After the first of two split rounds all ten A-League sides are back in action for Round 21.
Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC are returning from overseas duty in the Asian Champions League so their squad depth will be tested here.
They are both in for rivalry games this weekend with Victory facing Adelaide in Saturday’s main feature while Sydney play in the third derby of the season against the Wanderers on Sunday night.
Read on for our previews and recommended A-League betting plays from all five matches this weekend.
Central Coast Mariners Vs Wellington Phoenix
Friday 23 February, 7:50pm, Central Coast Stadium
A match between the sides sitting last and second last on the ladder, Wellington make the trip to Gosford fresh off a big win over Perth and two wins from their last four.
The Mariners claimed the first meeting 4-1 in Westpac before a 0-0 draw on New Years Eve but their home form is quite concerning.
Fans at Central Coast Stadium have not seen their side win at home in five games, including back to back 2-1 losses to Brisbane and Western Sydney.
Wellington lost their last two away games 4-0 in Sydney however holding on last week will restore some of that confidence.
They are a different team away from home and the Mariners desperately need a break and this game should be that opportunity.
Back Central Coast to Win @ $2.10
Brisbane Roar Vs Newcastle Jets
Saturday 24 February, 5:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
As Brisbane’s playing squad returns to full strength, the results are starting to come for them having won three of their last four A-League matches.
Newcastle on the other hand have gone three games without a loss and have beaten the Roar twice so far this season.
The first meeting was 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium while the Jets controlled a 1-0 return match in January.
When looking at this game, it comes down to whether you want to trust the season of good performances from the Jets or the last few good games from the Roar.
If Brisbane are able to put a couple more good performances together then they might start to get some benefit of the doubt here but until then, go with the exciting Jets.
Back Newcastle to Win @ $2.30
Melbourne Victory Vs Adelaide United
Saturday 24 February, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Three losses in a row for the Victory and the heat is getting turned up on Kevin Muscat amidst the Champions League campaign.
Adelaide produced a fighting 2-2 draw with Central Coast last week despite playing over 70 minutes with just 10 players to keep their unbeaten run at three.
This could be a pivotal game for Adelaide’s top four hopes as it could put a big gap between themselves and the chasing pack.
With the current form of both teams, look at Adelaide to continue their good run here.
Back Adelaide to Win @ $3.40
Perth Glory Vs Melbourne City
Saturday 24 February, 10:00pm, NiB Stadium
Diego Castro will be replaying that missed opportunity from the penalty spot all week and his chance at redemption comes against a Melbourne City side that has had a fortnight to stew over a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Sydney FC.
This fixture has gone the way of the away team this year with Perth winning in Melbourne in November while City claimed the first game at NiB.
With just one win from their past eight matches, Perth are in danger of falling out of the finals race this weekend.
Expect City to find a way to pile the pressure on Perth and come back with three points.
Back Melbourne City to Win @ $2.10
Sydney FC Vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 25 February, 7:00pm, Allianz Stadium
A huge way to close out the round with the third (and likely final) Sydney derby of the season.
Both games have produced goals with the first one resulting in an entertaining 2-2 draw before Sydney crushed their cross town rivals 5-0 back in December.
Expect more goals in this game as Sydney look to exert their dominance and take one step closer to the finals race in another high scoring game.
Back Sydney FC to Win and Over 3.5 Goals @ $3.20
There are plenty of big games in the A-League this weekend.
Melbourne City host Sydney FC on Friday night in arguably the most interesting game of the round, while there is a massive triple-header on Saturday night.
The round concludes on Sunday afternoon when the Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners do battle in what is always a spiteful clash.
Melbourne City Vs Sydney FC
Friday 24 February, 6:50pm, AAMI Park
Sydney FC suffered their first defeat of the season against Melbourne City last weekend, but they will still go into this clash as narrow favourites.
Sydney FC have an excellent record away from home this season and they have won seven of their past 11 games as away favourites for a clear profit.
Melbourne City produced one of their best performances of the season to beat the Wellington Phoenix last weekend and they will go into this clash with some confidence.
They have won nine of their past 13 games as home favourites for a clear profit, but stringing together back-to-back wins has proven to be somewhat of an issue.
This is a match that the market looks to have gotten spot-on and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Brisbane Roar Vs Wellington Phoenix
Saturday 25 February, 4:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Roar have not won in almost a month, but they are one of the shortest-priced favourites in the A-League this weekend.
Brisbane continue to produce their best form in front of their home fans and they have now won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear profit.
Wellington have been very poor in their past three matches and it really is tough to back them with any confidence.
The Phoenix have won just two of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they have conceded plenty of goals.
Brisbane should prove far too strong for the Phoenix and it would not surprise to see them record a very comfortable win.
Back Brisbane To Beat The Line (-1 Goal) @ $2.63
Melbourne Victory Vs Adelaide United
Saturday 25 February, 6:50pm, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Victory are the other dominant favourites in the A-League this weekend following their return to form against the Central Coast Mariners.
Melbourne have been tough to beat at home this season, but they have still not made a profit as home favourites with a 7-3-2 record.
Adelaide United ended their winless run with a fighting victory over the Newcastle Jets, but they continue to be tough to trust from a betting standpoint.
They have won just one game as away underdogs this season, but they have been able to take a point from three other games in this scenario.
Melbourne are deserving favourites, but it is impossible to get them as short as their current price and the $4.75 on offer for a draw is over the odds.
Back The Draw @ $4.75
Perth Glory Vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 25 February, 9:00pm, NIB Stadium
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend.
Perth Glory have lost only one of their past eight games following their stalemate with the Brisbane Roar and they are always tough to beat in front of their home fans.
The Glory have won six of their past ten games as home favourites for a clear profit, but it has been a while since they beat Western Sydney.
Western Sydney secured their biggest win of the season with their controversial victory over Sydney FC and it will be interesting to see how they get up for this clash.
The Wanderers have won just two of their past ten games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they have strung together back-to-back wins just once this season.
Perth really should be able to return to winning form and they are one of the best betting plays of the weekend.
Perth To Win @ $2.20
Newcastle Jets Vs Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 26 February, 4:00pm, Hunter Stadium
The F3 Derby means plenty to the fans of both the Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast Mariners and this is one of the most interesting games of the weekend.
It is Newcastle that will go into this clash as favourites, but their record as home favourites does not inspire a great deal of confidence – they have drawn their past three games in this scenario.
Central Coast had their winning run ended by a rampant Melbourne Victory, but it would not surprise to see them bounce back against the Newcastle Jets.
The Mariners have taken at least a point from their 13 games as away underdogs and four of their past six games with the Jets have ended as draws.
This clash really looks to have stalemate written all over it and the $4 available for the draw is excellent value.
Back The Draw @ $4