The 2019/2020 A-League Regular Season will draw to a conclusion in Sydney with the final 29 matches taking place over 34 days.
After the competition was suspended in March, the sides are ready to get back underway with the Premiership destined for Sydney FC however the A-League finals promises to be an exciting conclusion to the season.
We’re previewing every match in the rest of the A-League regular season here so read on to see who we are backing.
Friday 17 July, 7:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
Sydney FC 3 – Wellington 1
A day later than originally planned, the A-League gets back underway with Sydney FC taking on Wellington Phoenix.
The Sky Blues will want to wrap up the Premiers Plate as soon as possible and turn their attention to tuning up for the finals.
A win here should do just that and history is on their side, winning eight of their last 11 matches against Wellington, losing just once in that time.
With the uncertainty over how teams are going to be set up in the return to play you can get Sydney at a rare price (by their standards at least) and with said uncertainty, Sydney outright is probably the only play worth taking here.
Back Sydney FC to Win @ $1.62
Central Coast Mariners
Saturday 18 July, 5:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Perth 1 – Central Coast 0
You have to give the Mariners credit, they have no chance of making the finals but they are charging on and finishing the season.
Perth hasn’t had a perfect build up to this restart, losing star player Diego Castro but they still have more than enough on hand to deal with the Mariners.
It might not be a high scoring affair but the Glory specialise in grinding out results under Tony Popovic, back them to win a tight one.
Back Perth to Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ $2.60
Sunday 19 July, 7:30pm, CBus Super Stadium
Brisbane 0 – Adelaide 1
There are few certainties in the A-League at the best of times, let alone at the moment but when Brisbane takes on Adelaide, we are guaranteed chaos.
In fact, these two might make up the most underrated rivalry in the competition.
Before the hiatus, the Roar were the in form A-League side since New Years Day but with coach Robbie Fowler departing the club, there’s a certain element of unknown about what this side is going to look like.
They have been able to retain the bulk of their key players and should have enough to get them home at their third home in Robina.
Back Brisbane to Win @ $2.40
Tuesday 21 July, 7:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
Sydney FC 1 – Newcastle 2
Sydney were well below their regular level in their win over Wellington on Friday night and with the tune up out of the way, they can claim the Premiers Plate with a point here against Newcastle.
The Jets trail sixth placed Adelaide by six points with four matches to play, so their margin for error is slim at best.
The Sky Blues have been far too good this season and are well worth backing at their current price.
In their camp they will be looking to secure the silverware then turn their attention to preparing for the finals and completing another double.
Back Sydney to Win @ $1.73
Wednesday 22 July, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Perth 1 – Wellington 2
It’s a distance derby with a twist as the (occasional) longest rivalry in football meet sort of in the middle in the Sydney A-League hub.
Perth and Wellington will both have their sights set on stealing second place from Melbourne City and could overtake the Citizens by winning both their games in hand.
Should one or both fall short there is every chance they will meet again in the finals.
Perth battled to a 1-0 win over the Mariners in their hub opener while the Nix were gallant in defeat against Sydney FC.
This has the makings of an arm wrestle with both sides backing up on short rest this could turn into a war of attrition where the first team to score might come away with something.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.10
Central Coast Mariners
Friday 24 July, 7:30pm, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast 0 – Newcastle 0
It’s the forgotten derby in the A-League on Friday night as the original local rivalry takes centre stage.
The season restart has not brought about the change in fortunes the Mariners might have been dreaming of, losing their return match to Perth.
Newcastle could not have asked for a better return, running over Sydney FC late to pick up a vital three points to keep their finals hopes alive.
We’ve had a pair of wild F3 Derbies already this season and this one should be no different.
The Jets are the better side but as is always the case, the Mariners should at least find a way to give them a scare.
SGM: Newcastle to Win & Both Teams to Score @ $2.78
Saturday 25 July, 5:00pm, Bankwest Stadium
Wellington 1 – Adelaide 1
Adelaide have Paul Izzo to thank for the three points they earned on the Gold Coast in their first match back.
Now in the Sydney hub, the Reds need to build on a rusty effort first up and they do have a shot against a Wellington side playing their third match in seven days.
The Nix were gallant against Sydney and resilient against Perth, but you have to wonder if they have the legs to last 90 minutes here.
Ufuk Talay has built a strong culture at the club and they look like a side well suited to hub life.
Back Wellington to Win @ $2.10
Saturday 25 July, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Melbourne Victory 1 – Western United 2
This was the fixture that was supposed to restart the A-League but after the Victorian sides had to flee the state, this was postponed by nine days.
Mark Rudan’s side have enjoyed plenty of success over their big brothers in their debut season, winning both matches.
Before the shutdown Western United had found their scoring touch with 11 goals in their last two matches.
Expecting them to pick up where they left off might be a bit optimistic, even against one of the worst performing Victory sides in the club’s history.
They might not score five or six but they should be able to score enough to get a win here.
Back Western United to Win @ $2.55
Central Coast Mariners
Western Sydney Wanderers
Monday 27 July, 7:30pm, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast 1 – Western Sydney 1
The A-League resumes tonight with the Mariners taking on Western Sydney in a match that will almost certainly officially consign the hosts to another wooden spoon.
To avoid that Central Coast needs to win both of their remaining matches, have Melbourne Victory lose their remaining four matches and turn around an 18 goal deficit in goal difference.
In short it doesn’t seem all that likely and I’ll happily take them on at any price.
Back Western Sydney to Win @ $1.50
Wednesday 29 July, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Melbourne Victory 1 – Brisbane 2
After a 10-day break, the Roar are back in action taking on the Melbourne Victory and both sides will be eager to respond after defeats in their respective return matches.
History says the Victory are a great chance of getting something from this, having won their last four matches against the Roar and eight of the last 11 all up.
If Brisbane comes out flat like they did against Adelaide a young Victory side will capitalise on their mistakes.
The Roar look like they may need a little bit more work to be sharp for the finals while the Victory are auditioning for next season, I’ll back both sides to come away with a point here.
Back the Draw @ $3.20
Thursday 30 July, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Adelaide 5 – Perth 3
Perth have had their way with Adelaide over the last couple of seasons, winning three of the last five meetings and drawing the other two.
Under Carl Veart, the Reds are closer to being in the “desperation zone” just one point above seventh placed Western United but having played an extra two matches, they need to win out to have any chance of sneaking into the finals.
Perth on the other hand are on the right side of the line and may be able to leapfrog Brisbane into fourth place with a win here, putting them in striking distance of that critical second spot.
Some things are different at the moment, others stay the same, Perth should find a way to grind this one out.
Back Perth to Win @ $2.10
Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday 31 July, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Western Sydney 1 – Wellington 0
Wellington has the chance to edge ahead in the race for second spot, playing a day before Melbourne City here.
The Wanderers are still an outside shot of sneaking into the finals but don’t have a whole lot or room for error.
History says the edge here is with the Nix winning the last four head to head matches between the two and all things considered, they should be able to come away with another victory here.
SGM: Wellington to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $4.04
Saturday 1 August, 5:00pm, ANZ Stadium
Melbourne City 2 – Sydney FC 0
It’s a potential Grand Final preview between the two light blue sides in the A-League (don’t call City’s colour sky blue).
City will be looking to return serve following Wellington’s result the day before and I like their chances of taking on a Sydney side that has already wrapped up the Premiership.
This will be City’s first involvement in the A-League restart so they might get off to a slow start but their squad is still full of quality and you know their coaching staff has spent the last four months coming up with something creative.
Desperation is key at the moment and City is the more desperate side, back them to win.
Back City to Win @ $2.40
Sunday 2August, 7:30pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle 1 – Western United 0
At best, the Jets finals hopes could be described as optimistic, sitting in eighth place needing to win their last two matches and hope that two of Western United, Adelaide and Perth lose all of their remaining matches.
In short, they need a major miracle, starting with a win here.
You shouldn’t think much of their chances though, Western United might not be the prettiest side in the competition but they can get the job done against just about everyone.
The Jets have won one and drawn the other meeting with United and goals are at a premium when they face off.
In the first meeting it was a 1-0 win to the Jets and the second one was a 0-0 draw.
There’s value to be had all over the place and for us it’s backing a low scoring affair.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.05
Central Coast Mariners
Monday 3 August, 7:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
When these teams faced off earlier this year, it was a wild finish that saw a pair of stoppage time penalties to Matt Simon give them the most unlikely of victories.
They have been resilient since the A-League returned, battling with Perth Glory before drawing with the Jets and Wanderers.
Thanks to the oddities of the A-League draw this will be their final match of the season and you would back them to try and end things on a high note, even though the wooden spoon is confirmed.
In a match befitting a Monday night timeslot, the Victory are all but locked into 10th place as they face the worst finish in club history.
Two sides with nothing to lose will hopefully find a way to go for broke and put on a show for those of us who dare to watch.
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.80
Western Sydney Wanderers
Tuesday 4 August, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Western Sydney 1 – Perth 3
Four points and three places separate these two sides on the A-League ladder and Perth will be eager for a response after last week’s belting from Adelaide.
The Wanderers aren’t exactly the 2010-2011 Brisbane Roar but after seeing Perth concede five last time, they have to fancy their chances of keeping their finals hopes alive here.
Unfortunately for them, Tony Popovic is the sort of coach that will go all out to ensure that his side won’t be run over two matches in a row.
Look for a much more resilient Glory side on Popovic’s return to Parramatta and the Wanderers just don’t look like they have the ability to break them down.
Perth have won the first two A-League meetings between these sides this season and I’ll back them to make it three from three here.
Back Perth to Win @ $2.45
Wednesday 5 August, 6:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Wellington 1 – Brisbane 1
Over the last few seasons, even with the sides experiencing very different fortunes, the Roar and Phoenix have been very evenly matched.
Since the 2017/2018 season, Brisbane and Wellington have met eight times with two wins apiece and four draws.
Neither side has found top gear in the A-League hub just yet, with the Roar losing to Adelaide and defeating the Victory while Wellington has a win over Perth, a draw with Adelaide and a shocking loss to the Wanderers on the weekend.
Any points dropped for either side would end their (admittedly slim) hopes of stealing second place from Melbourne City.
The last four meetings have produced a winner and with nine combined draws from their 48 matches this season, this one comes down to who do you trust more?
I’ll play it a bit safe and sit on the fence for this one and back both teams to score instead of choosing a side in a match that could go either way.
Back Both Teams to Score @ $1.62
Thursday 6 August, 7:30pm, ANZ Stadium
It’s a funny thing what desperation will do to a side, Sydney just needed to turn up to the A-League hub to claim the Premiers Plate whereas Adelaide needed to hit the ground running just to make the finals.
Interim boss Carl Veart is putting together a fantastic case to get the job full time with two wins and a draw in the last fortnight.
The Reds have given Sydney plenty of problems over the last few years and I’ll back them to continue their strong form and get another three points.
Back Adelaide to Win @ $2.80
Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday 7 August, 7:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
Both sides head into this match on the outside of the finals picture looking in and their respective hopes may be all but extinguished by the time this one kicks off.
With a couple of games in hand on Perth, Mark Rudan’s side would still like their chances of catching last season’s premiers.
To do that they need to come away with a win here and for that to happen, they have to play a lot better than they did against Newcastle on Sunday night.
The Wanderers have looked quite good since the restart taking a point from their clash with the Mariners followed by a win over Wellington.
It’s tough to split these teams and that’s why it’s probably best to back the draw, even though that doesn’t help either side’s finals chances.
Back the Draw @ $3.25
Saturday 8 August, 5:00pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
This one might actually be the easiest play of the entire A-League season conclusion.
You’ve got a Perth side still pushing for finals football going against a horrendously out of form Victory team.
While it’s nice to see the 10th placed Melbourne side giving their youngsters a chance, Perth should have the experience and the wherewithal to get over the line here.
For a bit of added value, look into the goal markets considering both teams to score has hit in each of the last three matches for both sides.
SGM: Perth to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $3.10
Monday 10 August, 7:30pm, ANZ Stadium
This is a game that is hard to get excited about from a betting perspective and the market looks to have this clash just about right.
Sydney FC have struggled somewhat since the competition resumed and it is tough to back them without any confidence before the A-League Finals get underway.
The Brisbane Roar scored a nice win over the Melbourne Victory, but they historically struggle against Sydney FC and have one only one of their past five meetings.
The market that does appeal in this contest is the Over in Total Points betting.
Over 2.5 goals have been scored in seven of the past eight games played between the two sides and I don’t think that there will be a shortage of goals in this clash.
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.70
Tuesday 11 August, 7:30pm, ANZ Stadium
I don’t think that there is as much between Melbourne City and Adelaide United as the current market suggests.
Adelaide United have not suffered a defeat since the competition resumed and they have played some good football in the process.
Melbourne City go into this clash as deserved favourites, but I can’t get them as short as their current price of $1.80.
They have won only ten of their past 19 games as favourites for a loss and they have won only one of their past five games against Adelaide United.
Adelaide United are over the odds at their current quote of $4.
Back Adelaide United To Win @ $4
Wednesday 12 August, 5:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Defence has been a serious issue for Perth Glory since the competition resumed and I can’t get them anywhere near as short as their current quote of $1.87.
They have conceded 10 goals in their past three games and they were particularly poor against the Melbourne Victory on the weekend.
Western United have scored two wins from three games since the action returned and they were able to put five goals past the Western Sydney Wanderers in their most recent clash.
There is nowhere near as much between these two sides as the current market suggests and I think that Western United are capable of winning what could be a high-scoring clash.
Back Western United & Both Teams To Score @ $5.75
Western Sydney Wanderers
Wednesday 12 August, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
This is one of the most interesting games of the week from a betting perspective.
Neither of these sides have been overly impressive since the A-League returned and it is no surprise that there is not much between the two sides in betting.
The Melbourne Victory are narrow favourites and this is a scenario that I am keen to take them on in this season.
They have won only two of their past eight games as favourites, while backing Western Sydney as home underdogs has been a profitable betting play this season.
It is the Wanderers that often a hint of value at their current quote.
Back Western Sydney To Win @ $2.55
Thursday 13 August, 7:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
The Wellington Phoenix can secure third place on the A-League ladder with a win in this fixture, while the Newcastle Jets don’t have anything to play for.
In saying that, I still don’t think that there is as much between these two sides in betting as the current market suggests.
Newcastle have won two of their three games since the competition resumed and backing them as underdogs this season has proven to be a profitable betting play.
Wellington have looked far from impressive since they returned to action and they have always struggled in Australia.
Newcastle can finish their season with a win and could be a side ready to return to contention next year.
Back Newcastle Jets To Win @ $2.95
Saturday 15 August, 5:00pm, Bankwest Stadium
Wednesday 19 August, 7:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium