Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A-League Round 18

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday, February 20
7.00 PM (AEST)

This match was postponed due to the wet weather

Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, February 21
4.00 PM (AEST)

The Mariners are back on the road after a winless week that saw them eliminated from this year’s Asian Champions League competition before it really started. Phil Moss hopes they can stop the rot quickly against the Sky Blues, given the Mariners have failed to score in three of their last four visits to Sydney. With the second worst defence in the league, the CCM have won two of their last four league games, but weren't successful in any of their previous 12. I can’t see the record improving anytime soon as they come up against a Sydney side looking like they have recaptured that mojo from early in the season

My tip: Sydney FC H2H and Marc Janko is a good option for the “First Goal Scorer’ market after scoring four goals in his last three games, including a brace in the 5-1 win against CCM in Round 15.

Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Saturday, February 21
6.30 PM (AEST)

Adelaide will still be rueing their missed opportunities last weekend against Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium, where they shared the points with the league leaders. Josep Gombau will be wary of wounded Wanderers who still languish at the bottom of the ladder with only one win to their name. The poor season for the Wanderers is about to get a little tougher, as they look to defend their Asian Champions League title that seems an age ago, on the back of current form. This is a crucial game for Adelaide, as a win will keep their top two hopes alive. The Reds have scored 20 more goals than the Wanderers this season, so on that stat alone, I am tipping them to win this one comfortably in front of their loyal fans.

My tip: Adelaide United H2H, but for a little more value, try the ‘Both Teams To Score” market and take the ‘Only One or Neither To Score’ option.

Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle United Jets
Hutt Recreational Ground, Wellington
Sunday, February 22
2.00 PM (AEST)

After such an attacking season, the Wellington Phoenix have hit a scoreless patch over the past two rounds. It’s unfamiliar territory for the club, as they haven’t gone three games without a goal since September 2008. Thankfully they host a Newcastle Jets side, with only one win recorded for the season. With the Cake Tin being used for the Cricket World Cup, the Hutt Recreation Ground is their temporary residence, and I’m tipping the Nix to continue their good form at home after going seven games without defeat (5W & 2D), and keeping a clean sheet in the last three.

My tip: Wellington Phoenix H2H; although I do like the Phoenix to be the ‘First Half Winner’ as they try to break the recent duck on the score sheet early. Nathan Burns is a handy ‘First Goal Scorer’ given he’s the only A-League player in double figures in the Golden Boot standings.

Melbourne City v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday, February 22
4.00 PM (AEST)

This game at AAMI Park looks to be the hardest to pick of the round. City travel back to Melbourne after keeping the Nix scoreless, but face a tough challenge against league leaders Perth, who battled out an impressive draw against Adelaide. After a run of 10 games without defeat (8W & 2D), Glory have failed to win in their last four games (2D & 2L). I get the feeling the Glory may come up flat for this game after the off -field distractions dominating the headlines. Their poor run against City in their last four away games against them (1D & 3L) will be a worrying trend that Kenny Lowe will be hoping to break.

My tip: Melbourne City H2H; Given this could be a tight contest early on the ‘Half/Full Double’ of (Draw/Melbourne City) is worth considering.

I’ll be on @RadioTABAus every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire A-league season with my previews and reviews of every game.

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