2017/2018 A-League Round 24 Preview

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For the first time since Round 7, all A-League clubs are level on matches played and the race for the finals is on.

Sydney have a lead in the Premiership race but have been faltering with two straight league losses, opening the door slightly for a late Newcastle run.

Both Melbourne clubs are competing for third place while four teams are in the mix for the final two places.

Read on for our preview of this weekend’s matches and recommended plays.

Adelaide United Vs Newcastle Jets

Friday 23 March, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium

It might not have been overly pretty, but the Jets were able to maintain their winning ways despite a host of changes to their team.

Adelaide ended their losing streak but are yet to take a point off this weekend’s opponents in their previous two meetings this season.

Wellington showed how to go after the Jets creating several chances but spurning every single one of them and it is hard to see Adelaide being so wasteful.

Newcastle should have enough goals in them to match whatever Adelaide can put on the board and consign them to their third straight home draw.

Back the Draw @ $3.65

Central Coast Mariners Vs Sydney FC

Saturday 24 March, 5:35pm, Central Coast Stadium

There is one club that Sydney FC are yet to defeat in the 2017/2018 A-League season and that is the ninth placed Mariners.

Central Coast handed Sydney the first of their three losses this season in November stunning the champions 2-0 and held them to a 1-1 draw in January.

With the Mariners struggling for results, coach Paul Okon has stepped down from his post so it will be interesting to see what impact the change in management has on their form.

However with the Mariners leaking eight goals in their last two outings, and despite the coaching change Sydney should have the firepower to get home in this one.

Back Sydney FC to Win & Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.25

Melbourne City Vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday 24 March, 7:50pm, AAMI Park

Both sides are coming into this game desperately needing a win here as City need to end a poor run of form while the Wanderers need to keep a dogged chasing pack off their tail.

Melbourne have taken just one point from their last three home games which does not bode well for a side that has been quite strong outside of Sydney in 2018.

With Bruno Fornaroli finding his feet after a long injury layoff this is a real prove it game for City in what could be a preview of the first round of finals.

Back Both Teams to Score and Melbourne City to Win @ $3.50

Wellington Phoenix Vs Brisbane Roar

Sunday 25 March, 5:00pm, Westpac Stadium

With their loss to Newcastle last weekend, Wellington became the first club to be eliminated from finals contention.

With just one win in their last seven matches, their form is not overly encouraging, particularly when you consider that Brisbane have won five of their last seven.

Both matches between these sides this season have ended in draws with a frantic 3-3 when they met at Westpac in October.

With their recent uptick, Brisbane are now once again a side that should be expected to win a game such as this and will need three points to keep their finals run alive.

Back Brisbane Roar to Win @ $2.20

Perth Glory Vs Melbourne Victory

Sunday 25 March, 7:00pm, NiB Stadium

After a less than ideal January which ended their Premiership hopes, they have bounced back nicely recording three straight wins including a resounding 5-2 hammering of Central Coast in their last outing.

While the chances of reaching second spot could be officially gone by the time this game kicks off, Victory do need to worry about their neighbours stealing third place over the final month of the season.

Perth cannot jump back into the top six off this result but their margin for error has been reduced significantly with three losses from their last five.

They are riding a three match winning streak at home however and do look much more composed when playing in front of their home fans.

Overall they have been far too inconsistent to back with any sort of confidence however and with Victory looking strong at the moment, ride the form team.

Back Melbourne Victory to Win @ $1.83


2016/2017

There is now less than a month to the start of the A-League Finals and every game this weekend is set to have finals consequences.

The rounds gets underway on Friday night when Western Sydney host Melbourne City before the Central Coast Mariners take on Adelaide United on Saturday afternoon.

Wellington Phoenix face Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon, while the round concludes when the Perth Glory host Sydney FC.

Western Sydney Wanderers Vs Melbourne City

Friday 24 March, 7.50pm, Spotless Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Melbourne City 0

The Western Sydney Wanderers produced one of their best performances of the season to date to beat the Wellington Phoenix and they will go into this clash with Melbourne City as narrow favourites.

Winning at home has proven to be easier said than done for the Wanderers this season and they have still only won three of their past 11 games as home favourites.

Melbourne City were dominant against the Newcastle Jets and they may finally be starting to find their best form at the business end of the season.

They have won only one game as away underdogs this season and they continue to be a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.

There really is not a great deal between these two sides and the $3.60 available for this game to finish as a stalemate is genuine value.

Back The Draw @ $3.60

Central Coast Mariners Vs Adelaide United

Saturday 25 March, 4:35pm, Central Coast Stadium

Central Coast Mariners 2 - Adelaide United 3

There is very little between these two sides in betting, but it is Adelaide United that will go into this clash as narrow favourites.

Adelaide United were excellent against the Brisbane Roar last weekend, but that level of performance has been few and far between this season.

They have won only two games away from home over the past 12 months and I couldn’t possibly back them in this scenario.

The Central Coast Mariners have not won a game for over a month, but there was actually plenty to like about their performance against Sydney FC.

Central Coast have actually been a profitable betting play as away underdogs this season and they are outstanding value to return to winning form in front of their home fans.

Back Central Coast To Win @ $2.63

Brisbane Roar Vs Melbourne Victory

Saturday 25 March, 6:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane Roar 1 - Melbourne Victory 0

The Brisbane Roar have hit somewhat of a form slump, but they will still go into this clash as favourites.

The Roar have won just one of their past six games and it is fair to say that they were very poor against the Melbourne Victory last weekend.

Suncorp Stadium does remain a happy hunting ground – especially against the Victory – and they have won seven of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear profit.

Melbourne were rampant against Perth before a week off and their recent form has been strong.

The Victory have won two of their past six games as away underdogs, but it is their record at Suncorp Stadium that is the biggest concern.

They have won just one of their past 14 games at the venue and it remains one of the biggest hoodoos in the A-League.

This is a must-win game for Brisbane after a controversial week and they really should be able to return to winning form.

Back Brisbane To Win @ $2.25

Wellington Phoenix Vs Newcastle Jets

Sunday 26 March, 4:00pm, Westpac Stadium

Wellington Phoenix 5 - Newcastle Jets 0

This is another game where the market is struggling to separate the two teams.

The Newcastle Jets have not won a game for almost two months, but they will still go into this clash with the Wellington Phoenix as narrow favourites.

Newcastle have started just one game as away favourites over the past 12 months and they did get the job done, but they have won only three of their past 13 games away from home.

Wellington’s form in front of their home fans this season has been particularly poor and they are a very tough side to trust from a betting perspective.

The Phoenix have won just one of their past eight games as home underdogs and have been a losing betting play across just about every metric.

Both these teams are impossible to trust from a betting standpoint and I am happy to stay out of this clash.

No Bet

Perth Glory Vs Sydney FC

Sunday 26 March, 6.00pm, NIB Stadium

Perth Glory 0 - Sydney FC 3

Sydney FC have all but secured the Premier’s Plate and they will start this clash with Perth as clear favourites.

They have only suffered a single defeat this season and winning at home or away has not been an issue.

Sydney FC have now won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are clearly the team to beat heading into the A-League Finals.

Perth had their unbeaten run halted by by a rampant Melbourne Victory last weekend and defence continues to be an issue for this side.

The one positive for the Glory this season is the fact that they have turned NIB Stadium into something of a fortress and they have won seven of their past 12 games at the venue – including two as underdogs.

Scoring goals has not been an issue for Perth and they should score again this weekend, but whether that will be good enough to get the job done is the big question mark.

Back Both Teams To Score And Sydney FC To Win @ $3.25