The A-League’s marquee fixture returns to Parramatta with Sydney’s two clubs set to face off for the first time in the revamped BankWest Stadium.
We’ve already seen the potential for this arena but this will be the showpiece event the A-League could really use.
Of course there are plenty of other big games coming up this weekend as well with the Roar and Victory kicking things off in a clash with plenty of history.
There’s also Adelaide and Melbourne City backing up from the FFA Cup Final plus the distance derby between Wellington and Perth.
In short it’s a big round of A-League action ahead and we’ve got your match previews and betting plays right here.
Friday 25 October, 7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane 0 – Melbourne Victory 1
It’s one of the Roar’s favourite rivalries as the Melbourne Victory come to town for Robbie Fowler’s first match in charge at Suncorp Stadium.
The one time Liverpool legend will remember playing at Suncorp as a member of the North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory but he and pretty much his entire matchday squad will be taking to the pitch in orange for the first time here.
After a late equaliser in Perth in Round 1, the Roar were able to sit back and watch as the Victory dropped points in their second straight match.
Last season Melbourne dominated this matchup winning 4-2 and 5-0 at Suncorp before grinding out a 2-1 win at Docklands in the midst of their Champions League duties.
Of course this is not the same Roar side as last year, in fact nine of the starting 11 were making their A-League debuts against Perth so you can throw out that history here.
It sure looks like Fowler has set out to fix the Roar’s defensive woes above all else and with the Victory struggling for cohesion in the front third, this could be a great opportunity for a confidence booster.
Unfortunately for the Roar that has come at a bit of a cost when it comes to creativity in the front third so they may find themselves limited up front as well.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.00
Saturday 26 October, 5:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle 1 – Adelaide 2
Now we get a chance to see what Newcastle has to offer this season.
You can’t take much from Round 1 since they were on a bye and the Round 2 derby performance has to come with an asterisk since it was, after all, a derby.
Adelaide might be in a vulnerable position as well, with just three days to recover from the FFA Cup Final against Melbourne City which includes a travel day to get to the Hunter region.
Scoring has not been at an all time high through the early rounds of the A-League but the both teams to score market has been a good play so far with that hitting in all five matches last weekend and eight of the ten played so far.
Whether Adelaide brings out its full strength team again or opts to give some of its players a bit of a rest, defending has been an issue although they are fun to watch going forward so we’ll expect a few goals in this one.
SGM: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.07
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 26 October, 7:30pm, Bankwest Stadium
Western Sydney 1 – Sydney FC 0
This edition of the Sydney Derby could not have had a better build up, the two lone perfect teams in the A-League facing off in front of a packed stadium.
The Markus Babbel overhaul of the Wanderers has them well placed to contend in this one and are primed for their first win in seven meetings.
Overall the derby has not been favourable for the Wanderers with three of their four total wins coming in the first five meetings, but you have to be impressed with how they have looked early on.
Write off Sydney FC at your own peril though, they haven’t quite hit top gear but have been able to grind out two wins and that ability will come in handy in a derby.
Both keepers will be tested and Rhyan Grant from Sydney should have another big game here but in the end it looks like these two sides will find a way to cancel each other’s strengths out.
Since this is the A-League both teams to score seems like a very good play and we’ll also throw in the draw.
SGM: Draw & Both Teams to Score @ $4.62
Sunday 27 October, 4:00pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington 1 – Perth 2
From the Sydney Derby to the Distance Derby, Wellington welcomes Perth fresh off a very long flight over to New Zealand.
Despite sitting on zero points and having scored all of one goal so far this season, the Nix haven’t been out of either of their games, they’ve just missed that cutting edge.
Perth haven’t exactly been lighting things up either with a pair of 1-1 draws to get things started.
We’re all still waiting for the Fornaroli-Castro-Ikonomidis combination to really click but the support behind them has not been giving them enough opportunities either.
At best this seems destined for a 1-1 draw, so we’ll take a low scoring affair as both sides look to defend first and hope to jag a goal.
Back 0-2 Goals @ $2.00
Sunday 27 October, 6:00pm, GMHBA Stadium
Western United 1 – Melbourne City 2
It’s Western United’s first taste of a local(ish) derby as the host Melbourne City in the Round’s final match.
After taking on Adelaide in the FFA Cup Final, City travels the 100 or so kilometres down the road to face their newest rivals for the first time.
With four days to recover a short road trip and it being so early in the season, the fatigue factor for City probably won’t play as much of a factor as it will for Adelaide and you can look at this one pretty much as a straightforward match.
Overall, there might be a slight edge to the young legs on the City side but it’s hard to discount the experience in the centre of the park with guys like Kone and Diamanti.
That might see both sides find a way to cancel one another out in a score draw.
SGM: Draw & Both Teams to Score @ $4.70
Believe it or not, there was some fairly entertaining football played in Australia last weekend, not that you would know with the VAR taking all the headlines.
What is jumping out after the first two rounds of the A-League season is the fact that this is setting up as one of the tightest competitions in recent memory.
Last year’s Grand Finalists sit in eighth and tenth while finding an early pacesetter is nearly impossible with any side capable of picking up points any week.
Read on for our previews and predictions of the upcoming weekend of A-League action.
Friday 2 November, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 0 – Sydney 3
The “Light Blue Derby” (don’t call it the Sky Blue Derby) kicks off Round 3 of the A-League.
Sydney are having to back up three days after losing the FFA Cup Final and with the travel added into the mix, this is a very tough assignment.
Having picked up three wins over City in three meetings last season (and five in a row), they would love to repeat that feat however City have a great recent record at AAMI Park winning their last three matches.
For the past few seasons, Sydney have been the benchmark side in the competition and a win here would go a long way to setting City up for a good campaign.
Back Melbourne City to Win @ $2.50
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 3 November, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington 0 – Western Sydney 3
Wellington took care of business in Round 2, avoiding defeat in Brisbane with a resilient performance.
That being said, defender Steven Taylor won’t be putting his hand up to fill in at striker anytime soon after his woeful miss from point blank range.
They will need his defensive organisation to neutralise a Wanderers side that will be on the attack despite coach Markus Babbel serving a touchline ban after his red card last week.
In their past seven meetings, Wellington have not recorded a victory over the Wanderers and as the market has these sides fairly evenly split, a draw is the play this time.
Back the Draw @ $3.50
Saturday 3 November, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle 0 – Melbourne Victory 1
Saturday’s primetime clash is a rematch of last season’s Grand Final and while Victory fans would happily take another 1-0 win, everyone involved would prefer the VAR not play a role in this one.
After back to back losses in their opening two games, picking up three points here is imperative for Melbourne.
Newcastle’s start to the season has only been marginally better with a draw and a loss, but they do also need a win here.
This fixture has favoured the Victory with five wins and two draws from the last nine but given this is the season of the draws, that is the play here.
Back the Draw @ $3.50
Saturday 3 November, 10:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth 2 – Brisbane 1
Brisbane will feel as though they should have more than two points from their opening two games.
Whatever encouragement they could take from their performance in the opening week was gone after a limp effort against Wellington forced them to settle for another draw.
Striker Adam Taggart returns to his former club, who appear to be doing fine without him after a huge win in Melbourne last week.
The optimism is building out west and it is fair enough with how they have looked so far and they should be able to pick up three points against a Roar side that is yet to click into gear.
Back Perth to Win @ $1.95
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 4 November, 5:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast 0 – Adelaide 3
Adelaide will be glad their match isn’t until Sunday allowing them at least a little bit of time to celebrate their FFA Cup triumph.
They will need to be on the ball here though, as they travel to face a Central Coast side that has been able to hold their own in the first two rounds, picking up back to back draws against more fancied opponents.
Adelaide have won seven of the last ten games but the Mariners will certainly push a side that is still short of striking options.
With the game setting up this way, do not be at all surprised if Adelaide have to chase down Central Coast but they do have the quality to come away with a win here.
Back the Draw @ $3.80
It’s Round 3 of the A-League and as per usual there are five games to keep you entertained this weekend.
One of the original rivalries gets things started as Melbourne Victory will try to find their first points of the season at the Adelaide Oval before the first Sydney Derby of the season on Saturday night.
The surprise packets so far, the Newcastle Jets will look to add more trouble to the Brisbane Roar as they visit Suncorp Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Friday 20 October, 7:50pm, Adelaide Oval
Back to back losses is a less than ideal start for a side many expected to be in contention for the Premiers Plate and the now face a trip to Adelaide.
The return of their Socceroos stars did not help as they dropped the derby to City and there are questions now around whether or not they are too predictable.
Adelaide’s preseason fitness work appears to have paid off as they closed out a difficult game in Brisbane with two late goals.
Two high quality midfields face off in this game and I like the confidence around Adelaide at the moment and think they will get by the Victory in this one.
Back Adelaide United to Win @ $2.50
Saturday 21 October, 5:35pm, AAMI Park
Far and away the form side of the competition, City get their third straight game in Melbourne thanks to playing as the away side in the derby last week.
Those home comforts have been very beneficial so far as they have taken their first two games and look like genuine contenders so far.
Wellington are certainly proving their ability to scrap for a result by pushing Sydney FC last week and can score when needed.
Even then, Melbourne City are deserved favourites this week and even though they might not be the best value here it is hard to go against them.
Back Melbourne City to Win @ $1.50
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 21 October, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium
A game which those in FFA Headquarters will be hoping can live up to the spectacle of the build up.
The champions are two from two and now face their local rivals who, despite a tough draw last weekend, would feel fairly confident as the only side to defeat them last season.
This has the makings of a tight game and with plenty of firepower on both sides, a score draw seems to be the most likely result.
Back Both Teams to Score and a Draw @ $4.50
Sunday 22 October, 5:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
A week of drama for the Roar will have them eager to get on the pitch Sunday evening against the Newcastle Jets.
In the middle of a busy home schedule, they will want to put last week’s collapse against Adelaide United behind them and with the potential addition of French import Eric Bautheac, it might change their attacking fortunes.
The Jets meanwhile have assembled a squad that has gelled together really quickly and have the fans in the Hunter right behind them.
With the Roar still missing their midfield anchor in Thomas Kristensen, the Jets should be able to control that area of the pitch and the match.
Back the Jets to Win @ $2.75
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 22 October, 7:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth will be happy to return home after an visit east that produced a loss and a draw.
Adam Taggart pitched in with a late goal to get that point against the Jets and is hoping his connection with new signing Xavi Torres only improves with more time on the pitch.
Central Coast are a bit vulnerable at the back and can’t help but concede goals but they are set up to hit the Glory on the counter attack should the opportunity present itself.
The vulnerability of both sides defensively screams draw here and that is the recommendation.
Back the Draw @ $4.00
It has been an absolutely thrilling start to the A-League season and the action continues this weekend.
The round begins on Friday when Tim Cahill and Melbourne City host Perth Glory before Adelaide United take on the Melbourne Victory in the match of the round on Saturday night.
The Sunday double-header includes two very intriguing fixtures and there will be betting interest in every single game this weekend.
Friday 21 October, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 2 - Perth Glory 3
Melbourne City stamped themselves as the early favourites for the A-League title with their truly outstanding performance against Melbourne Victory and they are dominant favourites to account for Perth this weekend.
Tim Cahill’s wonder goal stole the headlines, but the entire Melbourne City outfit were nothing short of brilliant and they are the benchmark side of the competition.
Melbourne City have won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites and they really have been able to turn AAMI Park into a fortress.
Perth got the job done against Wellington last Sunday afternoon, but this clash represents a much tougher challenge.
The Glory have won just three of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a loss and winning away from NIB Stadium has proven to be an issue.
Melbourne City should be able to get the job done comfortably and they are one of the safest bets of the weekend.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $1.67
Central Coast Mariners
Saturday 22 October, 5:35pm, Bluetongue Stadium
Central Coast Mariners 0 - Brisbane Roar 1
The Brisbane Roar were truly woeful against the Newcastle Jets last weekend, but they are clear favourites to return to winning form against Central Coast.
Brisbane clearly missed Matt McKay last weekend and his return will be crucial to their chances on Saturday.
The Roar have now won just one of their past eight games as away favourites and it is extremely tough to get them as short at their current price.
Central Coast made a positive start to the season against the Perth Glory, but they regressed badly last weekend against Sydney FC.
The Mariners have not beaten Brisbane since 2014 and they have won just one of their past 13 games as home underdogs.
Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting perspective and I am happy to stay out of this clash.
Saturday 22 October, 7:50pm, Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United 1 - Melbourne Victory 2
This is a crucial game for both these sides that have made a slow start to the A-League season.
Adelaide United went down to the Western Sydney Wanderers in controversial circumstances last weekend and are favourites to record their first win of the season against the Melbourne Victory.
The Reds have won nine of their past 14 games as home favourites for a clear profit, but their record against Melbourne is not particularly strong.
Melbourne Victory were completely embarrassed against Melbourne City in the Melbourne Derby last weekend and they face another tough assignment on Saturday.
The Victory have won just one of their past six games as away underdogs and they have not beaten Adelaide away from home for a number of seasons.
Adelaide have already let us down a couple of times this season, but we are willing to give them another opportunity this weekend.
Back Adelaide United To Win @ $2.38
Sunday 23 October, 5:00pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington Phoenix 0 - Sydney FC 1
The Wellington Phoenix have won just one of their past eight games and they desperately need to take the three points from this clash.
Despite having the home ground advantage, Wellington will still go into this game as clear underdogs and this is not a position in which they have thrived – they have won just two of their past eight games as home underdogs.
Sydney FC continue their momentum from their heavy defeat of the Western Sydney Wanderers to handily account for the Central Coast Mariners in what was an impressive performance.
The Sky Blues played an impressive brand of football and a repeat of that performance would be enough to account for the Wellington Phoenix, but they have won just two of their past five games as away favourites for a loss.
This is a match that they market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 23 October, 7:00pm, Spotless Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 - Newcastle Jets 2
The Newcastle Jets have made a very positive start to the A-League season, but it is the Western Sydney Wanderers that will start this clash as clear favourites.
Western Sydney were completely outclassed by Sydney FC and they struggled at times against Adelaide, but they were still able to come away with the three points in what would have been a confidence-building performance.
The Wanderes have won eight of their past 13 games as favourites for a narrow profit and they have won their past three games against Newcastle.
Newcastle have been the surprise packages of the A-League season to date and they were clinical against the Brisbane Roar last Sunday afternoon.
They now have a strong platform to build on this season, but whether they can take something from this clash is a challenge – they have won just one of their past ten games as away underdogs.
Western Sydney are always tough to beat in front of their home fans and they can win again this weekend.
Back Western Sydney Wanderers To Win @ $1.73