A-LEAGUE WEEK 15
ADELAIDE UNITED V MELBOURNE CITY
There isn't a whole lot to like about this fixture with City scraping past a Western Sydney team who had 10 men for most of the match, then on the other hand, how can anyone like Adelaide at all in this fixture. It's a shame to see the champions of last year lingering at the bottom and now expected to stay there for the season, although it might speak volumes on how competitive the A-league is.
There is no point in looking at history when a team has the current form that Adelaide has, 9 defeats in 14 games with only a solitary win to get excited about. City have been in a slump themselves but they have shown that they can still win when needed and the abundance of talent they have in their squad further adds weight to that claim.
City are chasing that solidity for the top 6 and versing a team like Adelaide should give them the three points and confidence that is needed.
I like City for a straight victory here but Adelaide should be harder to break down.
MELBOURNE VICTORY V BRISBANE ROAR
Although all eyes are surely on the upcoming Australia Day clash between Sydney FC, Melbourne will still have to get through a tough task when they host Brisbane. The Victory were once again dominant in Adelaide where they recorded a very simple 2-0 win and never looked bothered by the lacklustre Adelaide, however, somehow the Brisbane Roar managed to lose at home to the Newcastle Jets after seemingly being in control for the majority of the match. Returning home after a solid victory reads a lot better than a home loss to a lower placed side.
Melbourne Victory are on a huge run and have won their last five straight matches, which includes an away derby win against Melbourne City as well as putting four past Newcastle and Central Coast when they came to town. The hype is still on Sydney but Victory are the team who are playing the football that is going to bring a title and they'll see past Roar here.
Marco Rojas might be unavailable for this match but Besart Berisha is still very much available and he's continuing to do the job for us.
I think that Melbourne will dominate possession and restrict Roar to only a handful of chances and Maclaren won't be much of a threat.
WELLINGTON PHOENIX V CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
A very interesting game takes place in New Zealand this weekend when Mariners head over to try and get something out of this game. It will be a task as Wellington have beaten the Mariners twice already this year at both grounds and even with the suspension of Krishna, Wellington will most likely be adding a third victory to their resume.
Central Coast were fantastic against Sydney FC last week and Connor Pain in particular was the driving force for the chances that were created. We'll forget about the penalty that Ferreira put into orbit though as that was one of the worst penalties I've seen in recent times, the rest of his game was actually quite good, the penalty not so much. The worry about Central Coast is that they played one of their best games last week and still lost, that's just demoralising.
Wellington lost to Perth after taking the lead early on through Krishna. Good to see Krishna bagging the first goal, it's about time. It was always going to be tough to get something out of this game for Phoenix but losing after being a goal up is a blow to their confidence, they should be able to rectify this pretty quickly this weekend.
With Krishna being suspended, it leaves the door open for Barbarouses to play more forward. Our play is based off him getting a lot more gametime in attacking areas.
Barbarouses to Score/Wellington Win2 at 4.20-2
SYDNEY FC V WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Sydney FC hold all the cards for the derby, historically and psychologically. The Wanderers last victory against FC came from a Santalab goal back in 2014 and with that man suspended, it will make the job near impossible for the history making Wanderers. Sydney are still unbeaten, still getting themselves out of trouble and still find their names at the top of the ladder. A few defending issues might raise some eyebrows but the attacking strikeforce is silencing any real doubters. If you concede three but score seven then nobody is really going to care.
Terry Antonis has been named for the Wanderers in what will be his first A-League match in several years since kitting up for Sydney FC. This game might mean a little bit more to him than others but he is going to have to turn in a monster performance for Western Sydney to get something out of this.
As mentioned, Sydney have a few defensive issues to consider this week. Seb Ryall, who came off in the 5th minute against Central Coast, is still injured and stalwart Matthew Jurman now plies his trade in Korea. The talk is Brandon O'Neill will slot into the centre half position for the game and Sydney will most likely try and finalise the signing of Rhys Williams in due course.
The relentless attack will balance any defensive woes. Sydney FC all the way in this derby.
NEWCASTLE JETS V PERTH GLORY
Andrew Hoole is certainly displaying all the qualities needed to being a class above these A-league players and he showed that further on the weekend when he put away a contender for goal of the season. I doubt very highly that Sydney are happy they released him on a free transfer now as I can't imagine why he wouldn't be fielding phone calls from better teams. Bottom line is the strike was fantastic and it sparked the comeback and passion that Jets fans have been looking for. A special mention also has to go to Andrew Nabbout who has been the rock in the frontline of Jets and his header added another highlight to his glowing A-league reel.
Hosting the Glory will be tough but you can sense the confidence is building in Newcastle. They are playing that attractive football that was installed in them from the start of the season, things got rocky mid season but it seems like Jets have enough quality and flair at the moment to suffice for this task.
Glory have just been informed that Josh Risdon won't be resigning a contract to extend his stay for the next season and that can only be a negative factor leading up to this match.
I like Jets to record a win here. Not overly chuffed with the price but all things are pointing in their favour
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Week Twenty +2.24 16 14% Week Nineteen +20 11 182% Week Eighteen +12.16 11 111% Week Seventeen -5.88 15 -39% Week Sixteen -2.5 11 -23% Week Fifteen -15 15 -100% Week Fourteen +0.93 17 4% Week Thirteen +5.5 13 42% Week Twelve +3.05 18 17% Week Eleven -7.18 13 -55% Week Ten -2.07 18 -12% Week Nine +0.51 15 3% Week Eight -20 20 -100% Week Seven -3.22 16 -20% Week Six +10.2 14 73% Week Five -16 16 -100% Week Four -0.27 15 -2% Week Three -4.6 13 -35% Week Two -0.70 12 -6% Week One +1.05 12 9% Total -21.78 291 -7%