The following are previews with betting tips for the Elimination Finals of the 2022/23 A-League Men season.
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Friday, May 05
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
7:45pm AEST, Coopers Stadium
Eight of these sides last 13 brilliant matchups against one another have produced a minimum of 3+ strikes. Meanwhile the last time that a side claimed back-to-back wins over the other was the ‘Reds’, albeit all the way back in 2018! So as cruel as it may be, it almost seems fitting that it be Adelaide versus Wellington to open us up for the 2023 A-League Finals, as they battle it out on the field for a chance to live on in their respective current campaigns. And only adding to that fiery intrigue is the fact that Adelaide finished the season on 11 wins, whilst Wellington were just two behind them at nine. With a mere seven points separating them on the ladder! Craig Goodwin with his 12 goals, 10 goal assists and 96 shot assists this season in Midfield looms as the biggest threat to break down the Phoenix’s relatively stoic defence. However he’ll have to face off against the visitors fearsome Striker Duo of Oskar Zawada and David Ball who have this season pitched together a magical 16 goals, four goal assists and 19 shot assists. Because how those three fare will ultimately dictate the final result of this pulsatingly close and high octane affair.
Adelaide’s last three clashes; L 4-1 vs the Central Coast @ Coopers Stadium, D 4-4 vs Perth @ HBF Park and L 1-0 vs Western United @ Coopers Stadium.
Wellington’s last three clashes; W 1-0 vs Macarthur @ Campbelltown Stadium, L 4-0 vs Western Sydney @ CommBank Stadium and D 2-2 vs Brisbane @ Sky Stadium.
Last three H2Hs; Adelaide W 5-1 @ Coopers Stadium, Wellington W 3-1 @ Sky Stadium and D 1-1 @ Sky Stadium.
With Adelaide having produced 53 total goals throughout the regular season, current Socceroos maestro Craig Goodwin made a direct contribution, ie either a goal or an assist to 22 of those. So it’s incredibly safe to say the ‘Reds’ will again look to the A-League veteran in this all-in-clash to drag them to victory. His challengers for this Elimination Final will as mentioned be Oskar Zawada and David Ball. 15 Strikes on the campaign is certainly nothing to sneer at and places Zawada five ahead of rival international Striker Adam Le Fondre (10), two ahead of Brandon Borrello, six ahead of Marco Tulio and nine in front of Beka Mikeltadze. All bar one of those players finished inside the Top Six, as the Polish Attacker has blitzed the A-League with his ability to score from anywhere inside the park. As for Ball he is having a rather down season by his own high standards, however if the Englishman has shown us anything across his four seasons with Wellington it’s that he can never, ever truly be discounted from a match, even when he’s down on confidence. Fireworks are bound to go off in this opening round affair!
Final Verdict: I’ll back Adelaide to prove triumphant at home, that given they’ve lost just three of 13 games in South Australia this campaign.
Betting tips: Pick an Adelaide victory to occur at $1.80 (BlueBet)
Also pick the ‘Reds’ to score first at $1.53 (Bet365)
You can also pick one of Craig Goodwin – $2.08 or Oskar Zawada – $2.65 to score at anytime throughout the affair (UniBet)
And look for H1 to witness over 1.5 goals at $2.10 (Bet365)
Saturday, May 06
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
7:45pm AEST, CommBank Stadium
The difference between Parramatta and Surry Hills is under an hour, in addition to being under a 30km distance. Yet if you ask Wanderers head coach and 61X capped former ‘Sky Blue’ Marko Rudan, he’ll paint the picture of this Derby pitting the Working Class up against the Upper Class. Meanwhile if you ask current Paramount + commentator and Sydney FC legend Alex Brusque what the Derby means to the players, as he once infamously said, the hate is there. This Derby between the only two ‘real’ Sydney clubs and the most successful A-League team in Asia versus the most successful A-League team domestically, respectively, is all about the bragging rights, the search for glory and the extremely potent sour taste that exists between the two arch-rivals. On Saturday night in what is guaranteed to be at a venue close to capacity, only one side will walk away a winner with their season still alive. And for the other, their season will be left in taters, with their hopes of a Championship well and truly dashed. Who comes out victorious however remains to be seen.
Western Sydney’s last three clashes; L 3-2 vs Melbourne City @ AAMI Park, W 4-0 vs Wellington @ CommBank Stadium and W 2-1 vs Melbourne Victory @ CommBank Stadium.
Sydney’s last three clashes; W 2-0 vs Newcastle @ Allianz Stadium, W 2-0 vs Brisbane @ Suncorp Stadium and W 4-1 vs Perth Glory @ Allianz Stadium.
Last three H2Hs; Western Sydney W 4-0 @ Allianz Stadium, Sydney W 1-0 @ CommBank Stadium and Western Sydney W 1-0 @ Allianz Stadium.
It didn’t take long this season before Steve Corica, the head Man at Sydney, was thrown under the guillotine and forced to fight tooth and nail for his managerial future. And with respect to him, I think he’s done a decent job of it. Now he has to face off against his former teammate at Sydney Marko Rudan, whom he shared many successes with and successfully navigate his side through a first-ever Sydney Derby Final. Can he do it? I definitely think he can. Throughout the latter stages of this campaign he’s shown the sort of adaptability and on-the-spot thinking that seemingly previously alluded him as a manager. A prime example being him giving young talents such as Patrick Wood and Adrian Segecic more game time than that of what they previously would have received under him. Ultimately he has guided the ‘Sky Blues’ to a Championship before and I expect that experience to help him see through what should be an incredibly tight and incapsulating Sydney Derby matchup.
Final Verdict; This all-in Derby has the potential to go either way, but I’ll back Sydney to win by a one-goal margin at the end of the day.
Betting tips: Look for a tight Sydney victory at $3.10 (UniBet)
Also look for both teams to score at $1.50 (UniBet)
However you can back Sydney to open the scoring first at $2.20 (Bet365)
And for there to also be over 0.5 goals during H1 at $1.33 (Bet365)