The following are previews with betting tips for Matchweek 1 of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
Friday, November 19
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
7:45 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
The reigning champions City face off against a defensively resilient Roar side, in a clash that will more than likely see whichever side blinks first lose. That is just how evenly matched these two clubs are. Factoring in that Melbourne’s last triumph against the opposition saw them land three strikes, the same number as what Brisbane bagged in their latest victory against City, only helps add to what is going to be one spicy encounter and one hell of a season opener.
For the hosts it’s impossible to ignore the impact of Socceroo Jamie Maclaren. The electric Striker bagged a sublime 25 goals last season from only 24 appearances. Every time he had the ball at his feet, the opposition cowered in fear. Whilst during his stay with the Roar he scored 40X through 53 games, so it’s safe to say that they’ll have multiple different game plans to prevent him from firing at AAMI Park.
As for the visitors, Jay O’Shea springs to mind as one of their focal attacking threats. He conjured up 74 shot assists last campaign as he became the lifeblood of a at times disjointed offensive scheme. The ex-Middlesbrough player has acclimatised to life in Australia extremely well since his arrival in 2019 and with his side aiming for a bear minimum Top Six finish again this season, you’d expect his game to reach new levels. Hopefully for Roar supporters it starts right here!
Melbourne should get the win here, if only just. They’re coming into this clash off the back of a commanding 3-0 FFA Cup victory over South Melbourne. It was also an affair in which they owned an astonishing 82% of the ball and landed six shots on target and 24 overall. They are too dominant and too strong to go down in their opening game as A-League Men Grand Final victors.
Also pick the hosts to open the scoring at $1.36 (Bet365)
Saturday, November 20
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
7:45 PM AEDT, CommBank Stadium
Sydney FC legend Alex Brosque is well-known with regards to his hatred for the Wanderers. While Brandon O’Neil’s freekick against them in a ‘Sky Blue’ rout many years ago will undoubtedly go down as one of the best Derby goals ever. On the flipside last season, Mitch Duke’s opening strike saw him rush over and celebrate in front of the Cove. Make no two guesses about it, these two teams despise each other! And come Saturday night, they’re going to add another chapter to their already incredibly colourful history against one another.
One man who knows a thing or two about this game and rivalries in general is the ever loveable (although not so much if you support Western Sydney) Bobô. Having plied his trade in Brazil, Turkey, and India, he knows all about the big games. Whilst he also has two goals from his last two matches vs the Wanderers. However, it wasn’t all that long ago at CommBank Stadium (formerly Bankwest) where he choked away the match equalling penalty kick in the 86th minute, sending it soaring into the stands instead. The Brazilian will be out for vengeance in this clash and as such he should prove to be a massive threat.
While it’s impossible to say who will claim all three-points here, I can say that it’s going to be a fiery game. During the last Derby, the Wanderers leaked 17 fouls, while Sydney was at 16 and three yellows. Prior to that, each club copped two yellows a piece. They simply don’t like each other! And in a game like this the atmosphere is intensified 1000X over. There is a strong possibility that someone could be red carded in this encounter and that may well decide the outcome of the game.
Also look for the ‘Sky Blues’ to open the scoring at $1.66 (Bet365)
Western United v Melbourne Victory
7:45 PM AEDT, GMHBA Stadium
Western United and Melbourne Victory. John Aloisi and Tony Popovic. 10th and 12th. There may not be much of a difference when it comes to both skills and ambitions between these two fierce Victorian enemies, but off the pitch it’s a whole different story. The ‘Green & Black’ still don’t have a home they can officially call their own, meanwhile for Melbourne, despite their humungous struggles of last season, they are still undoubtedly the biggest club in the region with the club having around 19100 member’s last campaign.
For Western United they are still trying to forge their identity, while the Victory are attempting to rebuild there’s. And it’s incredibly interesting to see how this game will play out, given Aloisi’s men have won three of the six overall games contested against Melbourne, however the latest that was played saw them battered to the tune of a 6-1 score line. The Victory scored sweet strikes in the 12th, 22nd, 33rd, 36th, 50th and 82nd minutes of the game to secure the thrashing, while shooting 10/19 on target + they had a shot hit the woodwork. Ironically, the losers also had 19 shots that game.
Will we witness a repeat ridiculous method of victory this time around? Or instead, another 95th minute winner? The answer to that question is that it’ll be a tightly much more tightly contested matchup then last time. The reality is that neither side has much over the other at the moment. And with both Alosi and Popovic still tryna figure some crucial stuff out, it might not be the most beautiful game of Football either. 10/10 would still watch though given the teams playing and the bona fide superstars involved such as Allesandro Diamanti and Chris Ikonimidis.
Betting tips: Pick both sides to find the back of the net at $1.50 (Bet365)
And pick there to be over 2.5 goals at $1.54 (Sportsbet)
Perth Glory v Adelaide United
10:05 PM AEDT, HBF Park
Daniel Sturridge helping to open the season at HBF Park sounds like an insane yet hopeful dream, doesn’t it? However, I can assure you it’s most definitely not. Whilst the brattish behaviour of one of the worlds most well-known Footballers certainly hasn’t portrayed him with a positive image to anybody, likewise his betting antics, there’s certainly no denying who he is and what he’s achieved in Europe. He banged in 67 goals across 160 appearances for the famous ‘Reds’ and has also won the UEFA Champions League twice. How long he plays for. Whether he starts or comes off the bench. However he performs, he’s in our competition now and it’s freaking brilliant!!!
Outside of him, Adelaide is still stuffed given the multiple, ominous attacking threats that the Glory possess. There’s also Bruno Foranroli, a renowned A-League Men goal-scorer, in addition to the ever looming and threatening Andy Keogh. One can’t also forget about Perth’s newest captain, Brandon O’Neill. During his most recent stint in Australia with Sydney, he won two Premierships, two Championships + an FFA Cup. Whilst he’s also a vastly more experienced player now as well, having represented both Buriram United and the Pohang Steelers. The returning homeboy is primed for a big five-star staging.
The ‘Reds’ age and inexperience certainly does them no favours. In addition, playing in front of what should be a massive crowd will no doubt not do the ‘stage fright’ much good. A comfortable Glory win is on the cards here, barring anything drastic going wrong.
Betting tips: Look out for an easy Glory triumph at $2.20 (Bet365, BlueBet)
Also choose Perth to score in both H1 & H2 at $3.25 (Sportsbet)
Sunday, November 21
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
4:05 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
An F3 Derby on a Sunday afternoon! What more could you ask for? You have the new look Newcastle Jets playing host to the now feared Mariners in what is gearing up to be a scintillatingly excellent clash. While what better way to help usher in the new season then with the likes of Arthur Papas and Nick Montgomery eagerly coaching/watching from the sidelines?
Both men are incredibly enthusiastic about their sides and the new coaches have a history that goes way, way back. Papas was previously an assistant at the Jets from 2011-12 as the club finished 7th, while he was also the head youth coach. As for Montgomery, he played 116 games for the Gosford-based side and was previously their assistant from 2018-21. I for one am extremely keen to see how these two legends fare in their first official A-League Men games in charge of Newcastle and the Central Coast, respectively.
One player that is worth keeping a close eye on is Jets Goalkeeper Jack Duncan. In his sides 2-1 FFA Cup Playoff loss to Western United last week, he let in the match winning goal by coming too far off his own line, then completely stuffing up his clearing kick. That led to an amazingly easy and incredibly open strike to the opposition side. He would’ve no doubt gone over that missed play extremely meticulously and will be aiming for a much better performance here. Given his potential as a rocks or diamonds Keeper, he could be the difference between a Jets defeat, or a Jets triumph.
Betting tips: Choose both sides to score at $1.62 (BlueBet)
While you can also pick ‘Newy’ to open the scoring at $1.72 (Bet365)
Macarthur FC v Wellington Phoenix
6:05 PM AEDT, Campbelltown Stadium
Ulises Dávila is referred to as a ‘snake’ by the loyal Wellington fanbase, however to all Macarthur supporters far and wide he is now widely regarded as their new saviour and somebody who can lead them to a maiden Championship as soon as this season. Having previously led the ‘Nix’ to an unexpected finals berth but having also missed a 90th minute spot kick in the penultimate regular season round this year, that if converted would’ve sent his side to the Finals, means that his departure to the ‘Bulls’ was met with lots more jeers and boos then applause.
The ex-Chelsea man turned Macarthur captain rang in 19 goals across 49 tries for Wellington and is bound to get a somewhat timid reception in this clash, despite playing at home. All eyes will be on him! He’s proved repeatedly that he can live up to the pressure, but this encounter brings a whole new definition to that word.
For the ‘Nix’ this game is all about getting a first up win on the board and starting their new COVID-complicated campaign off on the right foot. Being based in Wollongong for the foreseeable future certainly isn’t an ideal scenario for them, so etching out solid victories in Sydney will go a long way to ensuring they can have a successful season. This is a brilliant closing round clash!
Betting tips: Look for this clash to have over 2.5 goals at $1.83 (Sportsbet)
While you can also pick the ‘Bulls’ to be winning at HT or FT at $1.91 (Sportsbet)
Best Bets of the Round
Also look for the ‘Sky Blues’ to open the scoring at $1.66 (Bet365)