The following are previews with betting tips for Matchweek 18 of the 2020/21 A-League season.
Thursday, April 22
Western United v Wellington Phoenix
7:05 PM AEST, UTAS Stadium
It was only just over a week ago that these two ‘rivals’ clashed heads in Wollongong. There the Phoenix came away with a hard-fought 3-2 victory. After a stressful VAR review it was Wellington who could celebrate in the 90th minute after what was a well-deserved Waine winner. And previously they had produced a magic 8-minute period where they found the back of the net through Davila (46th min) and Sotirio (53rd min). Berisha also got on the score-sheet for the opposing side (32nd min) as did Guarrotxena (56th min). And with the Nix attempting 20 shots and W.U. 12, it sure was an attacking-filled clash. Can W.U. reverse the result and get all three points here or will the Nix edge just a lil bit closer to a finals berth?
Looking at current form 8th placed W.U. are in a great spot currently. On 23 points they are just two of the 6th placed Wanderers. Yet they still have three more games to play then them. While for the Nix, in 9th spot, they’re just a win and draw off 6th position. And with W.U. coming off a 1-0 win over the Mariners and Wellington a 3-1 win over Perth, with both matches being played away from home, this game has had the perfect buildup to it. And with Diamanti having registered seven assists this season and Davilla seven strikes, the battle of the Playmakers gives you just one more reason to witness this exciting clash.
Betting tip: Pick Wellington to win at $3.00 (Bet365)
Also pick them to score first at $2.10 (Bet365)
And pick both teams to get on the score-sheet at $1.53 (Bet365)
Friday, April 23
Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney
7:05 PM AEST, Marvel Stadium
When these two clubs last met it was the Wanderers who came away with a comfortable and relatively easy-going 2-0 win in Parramatta. Their first goal came via Dorrans in the 72nd minute and then 16 minutes later it was Yeboah who ecstatically sealed the result. However it was a time a dogged and rough match as Western Sydney saw just 3 of their 13 shots land on target. While for Melbourne for them that number was only 3/9. Both sides were also a little bit loose fouls-wise as well. The Wanderers leaked 10 throughout the clash and the Victory were at 14. Whilst prior to this affair, first at Bankwest, then at Marvel Stadium, both matches have been 2-1 victories to the Wanderers. Can the Victory turnaround history in order to rewrite it or will the Wanderers take a step closer to safety (i.e. securing a Top Six position)?
Brebner was sacked in the wake of his sides disgusting 7-0 Derby loss to Melbourne City. While for the Wanderers their latest outing proved to be a disappointing 2-1 defeat to the Roar. With both losses occurring at home, each side has a fair bit of motivation to turn around their lackluster results in this affair. For Melbourne a win would move them off the bottom of the ladder. While for Western Sydney a win would massively boost them finals aspiration wise. And with the two sides this season having just a combined 9 wins from 34 games played, at least you know that someone can walk away from this clash fairly satisfied and happy. Who that is is still to be decided.
And also pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring one at $1.95 (Bet365)
Saturday, April 24
Central Coast v Sydney FC
5:05 PM AEST, Central Coast Stadium
Sydney FC have won an incredible 13 of the past 18 clashes that’ve been contested between these two sides. However, that history was simply shattered when these two teams last went at it in Kogarah. There the Mariners came away with a simply commanding 2-0 win. First a Warland OG in the 53rd minute got things underway, then when Kuol scored in the 74th minute things were over. The Mariners beating the back-to-back Champions was absolutely huge for them and sent a stern message to the A-League that they meant/mean business this season. And having won 47 duels, as well as 13 aerial ones, they showed that they weren’t afraid to get physical either. Will the Central Coast do it again, albeit this time in front of their home fans, or will Sydney spoil the party?
The Mariners are 2nd on 30 points, while Sydney are 4th on 27 points. The Mariners are coming off a 1-0 defeat at UTAS Stadium, while Sydney blew a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Adelaide at Jubilee Stadium. Both sides are top dogs on their day and will be disappointed with how their previous matchweek results played out. But at home in front of what should be a fairly packed and raucous Central Coast crowd, the Mariners have a much, much better chance to win this game then Sydney do. And with Germany-bound Kuol (7 goals from 17 games), going up against Bobo (6 goals from 12 games), the Striker battle just adds to the overall flare and excitement of this no-doubt hotly contested match-up.
Betting tip: Pick both sides to score at least once each at $1.57 (Bet365)
Also pick Bobo to score anytime at $2.00 (Bet365)
And pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring one at $1.95 (Bet365)
Macarthur FC v Melbourne City
7:10 PM AEST, Campbelltown Stadium
One is a club that just came into the A-League, while the other has been here a long time. However, both are searching for success. And both seem to be well on track to achieve it this season. It was all hard times though at AAMI Park for the Bulls when these teams last played each other. They went down 3-0 courtesy of a Maclaren masterclass. He scored in the 23rd and 25th minutes of the match. That while Noone bagged one 10 minutes after ‘Maccas’ second. City also shot 4/17 on target as they owned 50% possession of the ball. Not to mention they also completed a fairly strong 84% of their passes. That being something that was good for 416/497. And they also won 51 duels and 17 aerial ones. Will the Bulls run in with their horns here or will City put in another 5-star performance?
The Bulls are coming off a 2-2 draw with the Jets out West. As for City, in Melbourne, they turned on the motors, this as they destroyed the Victory 7-0 going one better then their previous 6-0 Derby win. Nabbout opened the scoring with a long-range screamer in just the 11th minute. While Luna closed the scoring in the 87th minute. And in-between all of that Malcaren scored a record-equaling five goals. That’s something that’s not been seen since the heyday of Thompson against Adelaide in the GF waaaaay back. They shot 10 on target of 23 attempted shots overall, whilst owning a dominating 64% possession of the ball. City is HOT and ‘Macca’ is HOT. The Bulls should be good here, but Melbourne should be SIGNIFICANTLY, SIGNIFICANTLY better.
Betting tip: Pick City to win at $1.81 (Unibet)
And also pick Maclaren to score at anytime at $1.66 (Bet365)
Sunday, April 25
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
2:05 PM AEST, Dolphin Stadium
Perth have won 4 of the previous 6 contested games between these two sides. One specifically memorable encounter that comes to mind was played on January the 6th, 2019, in Brisbane. There Perth came away with a high-scoring and highly-entertaining 4-2 victory. The home sides goals came through Taggart in the 22nd and 40th minutes. While Perth’s goals came via Kilkeny in the 59th minute and then through an electric spell via Kilkenny again in the 81st minute, a Reardon OG four minutes later and Keogh two minutes after that. Then after all that Taggart hit the bar with his 91st minute spot-kick attempt. He could’ve had a hat-trick of goals for the losing side which is an insane thought. Perth also shot 9/20 on target. Will Brisbane come out with something different here or will Perth display the same sort of attacking ruthlessness here that they did in that past encounter?
Brisbane are 7th and Perth 10th at the moment. For Brisbane they’re only two points of the 6th placed Wanderers, but they have two games in hand over them. For Perth they are two games behind but are only placed on 18 points. So for them this match is an absolute must win if they want to be in the finals come the end of the season. This is where the likes of Keogh, Fornaroli and Ikonimidis really need to step up for their team. In their sides 3-1 loss to Wellington at NIB Stadium not that long ago, Keogh shot 0/3 on target, Fornaroli had just two shots in total and Ikonimidis went 1/3 on target. For Brisbane they escaped Bankwest Stadium with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Wanderers. Perth’s desperation helps them get over the line here ….. just.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to win at $3.60 (Bet365)
Also pick them to score first at $2.37 (Bet365)
And pick Fornaroli to score at anytime at $2.25 (Bet365)
Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
4:10 PM AEST, WIN Stadium
When these two teams last met the A-League was being played in front of some empty venues and that was unfortunately the case at Bankwest Stadium as Opseth scored first for Adelaide in the 60th minute. And Sotirio pegged it back for the Nix just five minutes later. It was an amazing spectacle of Football as Wellington shot 4/17 on target and had a shot come off the woodwork, while Adelaide went 3/13 on target. The Nix also completed 87% of their passes and Adelaide were at 86%. They were good for 433/495 and 366/426 respectively. Now with the Nix only four points off the Top Six and Adelaide a point off 1st position, this match has more meaning then ever. Will it be Wellington who claim what could well be a season defining win here or will Adelaide shine through in their pursuit of top spot?
Looking at the Phoenix, Forward David Ball has been nothing short of phenomenal this season for his side. He has 4 goals and 24 shot assists through 15 appearances. The Whitefield born 31-year-old and former Manchester City junior has also completed 81% of his passes this season. That’s been good for 279 in total. And the ex Rotherham United man has also won 59 duels in total. He is great attacking-wise and also great from a physical standpoint. Coming up against Goodwin, the player who has 5 goals and 5 assists this season will be no easy task. The ex Sparta player has also completed 82% of his passes this season. Good for 283 in total. This battle will heavily define the attacking flow of the match and who will walk away as winners and who won’t.
Betting tip: Pick Wellington to win at $2.55 (Unibet)
Also pick them to get on the score-sheet first at $1.90 (Bet365)
Tuesday, April 27
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
7:35 PM AEST, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
On November 17th, 2019, at Jubilee Stadium, these two teams battled right to the death as Sydney came away with a tightly fought 2-1 victory. That clash saw Toivonen open the scoring in the 45th minute. then after that it was Le Fondre who equalized in the 61st minute and then seven later Barbarouses scored what proved to be the winner. I talk about this clash and not others because this was the last close clash between these two teams. Since then Sydney have gone on to beat the Victory 3-0, 4-1 and 3-0. And I have a strong suspicion that this match will be closer then that of what many supporters expect it to be. It’s a Big Blue Derby so anything can happen. Will it be Sydney who claim the dub here, or will the Victory respond to the sacking of Brebner in style with a hard-fought three points claimed?
Barbarouses recently celebrated his 250th A-League match. And in two stints for the Melbourne Victory he bagged 17 goals from 17 games and 25 from 53. While for his country of birth New Zealand he’s scored on four occasions for them. And doesn’t he love playing against his ex-teammates and former side? He’s scored a goal each time over his last four appearances vs them playing for Sydney. And with the utter poor state that the Victory currently find themselves in, there’s nothing tangible to suggest that it won’t change for this match. The man who also once featured for Panathinaikos is primed for another big game here and Sky Blues fans would love nothing more then to see him taunt his former side once again.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at odds of $1.89, score first at odds of $1.39 and for the 2nd half to be the highest scoring at odds of $2.01 or more when they become available.
Wednesday, April 28
Central Coast v Brisbane Roar
7:05 PM AEST, Central Coast Stadium
When these two sides met mid last year in Brisbane it was only a 47th minute McDonald effort that separated the two sides. Besides that everything else was relatively close. Brisbane had 55% of the ball and shot 5/16 on target. The Central Coast owned 45% of it and shot 4/11 on target. The Roar also completed 85% of their passes and the Mariners 81% of theirs. Those were good for 479/566 and 376/466 respectively. Whilst the home side gave up 14 fouls and the away 10. Linking back to McDonald, he was a beast in that clash. He also came up with three shot assists and completed 83% of his passes (49 in total). He also won seven duels and two aerial ones. At home can the Mariners edge this one out, or will the Roar come to play with their season in the balance?
Going back a few chapters throughout these teams to history, prior to the Roar’s 1-0 win, they had won 3 of their last 4 vs the Mariners, or including that previously mentioned match, 4 of 5. And in all three of their last games vs them, they’ve kept them to zero each time, while the Roar’s four goals have all been via different players. And despite their loss, the Central Coast are displaying some excellent form currently, having won 9 of 17 games overall this campaign. So it’ll take another mighty herculean effort for the Roar to claim all three points here. Expect Brisbane to display a team-effort that’s worked for them for so long against the Mariners, but for the Central Coast to ever so slightly prevail here.
Betting tip: Pick the Mariners to win at odds of $1.76 and for both teams to score at odds of $1.49 or more when they become available.
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the 2nd half to be the highest scoring between Western United and Wellington at $1.95 (Bet365)
Also pick Davila to score anytime during that clash at $2.23 (Unibet)
And also pick Western Sydney to open the scoring vs the Victory at $1.57 (Bet365)