Central Coast Mariners
Friday 13 March, 7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
Saturday 14 March, 5:00pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 14 March, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
Sunday 15 March, 4:00pm, Westpac Stadium
Sunday 15 March, 6:00pm, Coopers Stadium
Wednesday 18 March, 7:45pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
It’s been an easy March for some A-League clubs, only having a handful of games thanks to split rounds and last weekend’s international break.
Now it is time for the push to the finals as the final five weeks sees sides jockeying for position.
Perth will be looking to clinch the Premiership as quickly as possible before turning their attention to the Grand Final while Sydney FC and the Melbourne Victory are battling for second spot and the other bye in the first round of the finals.
Read on for our previews and predictions for every A-League Round 23 match this weekend.
Friday 29 March, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane 1 – Sydney 3
Last time Sydney travelled up to Brisbane, they were on the receiving end of a shock 2-1 loss as injuries forced the Roar to play with the diminutive Matt McKay as a central defender for almost an hour.
They will have to be on their guard to avoid another banana-skin slip up in this game as the Roar would love to spoil Sydney’s hopes of a home final.
It would be one of the few bright spots for a Roar side that has struggled this season, particularly at the back, having conceded two or more goals in each of their last four games and 52 total this season.
Sydney has been struggling to score goals lately, never getting more than two in a game since January 9 but in this game you can back them to come in and take care of the Roar.
Back Sydney to Win and Over 3.5 Goals @ $3.20
Saturday 30 March, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington 4 – Newcastle 1
Back to back wins has Wellington up into fourth place and suddenly favoured to host that second home final.
The Phoenix will need to keep that winning momentum going against a Jets side who suffered an embarrassing loss to the lowly Mariners before the break.
Newcastle is still in the mix for an unlikely finals berth but needs to shake off that defeat in the F3 Derby and re-focus here.
What swings this game in favour of Wellington is the form of Roy Krishna who has been one of, if not the standout performer of the season so far and he has the ability to turn this game in favour of the Nix.
Back Wellington to Win @ $2.10
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 30 March, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Western Sydney 3 – Melbourne City 0
Western Sydney’s finals hopes are at best optimistic but they could be locked into “non-existent” with a loss in this game.
City has won both meetings this season including a wild 4-3 game in January and while that level of craziness is unlikely to be repeated, you have to like the value on offer for the visitors here.
On New Years’ Day they picked up their first away win over the Wanderers and are at a good price to make it two wins as they extinguish their hosts’ finals hopes.
Back Melbourne City to Win @ $2.30
Saturday 30 March, 10:00pm, HBF Park
Perth 0 – Melbourne Victory 2
This game won’t actually give the Premiers Plate to Perth, but a win will give them one hand and four fingers on it.
The Glory have beaten the Victory twice already this season and a third win is certainly on the cards especially considering the Victory’s struggles out west.
Of the 20 games played in Perth, the Glory have won 12 and drawn another three so it’s no surprise to see them favoured here.
Any time Perth is even close to even money head to head they are worth backing in and that is the play for this game.
Back Perth to Win @ $1.90
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 31 March, 5:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast 0 – Adelaide 1
The final game of the round and it comes with the big question, “how much of an impact has Alen Stajic had on the side here?”
If the F3 Derby is anything to go by, the A-League’s worst defence might be a bit more solid now, as they played with a much improved structure.
Before having confidence in that new structure to back them though, I’ll need a bit more of a sample than just the one game so for this one I have to take Adelaide, but with a value add double.
In each of Adelaide’s last three games against the Mariners they have scored two or more goals so I’ll throw in over 1.5 total goals to bring the price up a bit.
Back Adelaide to Win & Over 1.5 Goals @ $1.80
Four A-League matches this weekend to conclude Round 23, with the Wanderers and Glory having already played their fixture two weeks ago.
Sydney are looking to start a new winning streak as they are only a few weeks away from securing back to back Premierships, barring a major collapse.
The race for third and fourth could take a big step towards being decided this weekend as well with both Melbourne Clubs looking to create a gap above the Wanderers and Adelaide.
Read on for our A-League preview and recommended plays from each match.
Friday 16 March, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium
A battle of two teams in desperate need of a change in fortunes as they prepare for the stretch run.
Adelaide have lost their last two and have not beaten a side inside the top six since their early December win over Melbourne Victory.
Melbourne City on the other hand have lost their last three but can at least take some solace in the fact they have won both prior meetings with Adelaide this season, including a resounding 5-0 in January.
Neither side can really afford a loss here as they need to keep an eye on the chasing pack with a draw seeming to be the most likely outcome from this match.
Back the Draw @ $3.40
Saturday 17 March, 5:35pm, QBE Stadium
A lot can change in a fortnight and for the Newcastle Jets, they enter this game in a very different state to the team that upset Sydney FC.
Gone is the hero goal scorer Andrew Nabbout, Roy O’Donovan will be serving a ban for yet another red card and captain Nigel Boogaard is out for the season with an injury.
Imports Ronald Vargas and Pato Rodriguez are reportedly set for returns after injury layoffs however it might be a bit much to expect either of them to be 100% sharp.
Wellington sit entrenched at the bottom of the ladder however they do have the confidence of beating Newcastle once this season already.
Playing at home the Phoenix are a slightly stronger side collecting 10 of their 17 points at Westpac Stadium.
The Jets should still be the better side here but until we get an idea of how they look with their new setup this game is going to be a stay away.
Saturday 17 March, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
Brisbane have found a winning formula as of late hitting teams on the counter to win four of their last six matches.
Sydney will be very eager to bounce back in the league having had a fortnight since their shock loss away to Newcastle which prevented this being their chance to win the Premier’s Plate.
As effective as the Roar’s style has been in getting results, it is hard to see Sydney not capitalising on some of the chances that prior opponents have spurned.
Like many Sydney games this season there is not a lot of value in an outright win and to find value you might have to dig a bit.
In both meetings this season Sydney have found the back of the net in both halves and that will be a viable option with the Roar forced to field a makeshift central defensive pairing due to injury.
Back Sydney FC to Score in Both Halves @ $2.25
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 18 March, 5:00pm, AAMI Park
Central Coast will not be happy with their showing last weekend as they tried to get their first back to back wins since December.
If they are looking for some encouragement however they have managed to snare two 1-1 draws against the Victory this season.
That run looks ready to come to an end this weekend however as the Victory are starting to ramp up for the finals.
This is simply coming down to taking the better side, at home with an added handicap to find some value in the market.
Back Melbourne Victory -1 Goal @ $2.55
Round 23 of the 2016/2017 A-League season will be played over two weekends.
The weekend of action gets underway when Sydney FC host the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night before the Melbourne Victory face Perth Glory on Saturday.
The second weekend begins with a clash between Melbourne City and the Newcastle Jets, while there are two games set to take place on the Sunday.
Central Coast Mariners
Friday 10 March, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC 1 - Central Coast Mariners 0
Sydney FC only require four points from the past five games of the A-League regular season to claim the minor premiership and they are clear favourites to secure three of those points against the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night.
Sydney FC scored a narrow 1-0 defeat over the Melbourne Victory last Friday night and they have now won seven of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear profit.
The Central Coast Mariners went down to Melbourne City last week, but they still played some decent football in the process.
Central Coast have won just two of their past 14 games as away underdogs and their record against Sydney FC is very poor.
Sydney should win again, but there is no real value at their current price.
Saturday 11 March, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne Victory 4 - Perth Glory 1
Melbourne Victory had their winning streak ended by Perth last weekend, but they will still start this clash as clear favourites.
The Victory have proven tough to beat in front of their home fans this weekend and they have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear profit.
Perth fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw with the Wellington Phoenix and they have lost just one of their past eight games.
The Glory have proven to be a profitable betting proposition as away underdogs this season and it has been a number of seasons since they lost to Melbourne.
There is not as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests and Perth are more than capable of taking a point from their trip to Melbourne.
Back The Draw @ $4
Saturday 18 March, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 4 - Newcastle Jets 0
Melbourne City returned to winning form with a fighting victory the Central Coast Mariners and they will go into this clash with the Newcastle Jets as clear favourites.
Melbourne City have been tough to beat in front of their home fans this weekend – they are 7-2-2 as home favourites – but winning back-to-back games has been a huge issue and they have done that just twice this season.
Newcastle went down to the Brisbane Roar last weekend and they have now not won a game since January 27, but that victory did come against Melbourne City.
The Jets have improved this season, but they have still won only two of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a loss.
This is the time of the season that Melbourne City need to build momentum and they should be able to get the job done.
Back Both Teams To Score And Melbourne City To Win @ $2.63
Sunday 19 March, 5:00pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United 2 - Brisbane Roar 1
The Brisbane Roar ended their winless run with a comfortable victory over Newcastle and they are the clear punter’s elect in this clash.
Winning away from home has been an issue for the Roar all season long and they have won just three of their past six games as away favourites for a very narrow loss.
Adelaide United played out a scoreless draw with the Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend and outside of their heavy defeat at the hands of Perth Glory they have been in decent form in the past month.
They have actually won as home underdogs this season and they have a fairly strong record against the Brisbane Roar in front of their home fans at Coopers Stadium.
The Roar have been a very tough team to trust as a betting perspective and I am more than happy to take them on at their current price.
Back Adelaide United To Win @ $3.30
Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 19 March, 7.00pm, Spotless Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 - Wellington Phoenix 1
This is a tough way to finish the weekend for A-League punters as both these sides have been unreliable betting options this season.
It is the Western Sydney Wanderers that will start this clash as favourites following their lacklustre performance against Adelaide United last weekend.
The Wanderers have been impossible to trust from a betting standpoint this season and they have won just two of their past ten games as home favourites, but they they drawn six games in this scenario.
Wellington played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with the Perth Glory last weekend and they have had no problems scoring goals in recent weeks.
The Phoenix have lost seven of their past 11 games as away underdogs and they are also a very tricky team to trust from a betting standpoint.
There is no way that I can get Wellington as short as their current price and the draw is the genuine value.
Back The Draw @ $3.80