The 2015/16 A-League season gets underway from Thursday evening, and will be the eleventh instalment of the nation’s leading football tournament in its current format.
Western Sydney and Brisbane Roar were both below their best last year and will be hoping to reverse their fortunes in Game 1 on Thursday night, while old rivals Adelaide and Melbourne Victory meet on Friday night.
Central Coast host Perth, Sydney FC begin their campaign against a strong Melbourne City outfit on Saturday night, while Week 1 will conclude with a match between the Phoenix and Jets in New Zealand on Sunday afternoon.
We’re offering the best odds on all five games in Week 1 of the A-League!
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Brisbane Roar
A rematch of the 2013/14 Grand Final will open the 2015/16 A-League season when the popular Western Sydney Wanderers host Brisbane Roar in Parramatta on Thursday night. Both sides have made plenty of signings in the offseason and will be eager to get their new campaign off to the best possible start after each failing to make much of an impact last year. The Roar will be without the services of key midfielder and Captain Matt McKay who is away on International duties, while the Wanderers new-look combination in the centre of the field looks particularly potent. The Wanderers at home have been a tough prospect even when the chips are down, and will probably be too good for Brisbane this evening.
Mark Bridge scores and Western Sydney wins: $7
Dimitri Petratos scores and Brisbane wins: $11
Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory
Reigning champions Melbourne Victory begin their title defence away from home against old foes Adelaide United on Friday night. The Victory easily outclassed Sydney FC in last season’s decider and have drawn an ideal lead-up to the 2015/16 season via a number of impressive trial fixtures and FFA Cup matches. Adelaide have welcomed Barcelona star Guillermo Amor to the helm, and the somewhat inexperienced manager will probably be expected to find good, consistent form early in the season for the proud club. Adelaide interestingly have not been beaten by Melbourne Victory in their last seven matches at Coopers Stadium, but face a big task in the champions in week 1. This match appears to have draw written all over it.
Eli Babalj scores and Adelaide wins: $7
Besart Berisha scores and Melbourne Victory wins: $5
Central Coast Mariners vs Perth Glory
A-League battlers Central Coast begin their 2015/16 campaign at home against the similarly-skilful Perth Glory on Saturday afternoon. The Mariners were unable to make much of their season in 2014/15 but will be hoping to restore good, competitive order through their proud ranks this time around. The Glory were one of the league’s standouts last season and were perched towards the top of the table for most of the year, however an unfortunate book keeping error led to the league stripping them of points and the chance to contest the finals. Solely on their way they rounded out their last campaign (four wins from five matches), we’re confident the Glory can muster the A-League’s first upset, in what will be a particularly well-contest fixture.
Fabio Ferreira scores and Central Coast wins: $7
Guyon Fernandez scores and Perth wins: $7.50
Sydney FC vs Melbourne City
Two of this season’s expected heavyweights meet in Sydney on Saturday night when last year’s runners-up host Melbourne City. Sydney fell agonizingly-close to a third title last campaign and are sure to have taken plenty of benefit from their return to the ‘big dance’ and season as a whole. Sydney have lost the services of gun striker Marc Janko, however coach Graham Arnold is confident his side will actually be far better, and will utilize their multi-dimensional attack more frequently as a result. City have again made another impressive list of signings leading into the new season, undoubtedly headlined by Danish international keeper Thomas Sorenson from Stoke City, who is sure to be a wall in defence. Sparks are sure to fly in this encounter, but City’s good record against Sydney away means they are more than capable of a draw or even success.
Shane Smeltz scores and Sydney wins: $6
Harry Novillo scores and Melbourne City wins: $10
Wellington Phoenix vs Newcastle Jets
The final fixtures of Week 1 of the A-League will peg Wellington Phoenix and the Newcastle Jets against each other in the land of the long white cloud on Sunday afternoon. Wellington produced arguably their best campaign to date last season but were unable to make anything of a finals run and were immediately eliminated from the competition, while the Jets were anchored to tenth position almost all year. Simply, the Jets were woeful in winning only three games and face a huge task in a fresh Wellington Phoenix outfit first up.
Michael McGlinchey scores and Wellington wins: $5
Labinot Haliti scores and Newcastle wins: $15