A-LEAGUE WEEK 21
MELBOURNE CITY V SYDNEY FC
Sydney FC's undefeated streak came to end last week and with City putting five past a hapless Wellington side, this match should be the match of the round.
City's recent history against Sydney is surprisingly decent, they are unbeaten in five matches and have only lost once at home to Sydney in the past four meetings. This match up will be interesting as we haven't seen Sydney back up from a league loss this season so their resilience will be well and truly tested when they travel to Melbourne
Melbourne should be pretty much close to full strength ,albeit with a few niggling injuries here and there, and I think they currently represent value at home. With the home form history and Sydney having now been stripped of the media hype around the undefeated streak, Melbourne will be a huge chance here.
BRISBANE ROAR V WELLINGTON PHOENIX
It's impossible to ignore the thumping Wellington received at home by City last week and that's exactly the sort of team Brisbane are going to need to verse this week after a tough away game to Perth and backing up with a scoreless draw in the Asian Champions League.
Phoenix actually beat the Roar in Brisbane back in 2015 courtesy of a 2-1 win, however their record currently stands at one win, two draws and a whopping 11 losses in their past 14 visits. The fact they are coming off the back of a complete towelling at home makes this stat stand out even more as trying to find a reason to back Wellington seems endless.
The Roar rested a decent number of players against Muang Thong Utd midweek and with those players fresh and ready to deliver a performance, I can see this being a complete one sided affair with goals to one team. In fact I'll be extremely surprised if Wellington even manage to score a goal. There is value at Brisbane keeping a clean sheet but I'm going to get greedy and go for the bigger play based off Wellington being awful.
MELBOURNE VICTORY V ADELAIDE UTD
The most straight forward match of the round takes us to Melbourne to see Victory overcome a disappointing Adelaide Utd. Even after their win at home to Newcastle, there is nothing that suggests Adelaide can go to Melbourne and pick up any points. They also have the unfortunate task of backing up from their Asian Champions fixture against Gamba Osaka, which will no doubt place them at a fitness disadvantage.
Melbourne did what they needed to do to get the win over Central Coast last week and coming back home to face a team further down on the ladder will buoy the Victory on immensely. As mentioned, Adelaide won their third match of the season last week when taking down Newcastle. The new signings that Adelaide have scrounged together late on didn't all play, however Kim Jae-Sung played and he stood up quite well in his debut match. I expect him to be able to have more influence in matches to come but away to a team like Victory is going to be next to impossible.
Once again I don't like taking the shorts about anyone but this really only has one result.
PERTH GLORY V WESTERN SYDNEY
It was a tough week for Perth after they were unable to convert chances to put Brisbane Roar away last week. They had their chances to get the three points but they consistently found themselves behind and having to chase rather than taking the lead and playing a different strategy. The fact they came from behind twice showed a glimpse of resilience and I think they'll be able to build on that when hosting WSW.
WSW would've been on cloud nine after bettering their bitter and fierce rivals in Sydney FC, however they also would've come crashing back to reality after getting thumped at home 0-4 by a Urawa Reds side who have expectations on their shoulders.
I don't really see how a team like Perth can be at home and not be dominant favourites here. Their home record this year isn't legendary but Western Sydney have been passengers all year and even after beating Sydney FC, they still weren't clinical or dominant, just extremely fortunate.
We'll have faith in the home team once more and go with Perth to win. Their price is value to me whereas the quote on WSW right now is just awful
NEWCASTLE JETS V CENTRAL COAST
The final match of the week sends us to Newcastle where the F3 Derby takes place. Historically this match favours Newcastle who are unbeaten in the last six games against Mariners and they'll be full of confidence when they play at home. The McDonald Jones stadium has been kind to the Jets in recent times and they haven't been beaten there in the last 5 attempts. I think this run will go on a little bit further now.
On paper it looks like a match that should bring a significant amount of goals, but the last seven times these clubs have met, there have only been 3 or more goals scored once. The defences of both teams are obviously not the greatest but for some reason this fixture rarely brings the goals that usually flow.
Hoole and Nabbout are still leading Newcastle's chances whilst a resurgent Roy O'Donovan and Fabio Ferreira are steering the ship in the right direction for Mariners. The youth that Mariners are using certainly makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside in the fact that there is at least one team dedicated to youth policy, but sadly that won't be enough here.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Grand Final -5 5 -100% Finals Week Two +23 10 230% 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 -7.24 420 -2%