Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A-League Round 20

Newcastle United Jets v Sydney FC
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Friday, March 06
6.40 PM (AEST)

As the Jets prepare to host Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium, their poor record of no wins in the last five A-League meetings against them is be a big concern for embattled coach Phil Stubbins. (2D & 3L). What’s worse, the Jets haven't scored a solitary goal in 361 minutes of football against Graham Arnold's men. Sydney will continue utilize their strengths up front, with Marc Janko scoring an incredible eight goals in his past five appearances. Despite an exciting win in the #SydneyDerby last weekend, a clean sheet will be high on Arnie's wish list as he looks to strengthen a defensive line that has always has its doubters.

My tip: Sydney FC H2H. Hard to go past Sydney FC on the back on a very poor Jets season that will see them battle it out with the Wanderers for the wooden spoon.

Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
Hutt Recreational Ground, Wellington
Saturday, March 07
2.00 PM (AEST)

This promises to be a mouth-watering clash between the third and fourth placed sides, separated by only one goal in the differential stats. The real test will be for Adelaide on the road. They've only been successful once in their last eight trips to Wellington. However, that win came in their last trip across the ditch last season. The Nix are unbeaten in eight home matches and have kept a clean sheet in half of those games. Sergio Cirio has a very impressive goal scoring strike rate against Wellington, but has only found the net when playing on his home pitch.

My tip: Wellington Phoenix H2H in a narrow victory. A value option in the ‘Correct Score’ market is Wellington Phoenix 1-0.

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday, March 07
6.30 PM (AEST)

Another highly anticipated clash is the top placed Perth Glory away to the classy Melbourne Victory outfit at AAMI Park. The Victory will be down following their home loss last week to the Phoenix, spoiling the 200th game celebrations for Archie Thompson. The overwhelming stat for the punters is the Victory have scored in 14 successive A-League games against the Glory, so if you’re looking at the ‘To Score A Goal’ market, Besart Berisha and Andy Keogh are worth considering! Both have scored in the previous two fixtures between the sides this season. The Glory haven’t won in their past six games (4D & 2L), but their last victory was against Victory back in Round 13.

My tip: Melbourne Victory H2H to overtake the Glory and snatch top spot on the A-League ladder.

Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Sunday, March 08
2.00 PM (AEST)

Melbourne City are unbeaten in their past three A-League games and were impressive in a 3-1 win over Adelaide last Friday night. Despite the victory, and a return score sheet, the alarming stat for John van 't Schip is in their failure to score in three successive away matches. Despite a poor season by their expectations, I think the Mariners could just sneak home on the back on the home ground advantage in this one. It is a difficult game for the punters, so the ‘Double Chance’ may just give you a little comfort, as this one heads into added time.

My tip: CCM H2H. Fabio Ferreira is also a good option for “First goal scorer’ after finding the net twice for his new club since joining from Adelaide United.

Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sunday, March 08
4.00 PM (AEST)

It’s been a busy week for both clubs following their ACL commitments, but neither side will have any excuses come Sunday returning to the scene of last season’s memorable Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium. Despite a huge disparity in ladder positions, a win is vital for both clubs. The Roar are looking to leapfrog Melbourne City into the top six. For the Wanderers, talk of the finals is not on the radar, but avoiding the wooden spoon and scoring goals are the sole focus as the club focuses ahead to Asian Champions League knockout stage qualification. Brisbane have won 10 points from a possible 12 (3W & 1D) from their past four A-League games, and on that alone, I favor them to get the three points at home.

My tip: Brisbane Roar H2H. I also like Draw/Brisbane Roar in the ‘Half/Full Double’ market as both teams find their feet in the first half given their busy week.

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.