Premiership winners the Melbourne Victory will host Sydney FC in the Grand Final of season 10 of the A-League on Sunday afternoon, in what is set to be one of the most fiery and important editions of ‘The Big Blue’ to date.
While experiencing some slight lulls in form throughout the year, the Melbourne Victory have been the league’s benchmark all campaign and ended the regular season first overall, confirming an Asian Champions League position with 53 competition points via 15 wins, eight draws and only four losses.
Boasting a polished team over all corners of the pitch, the Victory are known for a rock-solid defence and flowing midfield, but are arguably at their best in front of goal.
Archie Thompson is a foundation player and has scored an impressive 89 goals in 209 appearances for the club, including eleven this campaign. Having played an integral role in the Victory’s two A-League championship wins so far, the fan favourite is sure to cause the Sydney defence headaches on Sunday.
Besart Berisha has played in and won two A-League titles with Brisbane Roar and has proven to be one of the season’s best signings in netting 14 for the Victory in 27 matches. Known for his fiery demeanour and ability to create chances from nothing, Berisha finished the Golden Boot race only two goals off the pace of Sydney’s Mark Janko and will be looking to make up the difference in the Grand Final.
Back Besart Berisha to score and Melbourne Victory to win in regular time for inflated $5 odds!
Flying under the radar for a good portion of the A-League season, Sydney FC have undoubtedly found the right form and the right point of their campaign and ended the regular season only one loss worse-off than the Victory; posting 14 wins, eight draws and five losses from their 27 matches.
Having been forced to do without the services of Nick Carle, Sasa Ognenovski, Ali Abbas and Corey Gemeiro since January, the Sky Blues have been particularly impressive with their ability to grind down opposition and find a way to win.
The key to success for Sydney on Sunday undoubtedly lies with Golden Boot winner and arguably the league’s best signing this campaign, Mark Janko. Having plied his trade all over Europe prior to joining Sydney FC, the tall Austrian has proven a huge task to contain for even the most polished of defences and is sure to again lead the Sydney attack in the only way he knows how on Sunday.
Back Mark Janko to score and Sydney FC to win in regular time for inflated $7 odds!
Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC Betting
Having won the Premiership and with it, the home Grand Final, Melbourne Victory remain clear favourites to win a third A-League title in regular time at $2.25 odds, while Sydney FC can be taken at a particularly generous $2.90 in the same market. The League’s most potent strikers in Berisha and Janko are both fit and are more than worth consideration to open scoring at quotes of $5.50 and $6 respectively.
Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC Head-to-Head
35 matches played
Melbourne Victory wins: 10
Sydney FC wins: 9
3 matches played
Round 6: Sydney FC – 0 vs Melbourne Victory – 0
Round 10: Melbourne Victory – 3 vs Sydney FC – 3
Round 17: Sydney FC – 3 vs Melbourne Victory – 3
Melbourne Victory have quickly adapted to Kevin Muscat’s hard, attacking style of football and have reaped the benefits all season, while Sydney have undoubtedly timed their run of slick form to perfection. Nothing can split the two teams in head-to-head results this season and both enter the Grand Final off the back of comfortable semi-final wins capped by three goals. Both teams will look to take control of the football early and score as many times as possible before the break, however both clubs are also proven in their abilities to overcome first half deficits. As a result of their incredible forward lines, the Grand Final will likely be decided by whichever team fields the stronger defence, which we believe will be Melbourne Victory. While Sydney’s exceptional away record and their win over the Victory in the 2009/10 Grand Final means they cannot be written off, the Victory at home may be a little too great a task in the season’s showpiece.
Tip: Melbourne Victory to win 3-2 after extra time.