The following are previews with betting tips for Matchweek 6 of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
Sunday, December 26
Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
5:05 PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle Ladder Position – 6th and 1W, 2D & 2L
Western Sydney Ladder Position – 8th and 1W, 2D & 2L
Newcastle choked big time in their latest affair away to Macarthur. Despite the opposition seeing GK Filip Kurto sent off for a reckless challenge just 18-minutes in, in addition to the Jets having attempted 21 shots in total, as well as having owned 74% possession of the ball, they went down embarrassingly 2-1 to the A-League Men leaders. As for Western Sydney, they suffered their third straight loss in a row in all competitions, as the Central Coast beat them 2-0 in Gosford. This despite the Wanderers shooting more shots 15-13 and completing more passes and at a higher accuracy 510 at 90%-290 at 79% then that of Nick Montgomery’s men.
When these two sides last met back in RD2 of the current A-League Men campaign, we were treated to a really special game as both Western Sydney and Newcastle were extremely flamboyant in what was a thrillingly entertaining 2-2 draw at CommBank Stadium. This as all of Bernie Ibini (42nd min), Tomer-Hemed (49th min), Beka Mikeltadze (19th min) and Olivier Boumal (52nd min) featured on the scoresheet. And while the visitors were potent in attack with 5/14 shots on target, the Wanderers were even more so going 6/31. Whilst prior to that it was also a draw at the formerly renamed Bankwest Stadium. That as Ibini again showed out against his former side with a strike + 86% of his passes accurately completed. While it was Roy O’Donovan who conjured up the 81st minute equaliser. Make no mistake, these two sides always put on a show when the others in town. And we should see exactly that right here in another great game of Football.
Betting tips: Look for both teams to score at $1.58 (Picklebet)
While you can also pick the second half to be the highest scoring one at $1.95 (bet365)
Melbourne Victory v Western United
7:45 PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Melbourne Ladder Position – 3rd and 3W, 1D & 1L
Western Ladder Position – 2nd and 4W & 1L
Playing out a fierce battle at AAMI Park, the Victory came to an eventual tough stalemate with City to the tune of a 2-2 scoreline. It was Italian Francesco Margiotta who opened the scoring in just the 12th minute for the Victory courtesy of a sublime right-footed attempt from the centre of the box. While their next strike came via an 81st minute effort from Australia U-23 International Nick D’Agostino as he amazingly locked up the scores once again. While the heat of the battle showed when opposition Striker Jamie Maclaren saw red in the 96th minute of the match for a poor foul. Meanwhile for the ‘Green & Black’ they flew pretty in their tight 1-0 win over Adelaide, also contested in Melbourne. With the games sole strike coming from Connor Pain in the 44th minute, as John Aloisi’s men impressively made the back of the net bulge with what was their only shot on target throughout the duration of the match.
Another day another Derby as the newly created saying goes! You have the rejuvenated Tony Popovic-led Victory on one side and then on the other you have another famous Australian Footballing name in the form of Aloisi leading the cavalry. Whilst only adding further spice to this already high-degrees encounter is the undeniable fact that Western United have come a long, long way since their 1-0 loss to the Victory not that long ago. And now they are in fact placed in 2nd ahead of Melbourne because of it. Not to mention there’s also the allure of former Mariner turned United member Connor Pain, given he scored last round and has two on the season, in addition to his 3/3 tackles won so far. He is now classified as unpredictable, but the good kind. So who knows what he’ll be able to offer in this high-stakes affair.
Betting tips: Pick the ‘Green & Black’ to edge this Derby out at $3.50 (Sportsbet)
While picking both teams to find the back of the net appears to be a strong pick at $1.66 (Picklebet)
Macarthur FC v Sydney FC
7:45 PM AEDT, Campbelltown Stadium
Macarthur Ladder Position – 1st and 4W & 1D
Sydney Ladder Position – 7th and 1W, 2D & 2L
It wasn’t always pretty at times, see Filip Kurto’s 18th minute red card or Beka Mikeltadze’s stunning free kick (35th minute) for reference, but in the end Macarthur stunningly won out 2-1 in what was their first home game of the new season at Campbelltown Stadium. With James Meredith’s 84th minute winner sending the Bullpen and all ‘Bulls’ supporters into raptures, with his strong header seeking refuge in the back of the net. Meanwhile for the ‘Sky Blues’ they won out against Wellington, 2-1 in Kogarah. It wasn’t the prettiest of games at times and you can argue Sydney should’ve won by a lot more, but in the end it was an important one, as it represents Steve Corcia’s men’s first win of the campaign. They saw their goals come through both of Elvis Kamsoba and ‘Alfie’ Le Fondre in the 19th and 57th minutes respectively. While right at the end Milos Ninkovic made the post rattle with a real vigor.
It does not matter if the ‘Bulls’ are a new club or if Sydney appear to be in a slump, make no two guesses about it, these two sides despise each other with a passion. It wasn’t all that long ago that Macarthur were trying to make Milos Ninkovic their inaugural marquee player, but instead they poached the now-injured Ulises Davila from the ‘Nix’. While the cow-bells go off relentlessly whenever Sydney travel to play them. The Cove are also certainly no fans of the opposition either. That’s to be expected given both sides hail from different sides of Sydney. And it may well be the loyal Ninkovic who proves to be the difference here. Last time out against Wellington, he completed 16 accurate passes, won 3/6 duels, 2/2 tackles and gave up no fouls, all done as a sub. So whether he’s starting or off the bench in this one, look for him to be a real difference maker for the visitors.
Betting tips: Pick Sydney to score last at $1.80 (bet365)
Also back both teams to make the back of the net bulge at $1.67 (Sportsbet)
Monday, December 27
Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix
4:05 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast Ladder Position – 4th and 3W & 2L
Wellington Ladder Position – 10th and 1W, 1D & 3L
It’s incredibly tough to dispute how well the Mariners played at Bluetongue Stadium last round, as they displayed some real class and poise in beating the ‘Red & Black’ 2-0. Whilst in one of the most touching moments of the game, Oliver Bozanic scored in his 100th appearance for the Gosford-based club, a truly special highlight for the player who played a lot in England before returning to his original club. As for Wellington, try as they might, Sydney proved to difficult of an opponent for them in their 2-1 loss at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium. However, it was made interesting in the games dying stages as a Ben Waine strike made it a one-goal deficit with seven-minutes of regular time + stoppage (six-minutes) left in the match, The Phoenix not doing too badly shooting-wise either, as they landed 4/13 on target.
When these two sides last went H2H, it was the Phoenix who prevailed with a tight 2-1 win back in RD2 in Woolongong. With the unlikely winner sourced in the 63rd minute through Jaushua Sotirio, with David Ball’s assist paying the greatest possible comments to Sotirio’s dangerous right-foot. It was an unexpected win and regrettably Wellington’s only one of the season to date. Given how impressive the Mariners have been this season, it’s reasonable to expect that Ufuk Talay’s men can potentially break down the opposition in a way that other A-League Men sides simply cannot. Because simply put, whatever the game plan was back then, it paid massive dividends. There is the very real distinct possibility of a Phoenix win here and if they do it, don’t be surprised!
Betting tips: Look for the Phoenix to shockingly prevail at $3.10 (Sportsbet) and they’ve already done it once before!
Also pick the game to produce over 2.5 goals at $1.75 (Sportsbet)
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
6:45 PM AEDT, Moreton Daily Stadium
Brisbane Ladder Position – 12th and 1D & 3L
Melbourne Ladder Position – 5th and 2W, 2D & 1L
The Roar were due to face the Glory last round, but unfortunately COVID scuppered those plans. So they haven’t featured since their December 11 match against Western United around two weeks ago. Meanwhile for Melbourne, their latest outing was a harshly fought 2-2 Derby draw against the Victory inside of AAMI Park. Their goals were fashioned by Jamie Maclaren in the 60th minute, then Andrew Nabbout only three-minutes later. That before the opposition forced a late 81st minute equaliser through Nick D’Agostino. However, in what is a somewhat worrying sign for Patrick Kisnorbo’s men they landed just five of their 16 attempted shots at goal on target. Given how much the Roar pushed them all the way back in RD1, it may be something that could potentially be exploited if City aren’t on the top of their game.
As passionate and as caring as Warren Moon is, could a heavy defeat here potentially spell the end of his time on the sidelines for the Roar? I don’t think so, but it may get some supporters calling for his sacking which wouldn’t totally be out of the blue. Despite having to work with a ‘depthless’ Brisbane side this season, he simply should be doing better. He should be making better defensive adjustments to help rookie GK Macklin Freke not be put in such testing positions all the time, while there are also a myriad of other things he should be changing and completing as well. If I were him and coming up against Kisnorbo’s start-studded side with the way Brisbane are faring currently, I’d be sweating major bullets. Unfortunately a real thrashing could potentially be on the cards in this match.
Betting tips: Look for City to win quite comfortably at $1.72 (Picklebet)
Also choose for only one team to score at $2.17 (Picklebet)
Best Bets of the Round