The following are previews with betting tips for the elimination finals of the 2020/21 A-League season.
The A-League finals are here and there are two extremely big matches to be played to start us off with. First off, this Saturday it’s the Mariners hosting the Bulls at Bluetongue Stadium in what should be an incredible display of defensive acumen. The Central Coast have kept three clean sheets over their last five games, whilst for Macarthur over that same span they’ve kept the opposition to just a single goal four times. Then on Sunday at Moreton Daily Stadium it’s the Roar up against the Reds. The last time Brisbane faced off against Adelaide on their home-turf they came away with a crushing 3-1 victory. The opposition will no doubt be seeking some commanding revenge in this encounter. It’s now do-or-die Football. Win or plan your end of season holidays. This is the A-League!
Saturday, June 12
Central Coast v Macarthur FC
7:05 PM AEST, Central Coast Stadium
How they each reached this stage of the competition:
Over the last five campaigns the Mariners have been downright awful, finishing 10th on three separate occasions, as well as 11th once. But now, well now they are nothing short of a wonderful success story as they finished 3rd in the regular season and were just seven points off top spot. Thanks to Alen Stajcic the former Matildas turned Mariners head coach has absolutely changed around the fortunes of this once embattled club. He’s displayed a fearlessness when it comes to bringing on youth players and has even helped sturdy A-League veterans such as Matt Simon reach new levels. If his side were to claim this elimination game then it would be due reward for all the hard work he’s put into the club.
As for the Bulls they head into this clash on a much different note. They are the competitions newest franchise and have excelled in what has so far been an excellent first campaign for the Sydney-based side. And all that success has been in no small part due to the contributions of former Olympiakos player Matt Derbyshire and Mark Milligan, a 2X A-League Championship winner. For Derbyshire he’s brought in the bang to their attack with 14 strikes this season, good for second highest on the goal-scorers list. As for Milligan he’s been massive time and time again. Some of his noteworthy stats include having won 101 (58%) of all his duels this season and also having completed 24 tackles on the year (65%). With Milligan having recently announced that this will be his final campaign as a professional Footballer his side should be more motivated then ever to send him off as a deserved winner.
Their ferocious history this season:
Literally just two games ago these two sides faced off at Campbelltown Stadium and it was there that the Mariners came away with a decisive 2-1 victory. It might have been Susaeta (17th min) that opened the scoring that day for the home-side, but away goals to Clisby (31st min) and De Silva (55th min) sealed the result for the Central Coast. And having shot 6/13 on target, as well as having won 62 duels to 51 it was a well-deserved win for them as well! Whilst Macarthur’s first ever home game was also against the Mariners, there they again claimed all three points, this time winning 2-0. De Silva again in the 35th min scored with what was a fine right-footed shot from the former Sydney loanee. History shows us that the Mariners aren’t afraid to take their chances in these games so a lot will be on Macarthur to counter them, especially in front of what should be a packed-out crowd for the Mariners first final in six years.
The final verdict:
As talked about before the Mariners as of late have had a pretty shoddy history to say the least and as a result this home final will heap a bunch of unwanted pressure on Stajcic’s side that they may not be able to properly cope with. Just as an example they recently lost 2-0 to the Jets at home in what was a big F3 Derby matchup. A win here would’ve massively helped the Mariners cause for the rights to host a finals match prior to their final game of the season, but they choked under the pressure and it appeared they couldn’t handle it. So the question that begs to differ is how will they fare with an atmosphere 100X more intense than that and with so much more on the line? The answer, well probably not pretty well, sorry Central Coast fans.
Taking a look at the side that went down 2-0 to their rivals, starting was Josh Nisbet who is just 21 years of age. Also with him in the Midfield was Daniel Bouman who is 23 and Gianni Stensness, 22. While the Defence also included Kye Rowles, 22 years old and Daniel Hall who was born in 1999 and is just 21. That’s also excluding the bench. These kids as good as they’ve been all season aren’t experienced enough for this sort of arena. As such the Bulls with all the classy veterans and experience they boast should come away with a tightly contested victory in what will no doubt be a simply enthralling encounter to witness.
-Also pick them to start off hot by scoring the games opening goal at $2.25 (Sportsbet)
-That doesn’t mean the Mariners can’t get in on the action though, also pick both teams to score at $1.66 (Bet365)
-And pick the second-half to be the more high-scoring and entertaining one at $2.00 (Sportsbet)
Sunday, June 13
Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
3:05 PM AEST, Dolphin Stadium
How they each reached this stage of the competition:
Robbie Fowler. Remember that name Brisbane fans? Despite him eventually leaving the club to return to England during the height of COVID, he’s a key man who helped start all of this success for the Roar. He started his tenure off in the best possible fashion as his side claimed a shock away 2-0 win over Sydney FC in the FFA Cup. And although he fizzled out post then, what Fowler had created allowed new manager Warren Moon to continue on with the former Liverpool mans plans. And it’s worked 1000 times over brilliantly! They finished 4th overall this season winning 11 and drawing seven of their 26 played matches to end the regular season with a bang. And now with a crafty attack and the ever-reliant Jamie Young in goals they’re attempting to go one better than their first-round elimination loss to Western United of last season. Hosting the clash at home at least helps take them one small part of the way there.
For Adelaide they were the Phoenix Suns equivalent of the A-League hub as they ended last season just a single point behind the 6th placed Perth Glory (37 vs 36) in something that gave them a lot of hope headed into this campaign. They ended last season with a toughly fought 2-all draw against eventual Grand Finalists Melbourne City. And that game has been somewhat indicative of their current campaign, good enough to ‘hack’ it, but not quite good enough to win it. They just like the Roar, also won 11/26 games this season, but finished with a GD of -2, further highlighting their relatively well-known inconsistencies. However, they still have Craig Goodwin leading the charge and with him in tow anything is possible for the Reds. The former Heart and Jets player has been on a tear this season scoring eight goals and providing five assists from just 18 games played. If that’s not enough to convince you that the Reds have some hope in this one then maybe the fact that he also has 55 shot assists will! The 5X Socceroos representative has been big for Adelaide all season long and will have to again be so here for them to be within a chance of taking this one out.
Their ferocious history this season:
The intro talked about Brisbane’s 3-1 victory this campaign so that should be a good starting point for right here. That electric clash saw Wenzel-Halls flex on Adelaide’s young brigade with a fine double. He found the back of the net in the 37th and 78th mins of the match. While O’Shea scored in-between those two goals with one of his own in the 45th min. And Adelaide’s sole scorer was Kostandopoulos with a consolation strike in the 82nd min. The Roar shot a particularly good 7/18 on target in that one. And going from RD6 to RD21 Adelaide came away from Hindmarsh Stadium with a 1-0 result. All that separated the two sides on that occasion was a first-half Goodwin effort, that was literally it! These two sides hate each other and that’s been on show in both of those occasions, as well as during multiple matches in the past as well. Neither side wants this to be their final match of the season whilst both are amongst the A-Leagues more storied and successful franchises. These encounters show us that it’ll either come down to what Brisbane can produce offensively or what Adelaide can produce defensively. There’s no other two ways about it!
The final verdict:
Dolphin Stadium might traditionally be used as a Rugby League ground but come Sunday it will be ALL and nothing BUT Football there! Prior to the Roar’s 2-0 defeat to Sydney at home in which they re-jigged their side a bit for rest purposes, they came out on top 2-1 vs Perth. Prior to that it was 3-0 vs City. And with a draw before that it was 2-1 vs Western United. They simply love playing at the more boutique, but also more intimidating venue when compared to their old home of Suncorp Stadium. And on the season overall they lost just three of their 13 games played there. And they also additionally leaked just 12 goals there, the second-best least concession home rate in the entire A-League. Playing at home will give Roar fans a lot of hope that they can claim yet another win here. How are Adelaide going to come up with the goods in front of a sea of orange? It will be an exceedingly difficult task, that’s for sure!
However, giving Adelaide some hope and showing them that it’s not all gloom and doom in this one is the fact that Brisbane scored zero goals against Sydney last round despite taking 31 shots! That while Sydney scored two despite having just four shots on target throughout the match. No side ever won a game with stats like Brisbane’s so it highlights that the Roar do have some problems when it comes to finishing off solid attacking plays. Even if Adelaide don’t get given many chances in this one, if they can play to their strengths when needed they might just come away with a better then anticipated result. Overall though Brisbane should just be too strong for Adelaide on this occasion. It’s been a roller coaster ride for the Reds this season, but regrettably for them this is where the ride comes to a grinding halt.
-They’ve also scored the games opening goal in three of their last five games and you can expect them to do it again here at $1.72 (Bet365)
-However, Adelaide have also scored at least 1+ goals in 17 of their previous 19 games, so you can also pick both sides to score here at $1.66 (Bet365)
-And for your final pick choose both half’s to have at least 1+ goals produced in them at $1.64 (UniBet)
Best Bets of the Round
-If anyone is going to score outside of Derbyshire for the Bulls then it’ll be Markel Susaeta as he’s got five for the campaign and hopefully he gets on the score-sheet here at $4.00 vs the Mariners (Bet365)
-And in Brisbane’s battle vs Adelaide pick Jay O’Shea to feature with a strike anytime throughout the match at $3.40 (Bet365)
-Also choose each encounter to have over 2.5 goals scored within it at $1.76 and $1.79 (Sportsbet)