A-LEAGUE WEEK 24
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS V MELBOURNE CITY
The Wanderers go in search for their first back to back wins of the season when Melbourne City make the short distance over this Friday. Both teams are riding on a wave with victories last week, Western Sydney cruising past Wellington and Melbourne City thrashing Newcastle Jets. The wins had authority to them and even with the omission of drawcard Tim Cahill, the match will still be a close encounter that will bring plenty of goals
City have started to rediscover a bit of their form after back to back to wins against the two provincial New South Wales sides, scoring seven goals in the process. Fornaroli was fantastic in those matches and helped himself to a double in both ninety minutes, if he can continue that expected form then it'll be next to impossible for the shaky Western Sydney defence. On the other side of the fence, Santalab became WSW's all time greatest goalscorer and if that's rewarded with a starting birth, then he'll no doubt be looking to make the most of that.
As mentioned before, this has goals in it. It's hard to differentiate between the two teams as i can make a great case for them both with perhaps a slight lean to City. I'll stick to my initial thoughts and we'll make a play based off the goals
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS V ADELAIDE UNITED
This match will be one of the more interesting matches of the week but for all the wrong reasons. Both of these squads are out to avoid the humiliation and indignity of attaining the wooden spoon and if a side happens to get beat, then the losers will more or less be cemented in that position. With Adelaide coming off a morale boosting, yet controversial win and Mariners only being defeated by the unstoppable Sydney FC by a goal in a very close encounter, this match promises to deliver a great contest
There was nothing wrong with the performance that the Mariners displayed against Sydney last week, the problem was that the opposition are simply too good this year. They had their chances to score and even in the circumstances i thought they performed admirably and were very unlucky to not get something out of the game in the end. Adelaide Utd were the victors of one of the more controversial and contentious goal decisions against Brisbane when they were gifted a penalty in the 90th minute to go ahead 2-1 and take the three points. They might not have deserved to win the game but they didn't deserve to lose and sometimes football just goes against you.
This match is a real pick em in my opinion. Both teams have everything to play for and usually in these kinds of match, anything can happen. I'll go with my gut and take the draw. If you're feeling ambitious then go for a correct score 1-1 (currently $7.5), but the draw is all i keep coming back to
BRISBANE ROAR V MELBOURNE VICTORY
Great match here at Suncorp where the Roar will no doubt still have those painful memories and possible scars from last week's unexpected drama in Adelaide. To say they were unlucky is a bit of an understatement, however they still had plenty of chances to put themselves into the game and possibly out of reach. The Roar now find themselves questioning whether or not they can still make the finals as they've only managed one victory in their past six games now, to not make the finals would be disastrous for the club and this match will either be a turning point for good or bad.
Melbourne Victory will be disheartened with so many key players being away on international duty. Besart Berisha, Marco Rojas, Jai Ingham and James Troisi will all be absent for this match whereas Brisbane have no new injury news to release. The Victory have been fantastic on their travels defensively, conceding a small number of goals early on in most matches and if they'll need to be at their top end game to stop Jamie Maclaren, who has five goals in his last five games. There are a number of youth players getting the nod for the teamsheet here so it's going to be a very interesting contest.
I think Brisbane have far more to play for here. Melbourne are guaranteed finals football and also most likely a shoe in to run second. The chance to be minor premiers has gone and the number of missing players means they may just expect a defeat here. I'm not saying they won't try, but they'll have other things on their mind here which brings me to a Brisbane win.
Definitely a number of question marks on Victory's squad but none on that on Brisbane's side.
WELLINGTON PHOENIX V NEWCASTLE JETS
Not everyone will be too interested with this match over in Wellington, for the most part i'd agree with them. Although this game to me has a certain scrappy charm that i'm expecting to see when these sides line up. Wellington are a side on a decline and after looking at recent runs and the fact they have half of their squad missing through injury, i'm prepared to take a better look at the ever-hard-to-catch Newcastle Jets.
The Jets have been ordinary for a number of weeks now and without the number of absentees from the squad that Wellington have, then i would be finding it almost impossible for the Jets to get anything out of this match. This is really a do or die kind of situation if Newcastle think they are any chance of making the finals. They have only managed to gather a meagre two points out of a possible eighteen in their last 6 games and the rate that they are conceding at is becoming very alarming, They welcome back Jason Hoffman into the squad and with no players leaving for international duty, they should be well and truly organised here.
I think looking at how this match is going to play out and the number of factors against Wellington, i'm going to put one last bit of faith in Newcastle. They are at a decent price and history means nothing when your proper side isn't on the pitch.
PERTH GLORY V SYDNEY FC
The last match of the round is in Perth where they have everything to prove against a Sydney side who has already popped the champagne bottle and drunk 90 percent of it. They are nod oubt going to be crowned minor premiers and this match win, lose or draw will be irrelevant in about 3 weeks. Sydney have only the two players away on international duty but i still feel as though they will be looking further ahead at other matches. They may rest a number of key players and/or give a few youth players a chance and that will give Perth all the motivation they need to secure themselves a top four birth.
Perth unfortunately don't have the best of recent records against Sydney, they've lost their past 3 games and have conceded four in each. This match doesn't initially shout goals as i think Perth will sit tight and try and break on the counter, whereas Sydney will play posession football and try and break down the Glory through persistent build ups and a more pressing style of football. The home crowd is a massive advantage here as the Perth players have to give the fans that security of finals football. With that in mind i'm tipping Perth to get an upset win The double chance could more than certainly be a safer bet but i do think the upset is on the cards
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Finals Week One -10 10 -100% Week Twenty-Six -6.65 15 -44% Week Twenty-Five +12.9 22 59% 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 -25.24 405 -6%