2021 A-League Round 4 Preview

We’ve got six matches on the schedule for Round 4 of the A-League and almost a month after the season began, Perth Glory will play its first game against Adelaide United.

Things begin with a blockbuster double header featuring the first Sydney Derby of the season before the two “other” Melbourne clubs face off at AAMI Park.

As has been the case since the first day of the season, border closures and travel restrictions have played havoc with the A-League fixtures so just about every match needs to come with the caveat of “if it all goes ahead”.

That chaos did not stop us finding a pair of winning plays last week and we’ll look to continue that form in Round 4 of the A-League season.

Read on to see who we are backing.

Sydney FC Vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday 16 January, 5:05pm, Stadium Australia

Arguably the highlight fixture of the A-League regular season, this will be a unique Sydney Derby for multiple reasons.

The defending champions could not handle their local rivals at all last season, losing twice and drawing the third meeting and it’s fair to say the gap between the two squads has closed since they last met.

Western Sydney picked up their first points of the season with a 2-1 win over Newcastle while Sydney FC has had two weeks off after their lone match of the season, a 2-1 win over Wellington.

Even if it will lack the usual intense fan generated atmosphere of a local derby, the action on the pitch will still give it the feel of a rivalry match.

The last four meetings have had two or fewer goals and this should follow that trend.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.02

Melbourne City Vs Western United

Saturday 16 January, 7:10pm, AAMI Park

It’s the derby between Victoria’s two “other” teams as Melbourne City and Western United face off for the fifth time in their history.

When they last met in August, it was for a spot in the Grand Final and City emerged 2-0 victors, keeping their perfect record against their newest rivals intact.

In four meetings, Western United have failed to earn as much as a draw against City however they do have as good of a chance as any.

City captain Scott Jamieson will be out for this one after getting sent off against Adelaide and they will likely continue to be without Andrew Nabbout after he was injured against Brisbane.

And even with those absences, I still come back to the fact that City is still the better side and should win this game relatively comfortably.

Back Melbourne City to Win @ $1.85

Newcastle Jets Vs Macarthur FC

Sunday 17 January, 4:05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

One of the few teams to actually be playing their fourth match of the season in Matchweek 4, Macarthur could benefit from the relative consistency of their fixture list.

Ante Milicic’s side has experienced the full gamut of results in their very short history with a win, draw and loss but they certainly appear capable of competing in this A-League season.

Things have not been so smooth at Newcastle with the side losing both of their matches to date, on top of the doubts over the future and stability of the club’s ownership.

It’s not all doom and gloom with some bright passages of play, however they do need to find a way to get some positive momentum for the club.

Having tipped them for the wooden spoon however, I’ll continue to back against the Jets until their situation looks a bit more promising.

Back Macarthur to Win @ $2.75

Central Coast Mariners Vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Tuesday 19 January, 7:00pm, Central Coast Stadium

At the time of writing, the Central Coast Mariners, check that, the LEAGUE LEADING Central Coast Mariners are flying with back to back wins to start the season.

Going back to the end of the last campaign, It’s now five matches without defeat and perhaps some optimism the club is on the rise.

Looking at this match, the phrase “timing is everything” springs to mind and the Wanderers will be backing up on 72 hours rest from their derby with Sydney FC.

Central Coast last defeated Western Sydney in April 2019, but they are in a great position to break that drought here.

It’s hard to see the Wanderers being at full capacity for this fixture, regardless of their result against Sydney, those sorts of matches always result in some sort of hangover and while Carl Robinson can say “every match matters” the odds of them suffering a letdown here seem very short.

Back Central Coast to Win @ $3.05

Newcastle Jets Vs Brisbane Roar

Wednesday 20 January, 7:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

By the time this match kicks off, it will have been 18 days since the Roar last played in an A-League fixture while the Jets will be about 73 hours removed from their match with Macarthur.

The Roar had the better of Newcastle last season drawing with them in January before scraping out a 1-0 in one of the final matches before the league went into hiatus in March.

It’s hard not to be encouraged by the performances of the Roar in their two opening matches with a whole new level of energy in the squad compared to last season and if they can get off to a fast start, they should be able to go on with the job and come away with three points.

Back Brisbane to Win @ $2.90

Perth Glory Vs Adelaide United

Wednesday 20 January, 9:20pm, HBF Park

Better late than never, we finally get a look at this Perth Glory outfit in the domestic competition.

Almost seven weeks to the day since their last competitive fixture in the Asian Champions League, Perth will present a side that really could go either way.

We have seen Adelaide in the A-League twice already and what has stood out so far is their impressive defensive work, keeping a pair of clean sheets with goalkeeper James Delianov one of the early stars of the season.

I’ll back what I have seen so far this season and take Adelaide in an upset as they stifle Perth going forward.

Back Adelaide to Win @ $3.25


2019/2020

Has there been a power shift in Sydney?

Maybe not but the Wanderers showed they are going to be a tough out this season, especially at their rebuilt home ground.

Of course Sydney FC is still looking good and the rivals from outside the Harbour City will be ready to knock them off the top of the table.

It’s the first edition of the Victory-Western United Derby highlighting this weekend of A-League action after the new boys lost their first all-Victorian clash with Melbourne City last weekend.

There’s four other games on the fixture list and we’ve got previews and betting plays for them right here.

Sydney FC Vs Newcastle Jets

Friday 1 November, 7:30pm, Leichardt Oval

Sydney FC 4 – Newcastle 1

Facing Sydney FC at home has not gone well for Newcastle lately with seven losses and two draws from their last nine visits to the Sky Blues.

Steve Corica’s side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat in the derby where they just couldn’t find a way through the Wanderers.

Perhaps the only thing that might give Newcastle hope is the fact that their defenders have had a really strong season so far, giving up just 10 shots in their two matches so far.

That being said, Sydney has the lethal marksman that only needs one chance in Adam LeFondre who should be able to get them home here.

The key in this game is whether or not Sydney can score early and open up the match, in both their wins they have scored inside the first 25 minutes.

That being said they haven’t kept a clean sheet yet and I’m not expecting one here with Petratos and Arroyo more than capable of pulling out a screamer.

SGM: Sydney FC Halftime/Fulltime & Both Teams to Score @ $5.10

Western Sydney Wanderers Vs Brisbane Roar

Saturday 2 November, 5:00pm, Bankwest Stadium

Western Sydney 0 – Brisbane 0

You can see that Brisbane have the potential to get something going under Robbie Fowler, it just needs to click.

Maybe it might involve a slight tweak to the starting 11 or a tactical switch, either way they need to address the slow starts.

In both contests so far they have fallen behind in the first half and spent the majority of the game chasing a goal.

Perhaps they might be able to catch the Wanderers a little bit flat after a dramatic derby win, their first in what feels like an eternity, but the Wanderers have been making the most of their new/old surrounds.

At home, this is going to be the Wanderers game to lose, although it should be a close one.

SGM: Wanderers to Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ $2.63

Melbourne Victory Vs Western United

Saturday 2 November, 7:30pm, Marvel Stadium

Melbourne Victory 2 – Western United 3

It might not have been overly pretty but the Victory got their first win of the new season in Brisbane.

Of course losing Andrew Nabbout to a hamstring injury in the first half of that game will hurt them going forward, especially if it puts more pressure on Ola Toivonen in the front third.

Western United on the other hand lost their first Victorian Derby to Melbourne City and now travel up the road to face the Victory.

On the plus side they have scored in every match so far, but they’ve only managed one goal in each contest.

Both Mark Rudan and Marco Kurz are defence first managers, looking to set the side up to be solid at the back and try to win games 1-0 or 2-0.

Two plays leap out in this one, the first one is both teams to score considering the attacking talent on offer, but these managers love a clean sheet… actually any manager would.

Given the way this season is unfolding so far, take neither side to keep a clean sheet though, there have only been five clean sheets in 15 matches and one of those was a 0-0 draw.

Back Both Teams to Score @ $1.80

Melbourne City Vs Wellington Phoenix

Sunday 3 November, 4:00pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne City 3 – Wellington 2

In a huge blow for Melbourne City, Jamie Maclaren is out for the foreseeable future which really limits their options in attack.

They’ve scored four A-League goals this season and all four of them have come from the Socceroos striker.

On the plus side that opens up a really appealing betting play for this weekend, Wellington have struggled to score with their full strength squad so back a low scoring encounter here that, at best will be a 1-1 draw.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.20

Perth Glory Vs Central Coast Mariners

Sunday 3 November, 6:00pm, HBF Park

Perth 1 – Central Coast 2

Could Perth finally be starting to click?

After a pair of draws to start off the season the Glory finally got their first win in the Distance Derby in Wellington and now they are back at home for their bunnies, the Central Coast Mariners.

The last eight meetings have seen seven Perth wins but this Mariners side has a bit more fight to it than in previous years.

Even with Perth’s resilient defence last season, the Mariners found a way through in all but one of the last nine meetings.

Perth is still yet to keep a clean sheet but I like them to still come away with a win as they are a better side than the Mariners.

SGM: Perth to Win & Both Teams to Score @ $3.00


2018/2019

Going into the season there were plenty of people thinking this would be one of the most competitive A-League seasons yet.

After three rounds of action, those prognostications certainly look accurate as a number of teams have had good and bad moments already.

Three teams are still searching for their first win, although all three face tough assignments this week with Brisbane and Central Coast travelling, while the Jets host Sydney FC.

Read on for our previews and predictions for all five A-League matches coming up this weekend.

Melbourne City Vs Wellington Phoenix

Friday 9 November, 7:50pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne City 2 – Wellington 0

A battle of attrition looms between two sides who are looking to bounce back from their first defeats of the season.

This has all the makings of a low scoring battle with the Phoenix scoring just seven goals in their last 14 away contests.

One goal might be just enough for City and that is the play here.

Back City to Win and Under 2.5 Goals (Same Game Multi) @ $4.04

Western Sydney Wanderers Vs Brisbane Roar

Saturday 10 November, 5:35pm, Glen Willow Sporting Field

Western Sydney 2 – Brisbane 2

A weekend trip out to Mudgee awaits the Roar and Wanderers as the “home” side look to build on their first win of the season in Wellington.

Brisbane on the other hand are reeling after being blitzed by Perth last weekend and need to find a way to step up and meet the challenge ahead of them.

A good value play in this game is Western Sydney to be the first team to score at $1.75 but the outright win for the Wanderers is too good to not take.

Back Western Sydney to Win @ $2.15

Newcastle Jets Vs Sydney FC

Saturday 10 November, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

Newcastle 1 – Sydney 1

Two sides that entered the season with big questions surrounding them have gone a way to answer them so far.

Sydney are still strolling along despite the turnover with two wins and a draw while the Jets look as though the magic from last season has perhaps run out.

Travelling to the Hunter region does not bother Sydney having kept a clean sheet in five of the last seven games at this venue and have scored at least once in every appearance dating back to 2008.

Back Sydney to Win @ $2.00

Adelaide United Vs Perth Glory

Sunday 11 November, 5:00pm, Coopers Stadium

Adelaide 0 – Perth 2

This one shapes up as the best match of the round with two sides off to a great start ready to face off in Adelaide.

Perth were excellent in their win over Brisbane last week while the Reds finally broke through for their first (League) win.

Not to mention this features two of the most exciting Australian prospects at the moment in Craig Goodwin and Chris Ikonomidis.

The Popovic effect is in full swing in Perth and Adelaide has not lost in their last eight at home, so the play here is a draw.

Back the Draw @ $3.50

Melbourne Victory Vs Central Coast Mariners

Sunday 11 November, 7:00pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne Victory 4 – Central Coast 1

There are not many things which appear to be as straightforward as the final A-League match of Round 4.

After picking up their first win of the season over Newcastle last week, Melbourne now look to turn that into a streak when they host the Mariners.

Central Coast battled for back to back draws but were thoroughly outclassed by Adelaide last Sunday.

There is no point getting too fancy with this one and just look for Victory to put together a good performance.

Back Victory to Win to Nil @ $2.50


2017/2018

A perfect start for Melbourne City has them daring to dream as we enter A-League Round Four. Even at this early stage of the season there are some big surprises such as the Jets sitting in second place with two wins and a draw ahead of the defending champions. At the other end the Roar and Victory are both yet to win a game, producing results that are well below their respective expectations.

Sydney FC Vs Perth Glory

Friday 27 October, 7:50pm, Emirates Stadium

A derby draw for the Sky Blues last week resulted in their first dropped points for the season while Perth got by the Mariners thanks to a late finish from Adam Taggart. Perth are not a side that travels overly well, winning just seven games away from NiB Stadium since the start of the 2015-2016 season. Sydney on the other hand have not lost a home game since 2 April 2016 and it is hard to see them dropping this one, even if it is a battle.

Back Sydney FC to Win @ $1.57

Wellington Phoenix Vs Brisbane Roar

Saturday 28 October, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium

Any optimism surrounding the Brisbane Roar has evaporated after a disastrous start to the season, losing their first three games. A hotly debated (albeit correct) VAR call enraged the fans as it prevented a draw against the Jets last weekend. They now face a Wellington Phoenix side that have been very competitive in each of their three outings so far and have a formidable home ground advantage. Even then the Roar have a good record over there and have the ability to score goals. All things considered this is looking like an even matchup with two sides that will cancel each other out.

Back the Draw @ $3.50

Adelaide United Vs Melbourne City

Saturday 28 October, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium

For the second week in a row, a Melbourne side will visit Adelaide, however United will return to the more comfortable surrounds of Coopers Stadium for Melbourne City. This will be City’s first game outside of Melbourne this season so they have no real away form to go on. Neither side has lost yet this year however Adelaide have drawn twice while City are a perfect three for three. They did need a remarkable free kick from import signing Ross McCormick to get by a valiant Wellington last week. With a history of fiery clashes, not to mention a number of former Adelaide players now on City’s books, this will not disappoint with a highly entertaining score draw.

Back Both Teams to Score & a Draw @ $4.00

Newcastle Jets Vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Sunday 29 October, 5:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

A promising start to the season by the Newcastle Jets has been derailed by a gruesome injury to their marquee import Ronald Vargas. The pressure now falls on players such as Wayne Brown and Dimi Petratos, whose rocket from distance proved decisive in last week’s win in Brisbane. The Wanderers will be feeling somewhat hard done by after giving up a lead in the derby and will look to make amends. It is the first of three straight games outside of Sydney and they have been solid playing gatecrashers. Until we can see how the Jets might respond to the injury last week it’s worth steering clear of them and their games.

NO BET

Central Coast Mariners Vs Melbourne Victory

Sunday 29 October, 7:00pm, Central Coast Stadium

Both sides will feel as though they are well below where they should be on the early season standings. Melbourne are yet to find their team identity having had a disrupted start due to international commitments. In last week’s fighting draw with Adelaide they showed signs of potential as well as signs of frustration with how they have performed. Central Coast are a side that is currently defined by the term ‘potential’ by showing flashes at certain points but failing to capitalise on those stretches. This might just be the week and I have a good feeling about the Mariners here getting their first win of the season.

Back the Mariners to Win @ $3.60


2016/2017

It has been a very tough start to the A-League season for punters as upsets have dominated the first three rounds of the season.

The action gets underway on Friday night when Melbourne City host Adelaide United in a replay of the preliminary final last season, while the round concludes on Monday night when the Melbourne Victory take on the Wellington Phoenix on Melbourne Cup eve.

Punters are keen to bounce back after a disappointing weekend of A-League betting and you can find our thoughts on every single game below!

Melbourne City Vs Adelaide United

Friday 28 October, 7:50pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne City 2 - Adelaide United 1

Melbourne City suffered their first defeat of the season with a disappointing performance against Perth, but they are clear favourites to return to winning form against Adelaide United.

A lack of composure at key times cost Melbourne City last weekend, but they have still won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear profit and they have lost back-to-back games just twice in the past 12 months.

Adelaide United have made a very slow start to the A-League season and they are still chasing their first victory after going down to Melbourne Victory last weekend.

The Reds have proven to be a profitable betting team as underdogs in the past 12 months and they have won three of their past eight games as away underdogs for a profit.

Melbourne City are deserving favourites in this clash, but they are definitely under the odds at their current price and the $4 available for an Adelaide United victory is worth the gamble.

Back Adelaide United To Win @ $4

Newcastle Jets Vs Sydney FC

Saturday 29 October, 5:35pm, Hunter Stadium

Newcastle Jets 0 - Sydney FC 2

Both these teams have made a very promising start to the A-League season and will defend unbeaten records in this clash.

Sydney FC made it three wins on the trot with their fighting victory over Wellington and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Sydney have won three of their past six games as home favourites for a narrow profit and their record at Hunter Stadium is strong.

Newcastle two scored late goals to take a point from their clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

The Jets have taken at least a point from six of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but just three of those results were victories.

Sydney FC look a class above the majority of their competition in the A-League at the moment and they are a safe bet to maintain their dominant start to the season.

Back Sydney FC To Win @ $1.75

Western Sydney Wanderers Vs Central Coast Mariners

Saturday 29 October, 7:50pm, Spotless Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Central Coast Mariners 1

Western Sydney Wanderers threw away two points against the Newcastle Jets last weekend, but they will still start this clash as dominant favourites.

Tony Popovich was filthy with his team’s effort in the last 10 minutes of their last clash and there is no doubt they will be desperate to avoid a similar result this weekend.

Western Sydney have won eight of their past 14 games as home favourites, but they have only made a very narrow profit in this situation.

There is no doubt that Central Coast have improved this season, but they are still yet to taste success this season following their narrow defeat at the hands of the Brisbane Roar.

The Mariners have won just one of their past 13 games as away underdogs and it is tough to back them with any confidence.

These are two teams that are tough to trust from a betting perspective and I am more than happy to stay out of this clash.

No Bet

Brisbane Roar Vs Perth Glory

Sunday 30 October, 5:00pm, Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane Roar 2 - Perth Glory 1

The Brisbane Roar returned to winning form against the Central Coast Mariners and they will start this clash with Perth as clear favourites.

Brisbane have been far from impressive so far this season, but their record in front of their home fans is nothing short of outstanding – they have won 11 of their past 15 games as home favourites for a big profit.

Perth produced their best performance of the season to date to upstage Melbourne City last Friday night and they played some excellent football in doing so.

The Glory’s record away from home is better than you would imagine and they have won four of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a clear profit.

It is tough to bet against Brisbane at home, but Perth are playing some good football and the $3.60 available for a stalemate can’t be ignored.

Back The Draw @ $3.60

Melbourne Victory Vs Wellington Phoenix

Monday 31 October, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium

Melbourne Victory 6 - Wellington Phoenix 1

Melbourne Victory recorded their first win of the season over Adelaide United and they have been well-supported to score back-to-back victories.

Melbourne played well to get the job done against Adelaide United, but their record as home favourites doesn’t inspire confidence and they have won just five of their past 11 games in this scenario.

Wellington are yet to win a game this season and they have not tasted success in the A-League since March.

They have been far from disgraced this season, but an inability to score goals has been a serious issue and they have won just two of their past 11 games as away underdogs.

The market that stands out in this clash is the Total Goals betting market.

Wellington have been a strong defensive outfit this season and the $2.20 on offer for under 2.5 goals to be scored is outstanding value.

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $2.20