Five games, five contests, five battles. Who’ll come out on top? You’ll have to watch to find out. Roar and the Victory, battle it out first up. Given the Victory’s need for a win and recent history over Brisbane, it’s safe to say they’ll win this one. Next up is Newcastle and Adelaide. Given Adelaide’s injuries and the fact that they’ll have played on WED night, the Jets are a great chance of getting their first three points of the new season. The Sydney derby, while tight and a first ever at Banlswest, Sydney will get back into form against the Wanderers and continue their dominating trend of beating them in games. The Nix, while they’ll fight, won’t have enough goal-scoring power within them to match that of Perth’s. And City have been great so far this season in both the A-League and FFA Cup. Their speed, talent and form, should see them just edge out Western United in their first ever derby against one another.
Friday October 25, 2019
Brisbane vs Melbourne Victory
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Start: 7:30PM (AEST)
Roy O’Donovan was the reason Brisbane claimed a point in their last match against the Glory. Assisted by Amadi-Holloway, he headed the ball into the back of the net with the final and last play of the game. He scored the 95th minute equalizer and was/still is an absolute hero because of it! That is his 3rd goal in three official games for Brisbane. And there hasn’t been a legitimate game played yet that he hasn’t scored for them in. Roy also completed nine accurate passes against the Glory and will be the key to the Roar finding the back of the net against the Victory. In his earlier stint at the Jets, he bagged 20 goals from 34 matches for them. He is one of the A-League’s best strikers and you can expect him to feature strongly against Melbourne.
The Victory’s latest game was a 2-1 loss to the Wanderers. Toivonen scored their only goal of the match in the 72nd minute. And he will be key to the Victory’s attack against Brisbane. Last season from 22 A-League games he banged in 15 strikes. He, just like O’Donovan for the Roar, is the Victory’s key to attacking this game strongly. Through two games played, he’s won 12/20, 60% of his duels. Won his only tackle attempt. And won 50%, 1/2 takeons. Despite his side starting of the season with just a point from two games, he’s playing relatively fine.
Past history- Melbourne have won four of the past five clashes contested between these two sides. The Victory have won, 2-1, 5-0, 4-2 and 2-1. While the Roar’s only win in there ended 2-1 their way. A Kostas Barbarouses double was how they claimed their victory last time. And that game they had 14 shots at goal, along with 54% possession of the ball. And in the last game at Suncorp, Barbarouses got a big three. Whilst both Toivonen and Roux also got on the score-sheet. That match, the Victory shot 7/12 on target.
Head to Head: Melbourne | $2.56 – Sportsbet
Half-time/Full-time: Melbourne/Melbourne | $4.20 – Ladbrokes
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5 | $1.84 – Neds
Both Teams Score: Yes | $1.65 – Unibet
Saturday October 26, 2019
Newcastle vs Adelaide
Venue: Hunter Stadium | Start: 5:00PM (AEST)
Like any F3 Derby, it was tough and especially so for the Jets early on. In front of a raucous Mariners home-crowd, the home-side got a goal in just the 4th minute of the match. It wasn’t until 52 minutes later, that after a retaken penalty, Petratos finally got one back for the away-side. The game ended in a tight and tense 1-all draw. Despite peppering away at the Central Coasts goals with 17 attempts, they could only get five on target. A factor that severely hindered their game. They also completed only 75% of their passes, 304/404. There were however, certain other areas of their game which looked strong. And against a tired, weary and injury-hit Adelaide side, they should be able to claim their first three points of the season.
A Jamie Maclaren double curtailed Adelaide’s hopes in their 2-1 loss to City. Their only goal of the match came via former City and now Adelaide boy Riley McGree in the 67th minute of the match. And perhaps they could have gotten a draw out of Melbourne had they performed a lil bit better. Adelaide had 46% possession and shot 5/12 on target. They also completed 78% of their passes, 375/483. They made 16 tackles also and conceded just nine fouls. Two interesting statistics to take from this one. But backing up from Wednesday nights FFA Cup Final clash against City will hurt them. And as a result, you can expect the Jets to take full advantage of this.
Past history- When these two sides last met, Adelaide won a tight 1-0 game which knocked Newcastle out of this years FFA Cup. Toure was the only goal-scorer as he found the back of the net in the 42nd minute of the match. Outside of that, it was only five games ago in Adelaide, that they destroyed Newcastle to the tune of a five goals to two scoreline. Kantarovski bagged a double for the away side, but it didn’t help that Hoffman received a red card in the 78th minute. Adlung got two goals, while all of Kitto, Absalonsen and Cavusevic also all found the back of the net.
Head to Head: Newcastle | $2.50 – Sportsbet
Half-time/Full-time: Newcastle/Newcastle | $4.20 – Ladbrokes
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5 | $1.93 – Beteasy
Both Teams Score: Yes | $1.70 – Neds
Western Sydney Wanders vs Sydney FC
Venue: Bankwest Stadium | Start: 7:30PM (AEST)
Western Sydney’s last game was a 2-1 win over the Victory. Baccus scored their first goal in the 54th minute and Meier backed it up soon after in the 62nd minute. Despite the Wanderers owning just 42% of the ball, they still managed to fire of 16 shots against the Victory’s defence. Only four landed on target and had they been a bit more accurate, the score could’ve been a bit bigger. They won 65 duels to their 59 and they also were victorious in 28 aerial duels to Melbourne’s 23. The Wanderers tried harder in this game and wanted it more. A big factor in them getting all three points.
Sydney left it late and loose in their 2-1 win over Wellington. O’Neil scored their opening goal in the 17th minute. And Grant scored what proved to be the winner in the 77th minute. But in-between those two goals, Davila got his own for Wellington in the 69th minute to send the home-side into their panic stations. Sydney shot 7/23 on target. And the Phoenix shot 8/23 on target. This game had very little defence played and most of it was a high-octane attacking affair. The Sky Blues also completed 81% of their passes, 413/509. Expect both the Wanderers and Sydney to be more potent and lethal in front of goals this time around.
Past history- Sydney have lost only one of the past 17 matches played between these two sides. Yes, only one! Sydney have dominated their rivals to the point of submission where it is now a running joke among A-League fans. Not exactly pretty pictures for Western Sydney hey. The last time they met, it was a 1-1 draw. Just seven minutes in, Brosque drew first blood. Exactly 50 minutes later now-Sky Blue Baumjohann scored the equalizer. Sydney had 13 shots and 52% possession. The Wanderers had 16 shots and 48% possession in just one indication of how crazily close the fiery contested contest was.
Head to Head: Sydney | $2.42 – Beteasy
Half-time/Full-time: Draw/Sydney | $6.10 – Unibet
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5 | $1.82 – Sportsbet
Both Teams Score: Yes | $1.63 – Bet365
Sunday October 27, 2019
Wellington vs Perth
Venue: Westpac Stadium | Start: 4:00PM (AEST)
Davila became the first ever Mexican to score in the A-League, as he opened his and his sides account for the season in the Nix’s 2-1 loss to Sydney. Wellington actually dominated large periods of the game and were perhaps unlucky not to come away with the win, little lone a draw. They also had an astonishing 23 shots fired away at Sydney’s goals. Eight of which landed on target. They did that despite only having 45% possession. Despite this, it now means that they have two losses from their opening two games of the new season. Whilst they also crashed out of the FFA Cup to a non A-League side. And against the Glory, a very, very high-scoring side, this game could get ugly and quickly at that.
Kristian Popovic showed why his Dad played him as he scored the 76th minute equalizer against Western United. What a proud moment it was for his debut goal as well as for Tony as well. Father Son moments all round. The Glory owned 54% of the ball throughout the match and shot 6/11 on target. They completed 86% of their passes and won 65 duels. They also won the aerial duel battle, 15 to 10. Castro, Ikonimidis and Fornaroli all have the potential to tear the Glory to shreds. And it will require a stern-Phoenix defensive display to stop that from happening.
Diego Castro is the key to a Glory win here. He sets up most of what they create and coming up against a fragile Phoenix defence, he could have a field day out if he chooses to. He already has five shot assists and one actual assist so far this campaign through just two matches. And last season he scored nine goals and had five assists. As well as 47 shot assists. He is quite literally the Ozil of the A-League and they have comparable qualities. If he plays well, the Glory will play well. If not it will be a wait and see game.
Head to Head: Perth | $2.20 – Sportsbet
Half-time/Full-time: Perth/Perth | $3.50 – Bet365
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5 | $2.05 – Unibet
Both Teams Score: No | $2.25 – Unibet
Western United vs Melbourne City
Venue: GMHBA Stadium | Start: 6:00PM (AEST)
Western United have a win and a draw from their opening two games this season. And in each match, their veteran presence has come up massive for them towards the end of the games. Berisha, Kone, Durante, Kurto, etc. Their perceived old age and lack of youth has actually been a distinct advantage for them. And that was the case for them again in their 1-1 draw against Perth. Kone scored their only strike of the game in the 49th minute. However, for the majority of it they remained strong and willing against the reigning Minor Premiers. You get the feeling that with a different side, Perth might’ve claimed the big victory. So all credit goes to Western United in that regard. They shot 5/11 on target and held 46% of the ball. That was good, but their 16 fouls was bad. That needs to be fixed up ASAP or City will take advantage of it, without a doubt!
Maclaren scored once in the 24th minute and then again in the 28th. He has been on fire for City so far this season and he was as influential as ever in their close, but not to close 2-1 victory over Adelaide. City shot just 4/11 on target. But at least to their credit, they made half on those on target shots count. And in fairness to them, they also had a shot come of the woodwork. They completed 80% of their passes, 472/587 and gave up just nine fouls. With each coming game they continue to look stronger and stronger. They have a genuine chance to take out their maiden A-League title this season.
It’s the first ever derby between these two sides. And what a spectacle it should prove to be. Kurto vs Bouzanis will be interesting. Berisha vs Maclaren will be another. How youngsters such as Metcalfe and Wales fair against the likes of Kone will be another one to watch. All these individual battles will have a say on the impact and the outcome of the game. But Maclaren, Maclaren, Maclaren. If he plays well and scores, City will win. If he plays badly and pulls a stinker, WU will have the chance of a maiden derby will. We’ll just wait and see shall we?
Head to Head: City | $3.00 – Bet365
Half-time/Full-time: City/City | $4.75 – Bet365
Over/Under 2.5: Over | $2.00 – Bet365
Both Teams Score: Yes | $1.75 – Bet365