A-League Mens Semi-finals – First Legs – Previews & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the Semi-finals – First Legs – of the 2022/23 A-League Men season.

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Friday, May 12

Sydney FC

Sydney FC v Melbourne City

7:45pm AEST, Allianz Stadium

Melbourne City

The ‘Sky Blues’ have reached this pinnacle of the season after toppling arch-rivals Western Sydney 2-1 on Saturday night at CommBank Stadium, in a result that not many saw coming. Despite the absence of the Cove due to ongoing issues with the APL, alongside maestro Midfielder Joe Lolley playing just 11-minutes out on the field, Steve Corica’s side were ranked high outsiders to win this match. However thanks to a venomous strike to Robert Mak on the 69-minute mark, his 10th goal of the campaign and a ‘sausage roll’ to Adam Le Fondre just 11-minutes later, his 11th for the season, the visitors were well-deserved winners at the end of it all. Many players stood up massively for the A-League’s most successful domestic club in the Derby and will no doubt be raring to go again come Friday night.

Meanwhile Melbourne City have reached this stage of the year through their impressive 1st-place finish, their third in a row! An incredibly impressive feat which has seen them win four trophies, alongside having competed excellently in another two Grand Finals. Playing a huge part in all of that success has been their ever-influential Striker in the form of Jamie Maclaren who’s banged home 24 goals on the season to date (he is also eight strikes ahead of the next highest goalscorer). Whilst 21-year-old Marco Tilio has also played his part in providing some excellent service to their history-breaking Forward. With the ex-Sydney Midfielder having posted five goal assists, 28 shot assists and nine goals. And Matthew Leckie is another, with the former Bundesliga Attacker conjuring up six goals + five goal assists throughout the campaign. The hosts have won their last four clashes on the trot, in addition to being undefeated in their last six affairs, but if anyone can tear that statistic to absolute shreds then it’ll be Melbourne City all damn day.

Did you know? The last four Grand Finals have featured at least one of Sydney FC or Melbourne City in them, with two of the last three having both rivals pitted against one another.

Last five H2Hs; City W 3-2 @ AAMI Park, Sydney W 2-1 @ Allianz Stadium, City W 4-0 @ AAMI Park, City W 3-0 @ Nestrata Jubilee Stadium and City W 3-1 @ AAMI Park.

Sydney beat Melbourne 2-1 early on this season at Allianz Stadium and in the following fixture Melbourne returned serve, prevailing 2-1 at AAMI Park. Rightfully so Sydney will again start as outsiders for this semi-final, but there’s no denying that they are in with a chance to win it. The ‘Cityzens’ have lost three games this season and all three of those have come away from home. As for the opposition, they have either won or drawn six of their last seven games inside of the Moore Park precinct. And an early blast from any one of Le Fondre, Mak, Lolley, Burgess or Caceres, who are all extremely capable, could 100% swing the match into the hosts favour. However Melbourne also know a thing or two about scoring goals, having produced six over their last two encounters, as well as having scored two + goals in 11 of their last 14 games. Both sides will have their chances in what should be entertainment a plenty.

Betting tips: Look for over 3.5 combined goals to be scored at $2.30 (Bet365)

You can also look for there to be nine + combined corners at $1.36 (Bet365)

And also look for one of/or both of Adam Le Fondre and Jamie Maclaren to score anytime at $1.90 (Bet365)


Saturday, May 13

Adelaide United

Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners

7:45pm AEST, Coopers Stadium

Central Coast Mariners

During the 19th-minute last weekend against Wellington at Coopers Stadium, Craig Goodwin found the back of the net for his 13th goal of the campaign. And not to be outdone … by literally himself, he then sealed the ‘Reds’ poetic 2-0 win on the 69th-minute, with his 14th goal. That coming via a finely taken spot kick attempt, shooting it smoothly right past Oli Sail and into the middle of the goal. For their rivalling Mariners, their very own 4-1 battering of Adelaide at the same venue a week prior meant that they finished the season in 2nd-place and earned a well-deserved week off. Carl Veart’s Men showed no mercy in their elimination final against Wellington, as they shot 5/17 on target. As did Nick Montgomery’s troops against the ‘Reds’, as an impressive 10/14 hit the bullseye. With both Adelaide and the Central Coast often lauded as the best two young teams in the A-League, both will fancy their chances of advancing through this two-legged semi-final series. Regardless of who does however tune in, because this opening series affair will be an absolute belter! Make no two guesses about it!

The feature for this exciting clash will no doubt be that of Nestory Irankunda up against Sam Silvera. 17-Year-old Forward Irankunda is arguably the hottest prospect in Australia right now. Having reportedly signed for European giants Bayern Munich, as he is having an absolutely fire season to date. He’s posted five goals + two goals assists for the campaign. With many of those sublime strikes coming late in the game for Adelaide, completely turning the affair in their favour. His speed and poise is unbelievable for a Kid his age and he will be looking to exploit any shred of space that the opposition Defence gives him come Saturday evening. Meanwhile for Silvera, despite being just 22-years-old, he plays years beyond his age whenever he’s out there representing the ‘Yellow Army’. His six strikes and four strike assists this season have propelled him and his side to the top of their game. And his linkup play with the likes of Jason Cummings & Marco Tulio has truly been a sight to behold! Look for both of these rising superstars to make a profound impact in what should be both a tight and tense affair.

Did you know? The last time one or less goal was scored in a match between these two sides was way back on the 31st of March, 2019, over four years ago, where Adelaide won 1-0 at Industree Group Stadium (then Bluetongue Stadium). And that was despite each side registering 10+ shots a piece, with three+ each going on target, respectively. 

Last five H2Hs; Mariners W 4-1 @ Coopers Stadium, Mariners W 4-0 @ Industree Group Stadium, Adelaide W 3-1 @ Coopers Stadium, Mariners W 3-0 @ Industree Group Stadium and Adelaide W 2-1 @ Coopers Stadium.

Adelaide’s 4-1 humiliation against the Central Coast represented just one of their total three home losses this season. Coopers Stadium being a venue where they conjured up 26 goals and conceded just 17. So that heavy defeat would’ve really hurt the ‘Reds’, especially considering how well they were doing up until that point. It was four wins from seven and now it is five from their last nine + a high octane 4-4 draw versus Perth is in there as well. So I would expect a strong response from them here in front of what should hopefully be a healthy home crowd. During that three-goal loss Adelaide’s defence was torn open rather easily, as opposed to them usually being quite sturdy at the back. So expect the likes of Ryan Kitto (a nine-season A-League veteran) and Javi Lopez (a former La Liga veteran) to close in from the left and right flanks respectively, when the likes of Cummings & Tulio come raring through the middle. At the end of it all, goals will unquestionably rain down and honestly either side can take this one out. Thus giving them an ever decisive advantage for leg two.

Betting tips: Back Adelaide to edge out this affair ever so slightly at $2.55 (Bet365)

Also back them to produce the games opening goal at $1.90 (Bet365)

And back there to be over 2.5 combined goals scored at $1.44 (Bet365)


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