A-LEAGUE WEEK 26
MELBOURNE CITY VS ADELAIDE UTD
The penultimate regular season round kicks off with Melbourne City hosting Adelaide in what should be one way traffic. City have been awful against the bigger clubs in recent times but have found winning form when facing lower placed opposition, their last win being a 4-0 drubbing of the woeful Newcastle Jets.
Adelaide on the other hand have found form and they are undefeated in their past four matches. This included draws with WSW and Perth then wins against Central Coast and Brisbane. They’ve found form at the right time to ensure they won’t be putting their names on a wooden spoon anytime soon.
City were outclassed by a Sydney FC team who continues to deliver even when there is nothing else to win for them right now. City were never really a hope of winning when that first goal went in and they’ll be using that as cannon fodder when they take on the far inferior Adelaide here. Very keen on City for this one.
WELLINGTON PHOENIX V SYDNEY FC
Wellington Phoenix stunned the Australian football scene last week with a dominant and clinical win in Melbourne against the Victory. Not only did they get the three points, they absolutely dominated from start to finish and the scoreline should’ve read more than 0-3. The WSW bound Roly Bonevacia was the headline man after he bagged two goals from outside the box but the performance of the early substitute Dylan Fox was nothing but brilliant. The lad didn’t miss a tackle or header all day and was a standout performer for me.
They now face the acid test of welcoming Sydney FC to the Westpac stadium. Sydney being fresh from their impressive home victory against City will have their work cut out for them here as Phoenix look to do the unthinkable and perhaps pip a team for that final 6 spot. With a host of players being unavailable due to injury and suspensions, Phoenix will no doubt feel like they’ve got a massive chance here.
I agree with the Phoenix. They’ve scored eight and haven’t conceded in their past two games and they’ll have every reason to believe that they can get something massive out of this game. This match in the circumstances is the only time this year that I can tip Phoenix to get something against Sydney. It seems the stars are aligning for a fairy tale run and stranger things have happened In football. A match I’ll be keen to watch and play safe.
WSW V MELBOURNE VICTORY
An interesting game takes place in Sydney when the Wanderers host Victory. Western Sydney have been fantastic in recent weeks and seem to be striking at exactly the right time. With three wins on the trot, they'll be looking to make Victory their fourth scalp in as many weeks. They welcome back their top scorer Santalab after he was suspended last week and when the likes of Robbie Cornthwaite starts scoring goals, you know the team is playing with that confidence that flows through the entire squad.
Victory have some troubles of their own in the last week or so, losing at home very comfortably to a Wellington Phoenix side that they have bested year in and year out was an absolute shock. Not only did they fail to create many chances, but not once did anyone in their squad put their hand up and try and get back in the game. They were all very stagnant and disappointing. They face a few more problems this week as two of their main defenders Geria and Baro are suspended and with another makeshift lineup expected, it could pose more problems for the squad.
Form is not always the best indicator of where the match will head but after watching the these two teams play in their respective matches, it was completely chalk and cheese. I know Victory aren't a squad who will stay beaten or humiliated for long and they are only ever one or two games away from a huge performance, however i feel as though things are shaping up nicely for the home team here. A couple of players returning, a defender scoring goals and three wins on the trot makes it hard to ignore. Victory have secured second place and i feel as though this match will mean next to nothing for them. They will be focused on the finals whereas WSW still need to attain the highest possible spot.
WSW to Win4 at 2.38-4
PERTH GLORY V BRISBANE ROAR
Jamie Maclaren returns to face his former club and Perth Glory are probably wishing that he wasn't due to the performance he put in against the Mariners last week. A hattrick and an overall menace for the entire match saw him pick up man of the match and also go equal at the top of the goalscoring charts with Besart Berisha. He'll be no doubt looking forward to this match more than others and that will sit very uneasily for Perth fans. Glory themselves were extremely lucky to walk away from Adelaide with a point last week and they certainly have dropped right off in regards to the league ladder. They failed to register a win in March and dreams of a top 3 finish are well and truly dashed. They need a result at home in front of their fans and need the likes of Castro and Keogh to step right up.
Brisbane managed to still deliver a classy performance against the Mariners even thought the game had a hint of an upset on the cards. Central Coast were initially resilient and grinded out to be level 0-0 at HT. They then did the unimaginable and went ahead thanks to a classy finish from the once Chelsea player, Fabio Ferreira. They could've made it 2-0 only minutes later but Roy O'Donovan's shot hit the post and the rest is history. Roar buckled down and within ten minutes they were up 3-1 to a Maclaren hatrick. Two more goals were banged in and Roar marched on. If they can take the second half performance and install that all game against Perth then this game will be theirs.
I don't fancy Perth all that much at home. They've been in woeful form and Marinkovic is out with an injury which'll only make matters worse when it comes to team selection. It'll be a tough venue to go to, but i feel as though Roar might get something out of the game. Happy to play this safe with a smaller bet but i do like the draw and over 2.5 goals if you're feeling cheeky
CENTRAL COAST V NEWCASTLE JETS
The final match of the week brings us to a battle where the unfortunate loser will no doubt be the wooden spoon recipients. After a tumultuous season, both of these sides find themselves bottom of the table again. Jets started off so brightly and recorded some excellent wins while playing attractive football whereas Mariners installed a lot of youth in their squad once again and this led to a mixture of results but they were seemingly going in the right direction. Fast forward to the end of the season and it's the same old story. Both clubs are making headlines off the pitch at the moment with clubs announcing signings and player extensions for next season. Perhaps there is a slight point to take from that in that both of these teams have more or less written off this season.
We've spoken about the Mariners defeat in Brisbane and also Jets' disgusting performance in Melbourne. Both of these teams are really struggling to even field a team that want to be on the pitch. This makes this match interesting as they both would've thought that they'd be playing for next to nothing at this time of year, but now they are playing for the right to say that they weren't the worst squad in the league this year. Hopefully that can fire a few of the veterans up and make this match a classic scrap.
It really is a coin flip. The home advantage means nothing as the Mariners' crowds are always quiet, plus Gosford is a quick trip for Newcastle supporters. I'm going to go with a play on both teams to score in both halves. It's a risky option but with the amount of tackling and pressing added with the weak defences, i think this is a prime target for goals at every possible chance. Could be make or break for sightstone followers 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%