Another A-League regular season is in the books and the six teams competing for the Championship are ready to go.
Premiers Sydney and runners up Newcastle will be enjoying a well earned weekend off as they can scout their next opponent.
Brisbane and Melbourne City will meet in the finals for the first time in their history however there is a long history of hostility between the two clubs with several fractious encounters in their history.
In the other semi-final it is a rematch of the 2007 and 2009 Grand Finals as Melbourne Victory and Adelaide face off Sunday night.
Read on for our A-League Finals preview and picks for both matches.
Melbourne City Vs Brisbane Roar
Friday 20 April, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
It came down to the final half hour of the regular season but the Roar have scraped into the finals.
As their reward they get a trip to face coach John Aloisi’s former employers Melbourne City at a venue where they do not enjoy playing at all.
The Roar’s run to the finals has been built on solid away form and springing teams on the counter and you would expect them to have their share of chances as City will look to go onto the attack.
Despite City losing to Wellington last weekend their star striker Bruno Fornaroli is looking in ominous form and would be drooling at the prospect of facing an injury depleted Roar defence.
Under John Aloisi, the Roar are 0-2 away from Suncorp Stadium in finals play and I am backing City to get the job done in 90 minutes this Friday.
Back Melbourne City to Win in 90 Minutes @ $1.85
Melbourne Victory Vs Adelaide United
Sunday 22 April, 6:00pm, AAMI Park
An evenly split season series will be decided in the second match of the Finals series.
Victory won the last meeting with Adelaide at this venue 3-0 but they did suffer a 2-1 loss in December across town at Etihad Stadium in December.
Since losing to the Roar in early February, the Victory have won four straight at AAMI Park and the crowd will be right behind them.
Adelaide enter the finals on a high note after eliminating Western Sydney in Sydney last weekend so they will not be too worried about having to do the job on the road.
As winners of four of their last five, they will be feeling very confident and their coach Marco Kurz will be making decisions to win this game, rather than just survive.
This has the makings of a tight, low scoring battle that will be decided in extra time so I’m going to back the 90 minute draw.
Back the Draw in 90 Minutes @ $3.40
The 2017 A-League Finals get underway this weekend and we are set for two highly competitive elimination-finals.
The Brisbane Roar were eliminated from the A-League Finals by the Western Sydney Wanderers last year and they have the chance to eliminate their rivals in 2017, while Melbourne City and Perth Glory do battle for the second weekend in a row.
We have closely analysed both A-League elimination finals and below you can find our recommended betting plays for these crucial clashes.
Brisbane Roar Vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday 21 April, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Roar finished the A-League season in third position and they will go into this clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers as clear favourites.
Brisbane came from 3-1 down to beat the Wellington Phoenix 4-3 and they have now won three of their past four games.
The Roar have been very tough to beat at Suncorp Stadium this season and they have won seven of their past 11 games as home favourites this year for a clear profit.
Western Sydney have struggled for consistency this season, but they have found a semblance of their best form at the right time and have not been beaten for almost two months.
Winning away from home has been an issue for Western Sydney and they have won just two of their past 11 games as away underdogs.
Brisbane have been the more reliable side in the A-League this season and they should be able to progress to the semi-finals.
Back Brisbane To Win @ $2.10
Melbourne City Vs Perth Glory
Sunday 23 April, 7:00pm, AAMI Park
Perth Glory scored a thrilling 5-4 victory over Melbourne City last Sunday, but it is Melbourne City that will start this clash as clear favourites.
Melbourne City are a different team in front of their home fans at AAMI Park and they have won seven of their past ten games as home favourites for a clear profit, while they are 6-2-2 on the back of a loss.
Perth head into the finals on the back of two impressive wins over A-League Finals rivals, but they don’t have the benefit of home ground advantage in this clash.
The Glory have won only two of their past ten games as away underdogs and winning back-to-back games has also been a problem.
Melbourne City will start this clash as deserving favourites and should be able to keep alive their hopes of a maiden A-League Championship.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $1.91
The 2016 A-League Finals get underway this weekend with a pair of what should be two very exciting semi-finals.
The Brisbane Roar blew a golden opportunity to claim the Premiers’ Plate when they failed to beat the Melbourne Victory last weekend, but they can gain revenge on their rivals in the first Elimination Final.
Melbourne City and Perth Glory both suffered disappointing losses in the final round of the A-League regular season and they will do battle in the second Elimination Final on Sunday afternoon.
Brisbane Roar Vs Melbourne Victory
Friday 15 April, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Roar were unable to break down the Melbourne Victory when they played at AAMI Park last Saturday night, but they will still start this game as clear favourites.
The Roar created enough opportunities to win a couple of games last weekend, but they failed to take their chances and they can’t afford a repeat of that again on Friday night.
Brisbane have been outstanding in front of their home fans this season and their record of 12-2-1 as home favourites this season cannot be ignored ahead of this fixture and they are clearly the team to beat.
The Victory fell away in the second half of the A-League season and just over a month ago they were beaten by the Roar 5-0, but this is a side that has a big game pedigree and they will be buoyed by the fact that Besart Berisha will return for suspension.
Melbourne have been far from a profitable betting team away from home this season – they have won five from 15 games away from AAMI Stadium – and they have won only a single game as away underdogs this season.
I don’t expect the Roar to make the same mistakes that they made last weekend and I am confident that they will get the job done on Friday night.
Recommended Bet: Back The Brisbane Roar To Win @ $2.05
Melbourne City FC Vs Perth Glory
Sunday 17 April, 5:00pm, AAMI Park
This is set to be an outstanding game of football and it would not surprise me if the winner of this fixutre made it all the way to the Grand Final.
Melbourne City looked as though they would make a run for the Premier’s Plate after their dominant win over the Brisbane Roar on March 18, but they head into the finals on the back of losses to both Perth and Adelaide United.
They still go into this elimination final fixture as clear favourites and they are another side that has proven hard to beat in front of their home fans this season, with the side going 8-3 as home favourites this season, but their record against the Perth Glory is very poor.
Perth have been a highly profitable betting team across the majority of metrics this season and they have won more than half their games as underdogs this season, while they are 4-1-6 as away underdogs.
The Glory beat Melbourne City earlier this month and if you forget their incredibly poor performance against Sydney FC they have been the form team in the A-League in the past six weeks.
There really is not a great deal between these two teams and the market should be far closer than it currently is, which makes the Glory excellent value at their current odds.
Recommended Bet: Back The Perth Glory To Win @ $3.40