A-LEAGUE WEEK 20
ADELAIDE UNITED V NEWCASTLE JETS
A very hard match to kick off the week as the expectant wooden spooners of the year, take on the team who were favourites for the wooden spoon before the season kicked off. Adelaide have been horrible for the entirety of this year, they never replaced the players who left and the ones they brought in have been passenger at best. You'd think in recent years that Adelaide at home to Newcastle would be 3 points all sewn up nice and easily but my have the times changed.
Newcastle displayed another fantastic and gutsy performance to grind out a scoreless draw with Victory last week and that will no doubt give them the confidence to travel to Adelaide and get all three points. They are currently sitting in the last final position in sixth and a win here would push them past the rest of the chasers and bring them closer to the top 5.
Adelaide have a few signings to play but it all seems far too late and the chances of the trio making an instant impact without having the proper time to gel is a long shot.
WELLINGTON PHOENIX V MELBOURNE CITY
City travel to New Zealand where they take on the Phoenix who haven't won in their last four matches. City themselves were in a spot of bother but managed to reduce a two goal deficit at half time to playout a draw with Brisbane Roar, a result that would surely give them a boost when crossing the ditch
The best news for City is that six of the unavailable seven players last week are back in the squad and these are players that can definitely change a game. Going to NZ is never a breeze however and the Phoenix themselves also welcome back the likes of Shane Smeltz and Marco Rossi from suspension.
The history firmly sits with City having won 5 of the last 6 matches between these sides and regardless of where they play, City are still superior. That being said, City are winless in their last seven attempts in the A-league so they are going to have to dig deep for the victory, especially with two crucial defenders in Jakobsen and Franjic indisposed.
Goals will flow in this fixture and we'll go for a play based on that
WESTERN SYDNEY V SYDNEY FC
The Sydney derby is upon us once more but due to Sydney FC's dominant display in the league, this derby feels a bit like beating a dead horse. I can't see this match being hyped up as previous matches and therefore could open the door for a few surprising results.
The positive news instantly for Sydney FC is that they are undefeated against their rivals in the last 9 times these two have faced off. A defeat back in January 2014 was the last time Western Sydney were able to gain a win but since then it's been nothing but smooth sailing for Sydney FC fans when it comes to a derby.
With WSW being outclassed and beaten by Central Coast at home, you can't have any confidence in them backing up against bitter rivals who also happen to be the undefeated league leaders . There should be plenty of goals in this match but we've seen Sydney be a little bit complacent in recent weeks, they seem to be perfecting their possession game whilst ensuring they do enough to put the ball in the back of the net.
Really like Sydney here and I think to double your money against a team who are in shambles is worth a crack
PERTH GLORY V BRISBANE ROAR
My pick of the matches this week finds us in Perth as Brisbane will attempt to rectify the wrongs of letting a two goal lead slip and Perth will try and continue the rampant football that saw them completely tear apart a helpless and weak Adelaide side. I know you shouldn't get too carried away with the win as Adelaide were awful, however, when you travel, keep a clean sheet and score five in the process; I feel you're a little bit entitled to expect good things the next week.
Both teams are well and truly in finals contention with a little bit more emphasis placed on the shoulders of Perth to get across the line. Brisbane are on a current 4 match unbeaten streak and will fancy getting something out of this game even with injuries to Daniel Bowles and Corey Brown. They do however welcome back Jade North and Shane Lowry so a decent combination to replace the two.
It's very hard to pick a favourite here and the draw looks a decent bet but goals do get scored in this fixture, in the last 3 times these teams have met there has been 15 goals and with the inconsistent defences, I can see that trend continuing.
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS V MELBOURNE VICTORY
The bookies keep sending the Mariners around at big prices and they are showing that they aren't to be underestimated. It seems like every year we are saying that Central Coast are using a good combination of youth and experience and they should be a decent team in years to come, however they always seem to linger at the bottom of the table. Hopefully the recent performances they've displayed can be a benchmark for future performances in the overall scheme of things.
This game will be the decider on if Central Coast can make the finals or not. A win or even a point here will see them keep the pace for that final 6th spot but a loss here might see them cementing that penultimate position on the ladder.
Historically speaking, Melbourne have a significant advantage in all aspects and at all grounds, they are currently coming off a tough scoreless draw to the Jets and will more than likely be upset that they couldn't a result there.
Even though they have been good to us in the last few weeks, I have to go with my head here and take Victory. I just feel as if they will wake themselves up and put this game to bed well before any doubt kicks in. Don't like taking short prices but I feel as if this one is justified.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Week Twenty-Four -2.5 14 -18% Week Twenty-Three +15.83 19 83% Week Twenty-Two -11.25 18 -63% Week Twenty-One -1.79 16 -11% 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 -21.49 358 -6%