After all of that, we are into the final third of the A-League season and it is Perth Glory’s Premiership to lose.
With a seven point lead and just nine games remaining the Glory are just seven games away from their first A-League Premiers Plate.
They have a chance to take one step closer to silverware when they host Brisbane Roar in the late Saturday night game.
Read on for our previews and predictions for every A-League match this weekend.
Friday 15 February, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Wellington 1 – Melbourne Victory 1
The previous two clashes between these teams this year have been nothing short of exceptional and if the football gods want to give fans a break, this game will be another memorable one.
When these sides met in Round 14, it was a breathtaking 3-3 draw with both sides having chances to take control of the contest and with plenty of finals permutations, neither team will want to drop any points here.
With the Victory losing at home to Perth last week and the Phoenix being held to a draw in Newcastle both sides would love to kick start their run home with a win here.
The tip for this game will hinge very much on the availability of Keisuke Honda, if he can get a full 90 minutes then the Victory should win, otherwise back the draw.
*If Honda Starts: Back Victory to Win @ $2.10
*If Honda Doesn’t Start: Back the Draw @ $3.40
Friday 15 February, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle 3 – Melbourne City 1
Just ten months ago these sides were meeting in an A-League Semi Final and now City have a chance to put another nail in the Jets season by taking all three points in the Hunter.
City has won the two meetings between these sides this season, both coming at AAMI Park however and the Jets haven’t lost in their last three home games.
Neither side has really set the scoreboard alight this season with City having the third worst goals scored tally of 22 and the Jets having the second worst number at 21.
During the transfer window City went out to address that issue and brought in Jamie Maclaren who scored on debut and has a proven track record at this level and should be able to find a goal to put City ahead early.
Back City to Win @ $2.63
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 16 February, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide 1 – Western Sydney 3
Adelaide is unbeaten in its last seven games after a draw against Melbourne City last weekend and would love to consolidate fourth spot with another win here.
The Wanderers finally ended a winless streak that dated back to December 7, funnily enough bookended by victories over the Mariners.
Considering the Mariners fortunes this season it’s hard to get too excited over the Wanderers win last week and Adelaide is a big step up in class.
Adelaide has scored two goals in both matches against Western Sydney this season and should be able to make it three here with another win.
Back Adelaide to Win and Over 1.5 Goals @ $1.87
Saturday 16 February, 10:00pm, HBF Park
Perth 4 – Brisbane 0
While the Glory continue their march towards the Premiership, the Roar are just looking for fit defenders.
Last week Matt McKay was forced into emergency duty after injuries ravaged the Roar backline, although the diminutive veteran will likely be restored to his more familiar role in midfield this week.
The Glory picked up a 2-1 win last time these sides met and are at a very short price to pick up another three points here.
Even with the Roar picking up a much needed win over Sydney last week it’s hard to see anything other than a Glory win here although the Roar will take advantage of any lapse in concentration and at least find a way onto the scoresheet.
Back Perth Glory to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $2.70
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 17 February, 5:00pm, Leichardt Oval
Sydney 1 – Central Coast 1
Sydney enters round 19 of the A-League as the shortest priced favourite when they take on the last placed Mariners.
It looks like Central Coast is back to its old ways losing four in a row including and, while the side has been competitive it just can’t seem to find a way to string results together.
Things have not been going too well for Sydney either, losing two of its last three including last weekend’s upset loss in Brisbane when they couldn’t break down a makeshift defence.
That should spark a reaction from a side that needs to get back on track and the Mariners look like the perfect opponent to offer that chance.
Back Sydney to Win Both Halves @ $2.80
Nine rounds to go in the A-League season and this weekend kicks off The Chase for the finals series.
Each side will face the other nine clubs once in the last two months of the season and there is still plenty of jockeying for position to take place.
Here is our A-League betting preview for Round 19 including the recommended plays for each match.
Friday 2 February, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
After two straight draws and sharing the spoils in three out of their last four, Sydney came back into familiar territory with a comfortable 3-1 win on Australia Day.
Wellington could not back up their impressive away win in Newcastle and went down to Adelaide 1-0 at home.
The last month has been rather solid if you have backed the Phoenix to take points from their games, getting a win or draw in four of their last six.
Sydney are in a different class to the Phoenix however and despite their recent struggles (by their standards), and that should get them home here with start to finish domination.
Back Sydney FC to Win Both Halves @ $2.80
Saturday 3 February, 5:35pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
The second of back to back Melbourne opponents for the Jets after grabbing a point at AAMI Park last weekend.
The home side has won both times this season with a 4-1 win for the Jets before the Victory won 2-1 at AAMI Park.
Melbourne go into this game potentially undermanned with the loss of Jason Geria to suspension and the much-publicised departure of Mark Milligan.
In terms of the finals race, this will not see Newcastle go up or down from second place but with Adelaide on the heels of fourth placed Victory they need to gain as many points as possible.
For this one though, the home side rule should hold firm here.
Back the Jets to Win @ $2.40
Saturday 3 February, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium
Perth snapped a five-game losing streak with a much needed win at home over the Wanderers at the weekend but their task does not get much easier with a trip to Adelaide on the cards.
Marco Kurz’s side have lost just once in 2018 but their home form has not been all that encouraging.
Two losses, a draw and a win from their last four games at Coopers Stadium however they have been forced to be road warriors since the New Year with their lone home game being a 0-0 draw with Sydney which they certainly celebrated like a victory.
Diego Castro reminded fans why he is one of the most dangerous attackers in the league with his masterclass last weekend and he should be able to keep Perth in touch.
Back the Draw @ $3.80
Central Coast Mariners
Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 4 February, 5:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Mistakes doomed the Mariners when they went down to the Roar in Gosford last week.
Tipped by many to make a finals run, they now find themselves mired in ninth place trying to stay ahead of Wellington.
Western Sydney have not won in four games but are still controlling their destiny ahead of a potential run into the finals.
Both sides would love to end their poor run of form here but neither one appears to have the firepower to break through.
Back the Draw @ $3.50
Sunday 4 February, 7:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
Lost in the Roar’s “week from hell” was the fact that it was bookended by back to back wins in the league.
Neither of the wins over Perth or Central Coast were overly pretty but they were good enough for three points in each game and a spot in the top six at the end of Round 18.
City won the first meeting between these sides in the season opener while the Roar got bragging rights back with a November win at Suncorp.
The visitors have looked very good in their last two games with a big win over Adelaide followed up with a fighting draw against Newcastle.
Goals should not be a problem for either side here with three or more in each of their last three matches (including the ACL Qualifier).
Back Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2
Week 19 of the A-League gets underway on Thursday night when Sydney FC host the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium before Adelaide United face Perth Glory on Friday.
The match of the round will take place on Saturday night when Melbourne City take on the Brisbane Roar in a crucial clash and the Western Sydney Wanderers face the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon.
Thursday 9 February, 6:50pm, Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC 3 - Wellington Phoenix 1
Sydney FC maintained their unbeaten record in the A-League this season with a scoreless draw against the Brisbane Roar last weekend and they will start this clash as dominant favourites.
The Sky Blues have been tough to beat this season, but the have not been particularly profitable from a betting standpoint – they have won five of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear loss.
Wellington were no match for the Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend, but they will take confidence from the fact that they beat Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium last season.
The Phoenix have won three of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a profit and they are capable of a quality performance on their day.
It is a gamble, but there is genuine value in the $7.50 on offer for a Wellington victory.
Back Wellington To Win @ $7.50
Friday 10 February, 6:50pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United 0 - Perth Glory 5
Adelaide United’s season hit a new low last season when they were beaten by the Central Coast Mariner, but they will still start this clash as clear favourites.
Adelaide have been very unreliable this season and it should come as no surprise that they have won just five of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear loss.
Perth returned to winning form with a thrilling victory over the Newcastle Jets and they really need to be winning these types of games.
The Glory have taken at least a point from seven of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they really do look like the value betting play of the weekend.
Back Perth To Win @ $3
Saturday 11 February, 4:35pm, Hunter Stadium
Newcastle Jets 0 - Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Victory ended their losing streak with a controversial win in a spiteful Melbourne Derby and they are clear favourites to make it two victories on the trot.
Melbourne have generally played well away from home this season and they have won four of their past seven games as away favourites for a clear profit.
Newcastle went down to Perth last weekend, but there was still a fair bit to like about their performance.
There is no doubt that Newcastle have improved this season and they have won four of their past nine games as home underdogs for a clear profit.
This is one game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Saturday 11 February, 6:50pm, AAMI Stadium
Melbourne City 2 - Brisbane Roar 2
Third position in the A-League will be on the line when Melbourne City and the Brisbane Roar do battle on Saturday night.
Melbourne City have an excellent record in front of their home fans at AAMI Stadium, but it is the Brisbane Roar that will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
Brisbane have generally struggled away from home this season and they have won just two of their past five games as away favourites for a clear loss.
Melbourne City have one just one of their past four games and they will go into this clash without the suspended Tim Cahill.
They have won 10 of their past 16 games in front of their home fans and they really have been able to turn AAMI Stadium into somewhat of a fortress.
Melbourne City really should be favourites and they are great value at the current price.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $2.70
Western Sydney Wanderers
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 12 February, 4:00pm, Spotless Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 0 - Central Coast Mariners 2
Western Sydney Wanderers have an excellent record against the Central Coast Mariners and they will start this clash as dominant favourites.
Western Sydney have struggled badly as favourites this season and they have won only three of their past 11 games as home favourites.
The Central Coast Mariners made it two wins on the trot with their fighting victory over Adelaide United and they have produced their best form of the season over the past fortnight.
Winning away from home has been a real issue for the Mariners this season and they have won just one of their past 13 games away underdogs.
Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting standpoint and this is another game that I am keen to stay out of.