The following are previews with betting tips for Matchweek 4 of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
Wednesday, December 8
Melbourne City v Perth Glory
7:45 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Can Melbourne regain the form that saw them claim last season’s Championship/Premiership double, or will Perth’s scorching hot form continue?
Round 3 of the A-League Men competition saw City go down 1-0 to fellow ‘Victorian’ rivals Western United. The shock defeat was far from anticipated, as ultimately Melbourne’s shooting let them down, as they attempted a massive 21 shots to the oppositions six, whilst they also owned a commanding 65% possession of the ball. Whilst for the Glory, also competing at AAMI Park, their matchup saw them prevail 3-0 over the Victory, a performance which was buoyed by a red card on the stroke of halftime to Rai Marchan. While it was Antonee Burke-Gilroy who opened the scoring in the 66th minute with a superb curler from outside the box, then Ciaran Bramwell doubled the lead just eight-minutes later and yet another Bruno Foranroli screamer sealed the deal not long from fulltime.
Key Player – It’s hard to go past Jamie ‘Macca’ Maclaren. He has only one goal throughout three games so far and has only registered five shots on target, compared to 12 off. Playing against a traditionally vulnerable Glory side should present him with the chance to add one or two more strikes to this season’s waning tally.
The pressure on City to go back-to-back this year is simply phenomenal and they were most pundits/fans picks to win this season with relative ease as well. However, so far, it’s not really going to plan for the Manchester City owned club as their attack has really struggled to read off one another at various points throughout their first three matchups. Perth meanwhile have played four games all up, with three away from home, meaning the travel might finally catch up to them here.
Betting tips: Pick City to prevail at $1.38 (Unibet)
Also pick them to score last at $1.25 (bet365)
While you can also pick Jamie Maclaren to score anytime at $1.54 (Unibet)
Friday, December 10
Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
7:45 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
Can Valentino Yuel lead the Jets to the promised land, or are Wellington poised for a mini revival?
Newcastle have drawn two of their first three games this campaign, while the ‘Nix’ have both a win and a shared result to their name. Both sides are performing far above the expectations placed on them this year, whilst both will also be greatly confident of claiming all three points from McDonald Jones Stadium. The Jets last encounter saw them come back mightily against the ‘Sky Blues’ as a second-half Yuel double saw them erase a 2-0 deficit, to fashion a 2-2 stalemate. His scintillating second strike coming as he smashed the ball into the top left corner, while he also battered Ryan Grant around all night long. As for Wellington, with a bit more luck they may have claimed something from their 2-0 defeat to Western Sydney in Wollongong, as they shot 3/14 on target and also saw four of their shots blocked.
Key Player – YUEL! YUEL! And more Yuel! The man who once scored eight goals across 12 NPL Victoria matches is now setting Australia’s national competition alight, bagging a double last weekend against a usually defensively resolute Sydney FC side. His speed and unpredictability should make him a real threat in this encounter.
The last H2H between these two teams saw Wellington prevail in Newcastle 2-0, despite taking just five shots to the hosts 18. Now fast forward to today and the Jets have an attack featuring the previously mentioned Yuel, Beka Mikeltadze – a Georgian international player and Olivier Boumal – a Cameroon international. Meaning??? This game is going to be a hell of a lot of fun, regardless of what the end outcome is.
Betting tips: Choosing both sides to score is a great bet at $1.57 (bet365)
As is choosing for there to be at least 1+ goal in each half
Saturday, December 11
Western United v Brisbane Roar
5:05 PM AEDT, GMHBA Stadium
Will Dylan Wenzel-Halls rev the motors against his former employers, or do Brisbane still have some tricks up their sleeve?
The ‘Green & Black’ saw new signing Wenzel-Halls bag yet another goal for the Truganina-based franchise at AAMI Park, after his right-footed shot made the back of the net bulge with ease, courtesy of the exquisite through ball from Alessandro Diamanti. This was their second win from three attempts so far, as John Aloisi’s men look to be quite potent. Meanwhile the Roar stuttered to a disappointing nil-all draw against Adelaide at Dolphin Stadium. This follows up their previous 3-0 humiliation to the Victory, as well as their 2-1 opening round loss to City, with Warren Moon’s side now having claimed just a solitary point from their past seven games dating back to last season.
Key Player – Wenzel-Halls, who else but the 23-year-old Striker? Not only has he scored twice in the opening three games of Western United’s new campaign this year, but he’s also completed 23 accurate passes, good for a strong 85% accuracy rate. He’s incredibly nifty and swift with the ball at his feet, while playing against his former side should only inspire him to reach a whole different level.
Only adding to the further excitement or perhaps regret if you’re a Brisbane fan surrounding this clash, is Jamie Young, another former Roar player versing his ex-employers for the first time since his departure. The veteran shot stopper played 144 games for the Roar and well kept them in games they had no right being in. He deserves a round of applause from the travelling Roar contingent, that’s for sure.
Betting tips: Back the ‘Green & Black’ to triumph at $2.33 (Unibet)
Also back them to score over 1.5 goals at $2.10 (bet365)
And both teams to score at $1.61 (bet365)
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
7:45 PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Is it time for more Kusini Yengi passion, or can the Victory claim a tough win at an even tougher venue?
In a rivalry stemming from the A-League Men original years, these two sides absolutely despise each other. If you think they don’t, then think again! It was only last year when Yengi scored a goal against the Victory in Melbourne and ran over to celebrate in front of their active support. Or for those who have been embedded in Australian Football for many seasons will remember the now infamous confrontation between John Kosmina and Kevin Muscat, or when these two rivals competed in the 2007 and 2009 Grand Finals against one other. Bragging rights are on the line and neither team will take a step back in Adelaide! It’s game on right here!
Key Player – With no Javi Lopez in defence, thanks to the ex-Espanyol man sustaining a red card last time out, the emphasis will be on Joshua Cavallo more then ever to perform out of his skin to help make up for the absence of his veteran teammate. So far this campaign the youngster has triumphed in 21/44 duels, 6/9 tackles and 6/13 takeons. Numbers that while are good, can certainly be improved upon, hence why he’s been picked here.
Yengi, an impressive youngster who’s already been mentioned was surprisingly not all that last round in Brisbane as he fashioned zero shots on target and two off. For a player that produced four fine strikes last season, his performance against the Roar simply wasn’t good enough by most metrics. And he’ll simply have to do better here given the ample attacking threats that the Victory boast, otherwise the ‘Reds’ may be in for a difficult encounter in this one.
Betting tips: Pick the Victory to claim a victory against ADL at $3.30 (Unibet)
While you can also look for them to keep a clean sheet at $4.33 (bet365)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Macarthur FC
7:45 PM AEDT, CommBank Stadium
Wanderers vs Bulls, real passion, and a real rivalry, who you got?
Macarthur have been accused of stealing the Wanderers fans and vice versa. While when they last played it was a battle for the ages at Campbelltown Stadium as they fought their way to a 2-all stalemate, much to any neutrals delight. Aleksander Jovanovic/Aleksander Sunsjar and Graham Dorrans/Simon Cox were the four different goal scorers that day in the 18th, 58th, 52nd and 71st minutes, respectively. The ‘Bulls’ also conjured up 12 shots, while Western Sydney had 18, not to mention there was also a combined 15 fouls committed throughout the encounter. The hatred is very real and very full on in the latest edition of this newly created Sydney Derby.
Key Player – Bernie Ibini has seemingly turned over a new leaf at the Wanderers this season as he’s playing some scintillating attacking Football. Two rounds ago against the Jets he scored a sensational volley that even had opposition fans salivating. He also looks strong and confident on the ball, while he has the speed to match. He might cause a defensively coherent ‘Bulls’ side some very real problems here.
Who’ll take control of the early proceedings? Which player will turn up in the ‘clutch’ moments of the game? Will any fights or ‘fire’ be involved? All of these things matter in a monumental game such as this one. And we’re about to witness another ‘scenic’ encounter in these two franchises fabled history against one another. Whether it’s Ibini, Craig Noone, or perhaps another supremely talented player, the scene is set for another Derby classic!
Betting tips: Back both sides to find the back of the net in Western Sydney at $1.61 (bet365)
Also back Lachlan Rose to score anytime at $4.00 (bet365)
Whilst there should also be at least a goal in each half, if not more, at $1.65
Sunday, December 12
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
4:05 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Which team wants it more, the pesky Mariners or struggling ‘Sky Blues’?
The Mariners appear to currently be a shell of the team that took the A-League Men competition by storm last season, while things over in the East side of Sydney are about 100X worse than what the Central Coast are experiencing. Ryan Grant was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, Adam Le Fondre was perhaps unfairly denied the winner vs Newcastle and many, many ‘Sky Blues’ supporters think Steve ‘Bimbi’ Corica’s time is up, despite his stature as a club legend and also despite what he has already achieved over recent seasons. Both teams will be desperate for all three points, but at least they can be desperate at a beautiful, boutique stadium overlooking the water (insert winking emoji here).
Key Player – Matt Simon. The former ‘Sky Blue’ won 2X Premierships, 1X Championship and 1X FFA Cup during his trophy-laden three season stint at the club. However, a lot has changed since then and he’s been as vibrant, but also as annoying as ever representing the Gosford-based Mariners. Expect him to get under the skin of a lot of Sydney players in this clash, doing what he does best and maybe with a goal to boot as well.
The chances of the Mariners winning here are high, as they’ll be on their home turf and ready to perform in front of their devoted fans. Not to mention they can take a lot more positives from their last round defeat then that of what Sydney can. A triumph for the Central Coast will spell a lot of GLOOM and a lot of DOOM for the Sky Blues!!!
Betting tips: Look for Sydney to score vs the Central Coast at $1.22 (bet365)
Also pick H2 to be the highest scoring one at $2.00 (bet365)
Best Bets of the Round
Western United in the head-to-head at $2.33 (Unibet)
Western United to score over 1.5 goals at $2.10 (bet365)
Western United v Brisbane Roar: both teams to score at $1.61 (bet365)