt to do things differently.
Betting tips: Pick the Mariners to be victorious at $1.95 (UniBet)
Also pick them to open the scoring at $1.57 (bet365)
Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
9:20 PM AEDT, HBF Park
The Glory last kept a clean-sheet in their Elimination Final win over Wellington last season. Prior to that, it was during a 1-0 win over the Mariners, way back on July 18th 2020. Liam Reddy and Tando Velaphi have been sharing the duties between the sticks this season, but the disrespect on Reddy’s name has to stop here. The 39-year-old is still a quality Keeper and still puts in great shifts for Perth. Not too mention he’s also played for 7 different A-League clubs and as one of the most experienced heads in the game, he doesn’t deserve to be playing for this ridiculous, joke of a Glory team. This campaign he’s made 10 total saves and is averaging 2.5 per match. And while his passing at 72% (total 79 passes) hasn’t been outstanding, his teammates have certainly done him no favors. With the form Newcastle are in, he should keep his first clean-sheet of the year and his teammates should get the dub and help edge them slightly closer to a finals berth. Well fingers crossed for them anyway.
Thrashed 4-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium to Adelaide last time out, there’s not a whole lot of positives that you can spin from their crushing defeat and one which has left them loose and shattered in 11th on the ladder. Compounding this is that Perth have won 16 of their previous 12 clashes contested against them. And it was only late last year at NIB Stadium where the Glory pummeled them to the tune of a 6-2 score-line. There they had goals in the 15th, 33rd, 46th. 58th, 70th and 83rd minutes of the one-sided match-up. The Glory love playing Newcastle, there’s no denying that! Craig Deans best prepare his side for an onslaught in this one.
Also pick Bruno Fornaroli to bag a goal at anytime at $2.08 (UniBet)
Sunday, March 28
Wellington Phoenix v Macarthur FC
4:05 PM AEDT, WIN Stadium
VAR has it’s many uses, one of them seems to be continuously screwing Wellington over, over and over again. This time the nasty call denied them what could’ve been a potential injury time winner after the ball touched a Brisbane players hand in the box. If I’m a Nix fan, I don’t know how you do it, it’s happened to them all season long and is having legitimately bad impacts on their results. They should only be 4 points off a Top 6 spot at the moment, but instead they are 6. This was all courtesy off their 1-1 draw with Brisbane as part of a double-header played in Newcastle. The week before in their 4-3 loss to WSW, Tomor Hemed was denied what would’ve been an amazing late equalizer. How they fare against the A-League’s newest side really comes down to the Officials. That is all.
For the Bulls, in 4th spot and just 2 points off a Top 2 spot, things are looking all bright and peachy for them at the moment. Former Athletic Bilbao Midfielder Benat Exetbarria has been a big part of that. He leads the competition in completed passes at 876 (good for 67.4 per match). The Spanish born Magician also has a goal and 29 shots assists this season. And when you look at the left-side of the Nix’s defence, featuring James McGarry and Liam McGing who are both only 22-years-old each, his experience and strong attacking abilities should exploit the pair of youngsters who are both position defensively on the left side of the field. He could well have a field day out here. But we’ll just have to wait and see.
Also pick the highest scoring half to be the 2nd at $1.95 (bet365)
Adelaide United v Sydney FC
6:10 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
When these two teams go head-to-head it’s always a good game. 6 of the last 7 matches played between them have been decided by a goal or less and when they last met it ended 1-1 at Homebush. Jordan Elsey opened the scoring 1st in the 13th minute, before Adam Le Fondre evened things up in the 39th. Before that it was a Paulo Retre double which saw the Sky Blues home 2-1 in Kogarah. They never fail to entertain these two sides! The Reds come into this affair having won 5 straight and Sydney 2 on the trot, so one team will be headed outta this one empty handed and dissapointed! And with the likes of Craig Goodwin and Milos Ninkovic on show, that just further adds to that entertainment factor that these lit up clashes always seem to posses.
For Adelaide, their latest game was a 4-1 dub over the hapless Jets in Newcastle. While for Sydney their Big Blue Derby against the Melbourne Victory was unfortunately washed out. However, one common factor both teams have is that their both pushing strongly for first at the moment. For Carl Veart’s side they are on 7 wins in 3rd place and just a win off being = 1st. As for Steve Corica’s side, they might be 7 points off the top, but they’re the back-to-back Champions and would no doubt have strong ideas on where they need to be ladder wise at this point in time. With both sides also playing some strong, attacking Football, despite being placed in the crappy time slot of a Sunday evening, it well has the potential to be match of the round.
Betting tips: Pick Sydney to be victorious at $2.12 (UniBet)
Also pick the Sky Blues to score last at $1.66 (bet365)
Best Bets of the Round
Pick Matt Simon to score anytime vs the Victory at $2.12 (UniBet)
While Rudy Gestede to score anytime in the same match at $3.20 (UniBet) is also a high rewarding pick