The A-League Premiership is decided and Perth have wrapped up their first ever piece of A-League silverware and the club’s first national honours since 2003/2004 NSL Championship.
While the top of the ladder has been decided, the races for second and fourth place are still to be decided.
Sydney is two points ahead of Melbourne Victory as it stands and both sides will have to put aside their disappointment at missing out on the regular season silverware here.
Just one point separates Adelaide, Wellington and Melbourne City in the race for fourth place and a home final in the first week.
Read on for our previews and predictions for every A-League match this Easter weekend.
Thursday 18 April, 7:50pm, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Sydney 1 – Perth 0
This could have been the biggest game of the season and up until last Sunday night it would have been.
Perth now gets to enjoy a trip to Sydney to enjoy the adulation of being crowned Premiers with two rounds to play.
The Sky Blues on the other hand will be kicking themselves after last weekend’s derby draw which ended their unlikely quest for a third straight premiers’ plate.
Back in Round 9, they handed Perth one of their two losses this season over in Perth before the Glory got one back in Round 12 winning 3-1.
At this time of the year you have to back the team in a more desperate situation and while Perth would love to get one over Sydney ahead of a possible Grand Final, the Glory don’t have anything to gain other than injuries so don’t be surprised if Perth puts out a reduced squad.
Back Sydney to Win @ $2.20
Friday 19 April, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide 1 – Melbourne Victory 0
Generally when Adelaide is kept scoreless, you can attribute that to their lack of strikers but not last week.
Two phenomenal goalkeeping performances resulted in a 0-0 draw between the Reds and Melbourne City in a result that neither team would have been happy with.
Even so they still managed to move up to fourth place thanks to Wellington’s loss.
The Victory bounced back from their Big Blue defeat to get by Central Coast 2-1 but it would not have inspired a whole lot of confidence in them.
Playing at home was the deciding factor in the first two meetings with the Victory winning in Melbourne in Round 7 and Adelaide took out the Round 12 meeting, both games had the final score of 2-0.
Based on that logic you have to like Adelaide at home here, however, unlike the first game this weekend, both sides are going into this game equally desperate.
The Reds have been the competition’s draw specialists though, with eight already this season and given how these two sides have the potential to cancel one another out, they could very well add to this tally here.
Back the Draw @ $3.30
Saturday 20 April, 5:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane 1 – Newcastle 6
There are some meaningful matches this weekend in the A-League and this is not one of them.
Brisbane and Newcastle are pretty much locked into ninth and seventh respectively, so this game is basically just two sides playing out the schedule.
We’ve had a lot of success this season backing against the injury ravaged Roar and expecting them to concede a lot of goals but there just isn’t the value in the market right now.
Central Coast Mariners
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 20 April, 7:50pm, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast 3 – Western Sydney 1
With the top six all facing off against each other this weekend, it also means the bottom four play off and with not a lot of change set to take place at that end of the ladder, this game isn’t worth having a punt on because it’s hard to forecast how these teams will approach it.
The Wanderers had their biggest remaining game last weekend against Sydney in the derby and could be primed for an upset, but it’s hard to be too confident in a side that is locked in for another wooden spoon.
Sunday 21 April, 5:00pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington 3 – Melbourne City 2
Thankfully the weekend closes out with a huge game, especially if Adelaide drops points on Friday night.
A loss (or draw) will likely lock one of these sides into an away final in the first weekend and possibly a trip to face the Victory, which is the worst case scenario.
This is where playing in Wellington will be a huge boost for the Nix, they have recorded comfortable victories in their last two games there.
After a shock loss to Brisbane last weekend, the Nix need to respond and with the speculation about Mark Rudan’s future finally being resolved, I’m expecting a very focused Wellington team to come out and pick up a vital win.
Back Wellington to Win @ $2.30
In a development that will surprise nobody that has been following the A-League this season, Sydney FC are the Premiers and they return home for Round 26 to face an Adelaide side that is still holding out hope for a finals berth.
The Melbourne sides both play at home this weekend as they continue to battle for third spot while the race for sixth could be decided when the Roar and Wanderers face off early Saturday evening.
Read on for our round preview and recommended plays.
Friday 6 April, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Since becoming locked into second place, the Jets have turned their focus towards giving themselves the best preparation for the finals and they have suffered back to back losses in the past fortnight.
In last week’s 3-0 loss to Melbourne City they looked pretty average and paid the price for a lacklustre approach.
Working in their favour is the fact Perth have not been all that strong in their travels to the East Coast.
The Glory need to get maximum points from this game to give themselves the best possible chance of sneaking into sixth spot.
With Newcastle downing tools until at least next week’s F3 Derby and Perth’s road struggles this is a game that I’ll steer clear of.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 7 April, 5:35pm, ANZ Stadium
Depending on Friday’s result, this is a game that could lock in the finals picture with Brisbane looking to continue their late season resurgence.
Brisbane are tied for Sydney in the recent form table taking 19 points from their last nine A-League matches and the Roar are on a four-game unbeaten run.
Western Sydney will be without Michael Thwaite in this game after his red card against the Victory which will do the Wanderers chances of ending their two-game losing streak no favours.
Brisbane’s good run of results has been based on a solid defensive effort and scoring just enough goals so it is hard to see this game turning into a blowout one way or another.
There is not enough here to swing me one way or another in terms of a result so instead look for a low scoring encounter.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.10
Central Coast Mariners
Saturday 7 April, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City looked like the side many have expected them to be in their front to back demolition of the Jets last weekend as they set their sights on third spot.
With no threat of relegation and no chance of climbing higher than ninth spot the Mariners enter the final fortnight just trying to stay above the Phoenix in the race to avoid the spoon.
Despite the difference in fortunes of both teams the Mariners were only narrowly defeated in the first meeting while the second one ended in a 2-2 draw.
The past two weeks have seen this weekend’s visitors deploy five defenders in an attempt to limit the damage which is going to be a brave call to make against a City side that has plenty of goal scorers in it.
This may be the match of the round where things get really ugly and City put down another marker ahead of finals time.
Back Melbourne City to Win -2 Goals @ $3.20
Sunday 8 April, 5:00pm, AAMI Park
With their cross town rivals setting the bar the night before, Victory will enter this game knowing anything less than three points will be considered a letdown.
After beating the Wanderers last weekend and midweek continental duty, they cannot afford to drop their guard against the presumptive wooden spoon side as they have been competitive in recent weeks.
Even so the Victory are still a better side and should be able to come away with a high scoring win.
Back Melbourne Victory to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.75
Sunday 8 April, 7:00pm, Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC return to Allianz as back to back Premiers in the late Sunday contest.
They face an Adelaide side that forced them into a scrappy 0-0 draw when they last met and will want to erase that result from their memories with a convincing win.
It will be a tough ask having faced Suwon midweek in a last ditch effort to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
That win should give Graham Arnold the confidence to rest some of his key players such as Adrian and Milos Ninkovich.
In their last home match Brisbane managed to grab a shocking upset and Adelaide are good value to pull an upset against what is likely to be a Sydney B-Side.
To play it safe, take the double chance here for Adelaide to get something out of this game and continue to build momentum towards the finals.
Back Adelaide Win/Draw Double Chance @ $1.62
We have reached the penultimate round of the 2016/2017 A-League regular season and there will be plenty of jostling for positions in the top six.
The Wellington Phoenix are making a late charge for the A-League Finals, but they face a tough challenge against Sydney FC.
The Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers also have tough fixtures and we are set for another exciting weekend of betting action.
Friday 7 April, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 1 - Adelaide United 0
Melbourne City have lost two games on the trot, but they will still go into this clash with Adelaide United as clear favourites.
Home favourtism has been one position in which Melbourne City have thrived and they have won seven of their past 11 games in this scenario for a profit.
Adelaide United have played some credible football in recent weeks and they have not lost a game for over a month.
One of their big problems this season has been winning away from home and they have won just one of their past nine games as away underdogs for a clear loss.
Melbourne City must win this clash to be any chance of catching the Brisbane Roar in third and they really should be able to return to winning form this weekend.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $1.62
Saturday 8 April, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington Phoenix 1 - Sydney FC 1
The Wellington Phoenix must win their past two games to have any chance to make the A-League Finals and they face a very tough assignment against Sydney FC this weekend.
Sydney FC have not slowed down since winning the Premier’s Plate and they were nothing short of outstanding against Melbourne City.
They have won nine of their past 12 games as away favourites for a clear profit and they have lost just one game in this scenario.
Wellington have scored eight goals and conceded none in their past two games and they were excellent against Melbourne Victory last weekend.
This is a much tougher challenge and the Phoenix have won only one of their past seven games as home underdogs.
Backing Sydney FC continues to be a winning play and there is no reason to jump off this weekend.
Back Sydney FC To Win @ $1.85
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 8 April, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 0 - Melbourne Victory 0
This is a crucial clash for the Western Sydney Wanderers as a win would ensure that they qualify for the A-League Finals and they will start this clash as favourites.
Western Sydney have won three games on the trot, but their record as home favourites this season is still very poor – they have won only three of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear loss.
Melbourne Victory produced one of their worst performances of the season against Wellington last weekend and they have struggled badly in recent weeks.
Winning away from home has not been a problem for Melbourne, but they have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs for a clear loss.
This is a game that the market look to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting perspective.
Saturday 8 April, 10:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth Glory 3 - Brisbane Roar 1
This is a crucial game for both sides and the Perth Glory will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
Perth can secure a place in the A-League Finals with a win over the Brisbane Roar and their is plenty to like about them heading into this clash.
The Glory have won five of their past nine games as home favourites and they have lost only one game in this scenario this season.
Brisbane came from behind to record an emphatic victory over the Central Coast Mariners and they can solidify their position in third place with a win.
Winning away from home for the Roar has been a problem this season and they have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs for a clear loss.
This is a crucial clash for Perth and they should be able to maintain their stellar record at NIB Stadium.
Back Perth To Win @ $2.30
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 9 April, 5:00pm, Bluetongue Stadium
Central Coast Mariners 2 - Newcastle Jets 0
This will not have any finals relevance, but the A-League wooden spoon could be decided in this F3 Derby.
Both these teams have lost four games on the trot, but it is the Central Coast Mariners that will go into this clash as narrow favourites.
This will only be the second time that the Mariners have started as favourites over the past 12 months and they are a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.
Newcastle have fallen to pieces in recent weeks and they have conceded 12 goals in their past three games without scoring.
The Jets have won only two of their past 12 games away from home and are another team that is very tough to trust from a betting standpoint.
Five of the past eight games played between these two sides have ended as draws and another stalemate looks likely this weekend.
Back The Draw @ $3.60
This is the penultimate round of the 2015/2016 A-League regular season and there is finals interest in every single game this weekend.
The round starts on Friday night when the Western Sydney Wanderers host the Central Coast Mariners at Parramatta Stadium before Sydney FC take on Adelaide United in another key encounter on Saturday night.
The round concludes on Sunday afternoon when the Perth Glory take on Melbourne City in what could be a finals preview.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Central Coast Mariners
Friday 1 April, 7:40pm, Parramatta Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 4 - Central Coast Mariners 1
The Western Sydney Wanderers suffered a loss to the Melbourne Victory last weekend, but they have an excellent chance to return to winning form against the Central Coast Mariners this weekend.
Central Coast have won just one game away from in the past 12 months and that does not look like changing.
They have simply been outclassed this season and it is tough to see the Wanderers failing to walk away with the three points.
You can’t back the Wanderers at their current price of $1.22, but the Total Goals market does stand out here.
I expect the Wanderers to grind out a fairly boring 2-0 victory and the $3 on offer for under 2.5 goals is a good bet.
Recommended Bet: Back The Under (2.5 Goals) @ $3
Saturday 2 April, 5:15pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington Phoenix 1 - Melbourne Victory 4
The Wellington Phoenix are out of finals contention, but the Melbourne Victory can still climb their way up the ladder and finish the regular season in fifth.
Melbourne returned to winning form against the Wanderers last weekend and they are favourites to make it two wins in a row – a position in which they haven’t been a winning propoisition this season.
The Phoenix are 2-1-2 as home underdogs this season and they have an excellent record as underdogs this season.
Wellington often play spoiler at this stage of the season and they can cause another upset against the Victory here at a good price of $3.
Recommended Bet: Back Wellington Phoenix To Win @ $3
Saturday 2 April, 7:30pm, Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC 0 - Adelaide United 2
Sydney FC have really struggled in the A-League in the past month and they suffered another loss at the hands of the Brisbane Roar last weekend.
Adelaide United returned to winning form with a scratchy performance against the Central Coast Mariners and they are narrow favourites to put the pressure on both the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City.
The Reds have been a winning proposition as favourites this season and they do have far more to play for than Sydney FC.
Sydney FC have been a very poor betting side this season and I can’t really work out why they aren’t a much longer price this weekend.
Adelaide United are 9-3-3 on the back on a win in the past 12 months and they can continue that strong record against Sydney FC this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Adelaide United To Win @ $2.60
Sunday 3 April, 5:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Roar 2 - Newcastle Jets 1
It is only goal difference that separates the Brisbane Roar from Melbourne City at the top of the ladder and they can temporarily go top of the table for at least a couple of hours with a win over the Newcastle Jets.
The Roar have been absolutely outstanding as home favourites this season and they have lost just a single game in this scenario in the past 12 months.
Newcastle were arguably unlucky against the Perth Glory last weekend and they have been a very profitable proposition as underdogs this season.
In addition, their record against the Brisbane Roar is surprisingly strong and they have actually won five out of their 13 games at Suncorp Stadium as underdogs.
It is clear that the Brisbane Roar are the team to beat here, but their is plenty of data that suggests the Jets can record a big upset here and I am happy to take the gamble at $7.
Recommended Bet: Back The Newcastle Jets To Win @ $7
Sunday 3 April, 7:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth Glory 3 - Melbourne City 2
This is clearly the highlight of the weekend and it could have massive consequences for the Premier’s Plate.
Melbourne City maintained their position on top of the A-League ladder with their comfortable 3-0 victory over the Wellington Phoenix and they will be buoyed by the return of Aaron Mooy.
Despite that, they are still underdogs ahead of this fixture and they have been a fairly neutral betting proposition in that position throughout this season.
The Perth Glory have won seven of their past eight games and their record as favourites this season is almost flawless – having lost just one of seven games as the punters elect.
They are a very difficult side to beat in front of their home fans at NIB Stadium and I am confident that they can put a dent in the title hopes of Melbourne City this weekend.
Recommended Bet: Back Perth Glory To Win @ $2.25