Get ready for a big month of football in Australia with the next month being full up with A-League and Asian Cup as of Saturday.
Round 11 is a bit short on truly mouthwatering clashes but that doesn’t stop the value plays popping up, especially with the Nix possibly being a good side this year.
Read on for our previews and predictions for all five clashes this weekend.
Central Coast Mariners
Friday 4 January, 7:50pm, Jubilee Stadium
Sydney FC 5 – Central Coast 2
The Graham Arnold derby is not the most exciting way to kick off the round of football with the Sky Blues expected to make short work of the Mariners.
Perhaps it will be seen as a win for Central Coast if the posts can stay in one piece after their New Years Eve debacle against Perth.
A 1 goal handicap is just on the edge of an enticing play but it is a line call if the value is truly there… then you remember just how bad the Mariners have been this season.
Back Sydney to Win -1 Goal @ $1.75
Saturday 5 January, 5:35pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide 0 – Wellington 0
For the first time in what feels like forever, Wellington are no longer just the whipping boys that you can’t even back against because their opponents are at such short odds.
Having proved a point with a draw in Melbourne, their case as a contender would be further strengthened coming away from Coopers Stadium with all three points.
Adelaide have not looked great lately and needed a late penalty to get by an uneven Newcastle side last weekend and could be ripe for picking here.
If Wellington do win this game you can expect much shorter odds in the future so if you want to get ahead of the curve here, back the Nix to pick up a big away win.
Back Wellington to Win @ $4.00
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 5 January, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Western Sydney 1 – Melbourne Victory 2
What was once one of the most anticipated fixtures on the A-League calendar has taken a bit of a hit with the struggles of the homeless Wanderers.
With just one win in their last four, Western Sydney are in dire need of a boost but don’t appear to have the players to make it happen.
The Victory on the other hand have drawn two in a row and could use all three points from this away trip to avoid Perth getting too far ahead.
Normally you would back the Victory only if their chief playmaker Keisuke Honda is in the side but they should have the quality to win here even if the Japanese star is absent.
Back Victory to Win @ $2.00
Sunday 6 January, 5:00pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 2 – Newcastle 1
The Jets travel to Melbourne on the back of a draining midweek draw against Brisbane.
While Newcastle did win the semi-final between these sides last season, it was its only win in over City in the last six meetings.
City scored three when these sides met five weeks ago and it was their highest total of the season.
At even money you have to like City coming away with a win here.
Back Melbourne City to Win @ $2.00
Sunday 6 January, 7:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane 2 – Perth 4
Fortress Suncorp has not exactly been an imposing venue for visiting sides as of late with the Roar winning just once there this season.
Perth historically has not enjoyed travelling to the Sunshine State with three wins from 20 matches at Suncorp.
Tony Popovic is urging his Glory charges to forget history and create some new memories as his table topping side continues to pick up big wins.
While Brisbane has improved in recent weeks you still have to like the Glory as away favourites in this game.
Back Perth to Win @ $2.30
There is plenty to look forward to in Round 11 of the A-League with the top four sides facing off with one another.
Sydney FC host Melbourne City and the visitors will be hoping to build on their two match winning streak by ending Sydney’s four game run but with the ruthless edge shown last week it will be one worth keeping an eye on.
Here is our preview for all five matches plus the recommended plays.
Melbourne City FC
Friday 15 December, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
City kicked off life after Tim Cahill with a win at home against the Mariners, but the challenge jumps up another level with a visit to Allianz Stadium.
Ross McCormack scored his first goal from open play finishing off a well-constructed move and they held the Mariners at arm’s length for most of the game.
Sydney maintained their gap on top of the A-League table with a rampant 5-0 win in the Sydney Derby and they have the comfort knowing they won when the sides met at AAMI Park in November.
Sydney are just finding ways to win week after week and are swatting away all challengers, especially at home so back them to get the job done here.
Back Sydney FC to Win @ $1.67
Saturday 16 December, 5:35pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Sometimes things just fall your way and the Jets pulled of a classic footballing late show to get the win in Perth last week.
Their round six meeting produced a 2-1 comeback win for the Jets which sent them to the top of the table.
Adelaide held on with nine men to defeat the Victory last week but they will be counting the cost of those red cards with Daniel Adlung and Ben Garuccio missing from this game.
Newcastle just keep rolling despite Roy O’Donovan’s absence and I think they will be able to produce another win this weekend to keep in sighting distance of Sydney.
Back Newcastle Jets to Win @ $1.90
Central Coast Mariners
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 16 December, 7:50pm, Central Coast Stadium
Round two saw an entertaining 2-2 draw play out between these sides with Daniel De Silva starring for the Mariners.
Western Sydney are in all sorts after their derby drubbing, looking like a team trapped at the foot of the table and struggling for momentum.
As Josep Gombau tries to set up his systems and structures the Wanderers will have some major growing pains.
If they allow De Silva to roam with as much space as he had in the last game, Central Coast should score a few goals to further add to the Wanderers misery.
Back Central Coast Mariners to Win @ $2.70
Saturday 16 December, 10:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
After spending a week on this side of the Tasman, the Phoenix travel to Perth having defeated the Glory 5-2 at home in round six.
Wellington will feel as though they played well enough to get past the Roar last week and will be looking to claim all three points.
Perth faded badly to give up two late goals at home to Newcastle last week and that defeat should spring them back into action, as will the likely return of Diego Castro to the starting lineup.
Wellington has the momentum going into the match but it is a long trip and that should be enough to keep them on level terms with the Glory.
Back the Draw @ $3.75
Sunday 17 December, 7:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
A day after the Distance Derby, Suncorp plays host to what can only be described as the Desperation Derby as the Victory play the Roar.
These teams played out a tense draw at Etihad Stadium five weeks ago and neither side will be overly happy with a point in this fixture.
Brisbane have lost just once since October 28 and while they would prefer to have a few more wins on the board they are treading water on the edge of the top six.
Both sides are severely depleted through injury and suffered major losses in the form of Eric Bautheac and Mark Milligan so it will be interesting to see how they offset those absences.
The Roar have just a little bit more squad depth including some exciting youngsters who may get a chance and I like their chances at home here.
Back the Roar to Win @ $2.50
The Melbourne Derby has quickly developed into one of the biggest events on the A-League calendar and this clash on Saturday night highlights a big week of A-League action.
The round begins on Friday night when the Newcastle Jets host Adelaide United, while one of the best games of the weekend is set to be on Saturday night when the Perth Glory do battle with Sydney FC.
There are plenty of betting opportunities spread right across the weekend of A-League action and you can find our thoughts on every single game below.
Friday 16 December, 6:50pm, Hunter Stadium
Newcastle Jets 2 - Adelaide United 1
Adelaide United received a flogging at the hands of the Brisbane Roar last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Newcastle Jets as clear favourites.
Despite Adelaide’s slow start to the season, they have still won four of their past six games as away favourites.
Newcastle returned to winning form with an upset victory over the Perth Glory, but stringing together back-to-back wins has proven to be an issue for the Jets.
The Jets have won three of their past 10 games as home underdogs for a narrow profit and their record against Adelaide United is very strong.
Newcastle played some excellent football on the weekend and they are more than capable of upstaging an incredibly inconsistent Adelaide outfit.
Back Newcastle To Win @ $3
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 17 December, 4:35pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Wellington Phoenix 2 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2
Wellington made a strong start to the post-Ernie Merrick era, but it is the Western Sydney Wanderers that will go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Phoenix were excellent against the Central Coast Mariners last weekend, but they have still won only one of their past eight games as home underdogs.
Western Sydney were no match for a rampant Melbourne Victory last weekend and they have won just one of their past eight games.
The Wanderers are 4-1-2 as away favourites over the past 12 months for a narrow loss and they are a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.
The market has got this game just about right and I will be letting it slide through to the keeper.
Saturday 17 December, 6:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 1 - Melbourne Victory 2
The Melbourne Derby is easily the highlight of the round and should be an outstanding contest.
Melbourne City were far too good for Melbourne Victory earlier this season and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
It is no secret that Melbourne City have an outstanding record at AAMI Park – they have won 10 of their past 13 games as home favourites for a clear profit.
Melbourne Victory produced their best performance of the season to dismantle the Western Sydney Wanderers and they have now won three of their past four games.
They do face a tougher challenge against Melbourne City and they have not won a Derby in over a year.
Melbourne City’s record at AAMI Park can’t be ignored and they are a good bet to win another Melbourne Derby.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $2.20
Saturday 17 December, 9:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth Glory 1 - Sydney FC 4
Sydney FC remain well clear on top of the A-League ladder and they will go into this clash with the Perth Glory as clear favourites.
Sydney FC are still unbeaten in the A-League this season and they have won four of their past seven games as away favourites for a narrow profit.
Perth continue to struggle for consistency and they produced a truly uninspiring performance to go down to the Newcastle Jets last weekend.
The Glory have still won three of their past six games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are still capable of competing with the best sides in the competition on their best form.
They continue to frustrate, but Perth are worth a gamble at their current price.
Back Perth To Win @ $3.50
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 18 December, 4:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast Mariners 1 - Brisbane Roar 2
The Brisbane Roar were dominant against Adelaide United last Sunday and they will go into this clash with the Central Coast Mariners as clear favourites.
Brisbane have still only lost one game this season, but their record as away favourites is a very unconvincing 2-2-2.
Central Coast suffered a big defeat at the hands of the Wellington Phoenix last weekend and they remain a tough team to trust from a betting standpoint.
The Mariners have won just two of their past 12 games as home underdogs for a clear loss and it is tough to see that changing against the Roar.
This is another game that I am happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.