A-League Betting Preview

All of the Wanderers, Roar, Reds, Sky Blues and Western United should win their matches this round. After blowing a 3-1 lead vs Brisbane, City are too unpredictable to win this game. The Roar came back to strongly beat City and with O’Donovan in the hot form that he’s in, the last-placed Nix could be in for a long, long game. The Victory simply stink this season and at home, there’s no way Adelaide will take an L from one of their biggest rivals. Sydney always seem to have the wood over Perth and with the form they’re in at the moment, would you really want to bet against them? And finally, the Mariners seem to be back to their old-selves again after conceding six goals from their past two games. Why on earth would you bet on them for the win???

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Friday, 22nd November, 2019

Western Sydney Wanderers vs Melbourne City

Venue: Bankwest Stadium | Start: 7:30PM (AEST)

During the Wanderers last match, they opened the scoring through Mitch Duke in just the 5th minute of the game, that was before they eventually blew a one-nil lead, to lose 2-1 to Western United. Two costly factors for Western Sydney that match was their shooting and their fouling. Western Sydney shot just 2/6 on target, while they allowed their opponents to go 5/15. Two shots on target won’t cut it, especially when your playing against a team that’s aiming to win a Championship in their inaugural season. The Red & Black also leaked 22 fouls. That’s significantly too high of a number and made for a bit of a stop start game for them. And it definitely didn’t help aid their cause defensively either.

City in their last game, just like the Wanderers, also blew a lead, they were leading 3-1 before they eventually succumbed 4-3 to Brisbane. Despite Jamie Maclaren scoring three goals, they conceded three goals to Roy O’Donovan. And two of those O’Donovan strikes, were from spot-kicks. If Melbourne weren’t so clumsy around their area, then they would’ve held on, in what would’ve been a commanding win. But instead now, they are left wondering what could’ve been. If you give up that many penalties in a game then your making it very, very difficult for yourself, such as what City did when they handed the Roar the comeback victory.

Key Factor- For City it is not letting star players take advantage of them and abuse them. Roy O’Donovan was the main culprit of this last round as he scored three vs City to lead his side to their first win of the season. And the Wanderers possess plenty of star threats such as, Mitch Duke (four goals this season), Muller (three shot assists from only two games played this season) and Schwegler (six shot assists, one actual assist this season). For this dangerous trio, if anyone of them catches fire throughout the game, then Melbourne could be in for a rough and difficult game if last weekend is anything to go by. They’ll have to put an extra emphasis on stopping a certain player if they start to terrorize them around their defensive lines.

Head to Head: Western Sydney
Half-time/Full-time: Western Sydney/ Western Sydney
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5
Both Teams Score: Yes

Saturday, 23rd November, 2019

Wellington Phoenix vs Brisbane Roar

Venue: Westpac Stadium | Start: 5:00PM (AEST)

Former Chelsea man Davila converted the 5th minute spot-kick, in what proved to be a critical conversion, in his sides one-one draw with the Victory, two rounds ago. The Phoenix managed to claim a point in Melbourne, despite only having 33% possession throughout the match, having shot just 4/11 on target and having only completed 74% of their passes, 238/320. In that sense, the fact that they even claimed a point, was something pretty special indeed. The Victory are struggling this season, yes. But Wellington needed to do better in the defeat, a lot, lot better, with regards to taking better advantage of their shots. 11 Shots should’ve seen them produce at least two goals at the minimum, especially when you consider Melbourne’s defensive liabilities this season. However, given the Roar conceded three last round, hopefully that makes the Nix’s scoring responsibilities a lot easier this time around.

Down 3-1, Brisbane looked down and out. But three goals later and three points later, Brisbane looked pretty damn happy with their come-from-behind three-one victory over a shocked City side. Two penalties, three to O’Donovan (50th, 64th and 83rd mins) and Amadi-Holloway (60th min), were all crucial in Robbie Fowler’s first A-League victory as head coach. Five yellows wasn’t a great look for Brisbane, but their general lack of ill-discipline, 10 fouls was massive for them in their win. Especially considering Melbourne gave up 21. Brisbane were smart and not clumsy, their opponents were the complete opposite of that via the two conceded spot-kicks. And that was one of the massive differences in this game.

Key Factor- O’Donovan. Is the star striker for Brisbane finally hitting top-form? He scored his 2nd, 3rd and 4th goals of the season last game vs City and was absolutely ruthless as he humiliated the opposition in the comeback win. And against a Nix side with an equal worst A-League GD of -4, he’ll look to absolutely feast in this affair. And who will actually be able to stop him? Look for his team mates to get him into strong and good scoring positions. And in all honesty, if he can do that against City, then whose to say he can’t do it against Wellington?. The Nix may well have to put an extra man on him, just so they can mitigate his offensive impact on the game. If O’Donovan plays well, then pick a Brisbane victory, 1000%.

Head to Head: Brisbane
Half-time/Full-time: Brisbane/ Brisbane
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5
Both Teams Score: Yes

Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory

Venue: Hindmarsh | Start: 7:30PM (AEST)

Adelaide missed a great chance to make the score 4-1 when they missed a spot-kick in the 59th minute, but when that’s around about the worse thing to happen to you in a game, you know you’ve played pretty well. The Reds ended up beating the Mariners away from home, 3-1. Their goals were to Halloran, Mileusnic and Opseth in the 26th, 38th and 45th minutes respectively. Adelaide played a great, clinical game of Football in their commanding victory over the Mariners. And one of the most damming, reflecting stats from that match, was that they shot 12/26 on target. 12/26! What an awesome effort from the away team! In all honesty, they probably should have had more. If it wasn’t for the Mariners blocking seven of their shots, the score-line would’ve been a lot bigger then that of what it already was. The Reds are currently in 5th and only three points of second, so they’ve really got no complaints here.

As for the Victory, Toivonen scored his 4th of the campaign on the stroke of half-time to give the Victory a slender 1-0 advantage in the Big Blue. But a seven minute period in the 2nd half, 61st-68th minutes, saw Le Fondre even things up at 1-all. Then Barbarouses silenced all of the away fans and haters from his former club as he scored the game winning match. You couldn’t have written it any better for Sydney and you couldn’t have written it any worse for the Victory. When you look at the stat-sheet, it’s pretty easy to see why they lost. They held just 39% of the ball throughout the match and shot only 1/4 on target. But I guess in another sense, it’s impressive that they even got that close, considering those two major statistic deficiencies.

Key Factor- Adelaide have surprisingly won the last two fixtures contested between these two sides. They have ended at 1-0 and 2-0 respectively. Blakcwood scored a late winner in the 81st minute when these two sides last met. And before that, the strikes came via Goodwin in the 18th minute and Ilso in the 21st. What these two matches show us is that the Victory lack concentration for small periods of their matches vs the Reds. They kept Adelaide to zilch until the 81st minute and in the other game, it was only a three minute span that cost them. This was exactly what happened against Sydney FC as well. And with desperately needing a victory to their name, no pun intended. Expect this issue to be fixed right away.

Head to Head: Adelaide
Half-time/Full-time: Draw/ Adelaide
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5
Both Teams Score: Yes

Perth Glory vs Sydney FC

Venue: NIB Stadium | Start: 9:45PM (AEST)

Castro, Castro, Castro. Man scored and  man showed why he one of the GOAT in the A-League. Man did what he does best as he scored the late, late, late 86th minute equalizer away from home to break the Jets hearts in a 1-1 draw. He scored in the bottom left corner of the goals. And it was a good thing that he scored when he did, as Alex Grant received a second yellow for a bad foul just one minute later and was given his marching orders. Given it was the Glory vs the Jets, last seasons Minor Premiers vs a team that couldn’t even crack the Top Six in a ten team competition, many backed Perth to win this one comfortably. And with their 64% possession, they more then should have. They had 12 shots at the Jets goals to back that up. And that neither Fornaroli or Ikonimidis could find the back of the net in this one, should be seen as extremely disappointing to them. And coming up against Sydney, there’s a good chance they might be kept to only one goal yet again.

Barbarouses, Barbarouses, Barbarouses!!! He scored the 68th minute winner against his old side. And boy oh boy, didn’t Jubilee Stadium erupt into crazy, fanatical celebrations. All week leading up the match, Victory fans referred to him as a snake. Well if he is a snake, then he injected lethal venom into the Victory on a rainy Sunday night. And he strangled them to death. Making this goal even better, was the fact that he passed up on playing for his country of birth, New Zealand, earlier in the week so that he could feature in the Big Blue for the first time instead, as a member of Sydney FC. So all the congrats in the world to him. His side are now soaring their way up the Hyundai A-League ladder. Currently they are 2nd and only a solitary point of 1st.

Key Factor- Barbarouses. He scored 10 goals from 25 games in his most recent stint at the Nix. And he bagged in 32 from 51 when he was most recently at the Victory. And now he’s scored 2 from 2 games for the Sky Blues. It took a while, but he’s finally regaining his goal-scoring form that made him such a lethal threat in the A-League for many, many seasons. Why can’t he do it against Perth? With a bit of luck, he would’ve had two last round. His form continues to rise with every game that come and goes. He’s one of the most lethal goal-scorers going around in the A-League at the moment. If he can bag a goal or two, expect Sydney to get the W.

Head to Head: Sydney
Half-time/Full-time: Sydney/ Sydney
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5
Both Teams Score: Yes

Sunday, 24th November, 2019

Central Coast Mariners vs Western United FC

Venue: Bluetongue Stadium | Start: 6:00PM (AEST)

WOW! WOW! WOW! Is all you can really say to describe Western United’s last round capitulation to the Jets. In one of the most unexpected results of the season, an Angus Thurgate goal was all that separated the two sides in the dejecting defeat for the previously high-flying side. Despite having 64% of the ball and keeping the opposition to only 36%, one thing that really ached Western United in this game was their shooting ability. They landed just three of their attempted 19 shots on target. With woeful shooting like that, they wouldn’t even beat a state-league side, little lone an A-League one. Whatever the reason for their dreadful shooting, that was a massive, massive, massive contributing factor to their defeat. And not being able to take advantage of all that ball (possession), would be quite a worrying factor for Mark Rudan’s side as well. Especially so, not being able to do so against a lowly team such as the Jets.

The Mariners only goal last round came via a 6th minute converted Duric spot-kick, this was during their very disappointing 3-1 defeat to Adelaide. During a 19 minute period in the 1st half, they conceded three goals. They came in the 26th, 38th and 45th minutes of the game and that is what cost them a potential one or three point/s. That period in which they lacked any real defensive skills and concentration is what essentially cost them the match, one in which they were leading for 20 or so minutes before they started to blow it, one goal, by one goal, by one goal. Their woeful passing was another major factor in why Adelaide dominated them, going 280/388, 72%, is a pretty bad look for any professional side.

Key Factor- Keeping a clean sheet for the Mariners. They’ve yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season as they’ve conceded two to the Wanderers, one to Newcastle, one to Perth, three to City and three to Adelaide. So over just their past two matches alone, they’ve shipped in six goals. This is an issue that they need to fix ASAP. And it starts with former Swansea man, Mark Birighitti in goals for the Central Coast. Not all of their defensive badness can be attributed to him, but some of it can be. In his sides 3-1 defeat last round, only 14% of his long balls were accurate. Thus meaning when the Mariners should’ve had the ball, it was given straight back to the Reds. Even if they can’t claim a clean sheet this game, at least actually striving for one will give them some decent defensive stability, something in which they sorely need.

Head to Head: Western United
Half-time/Full-time: Draw/ Western United
Over/Under 2.5: Over 2.5
Both Teams Score: Yes