One of the most unique beginnings to an A-League season continues with five matches set to make up Matchweek 5.
It all kicks off with the upstart Central Coast Mariners visiting the dynastic Sydney FC before a huge double header Saturday.
We’re previewing every A-League match this season on the Ladbrokes Blog so read on to see who we are taking this weekend.
Central Coast Mariners
Friday 22 January, 7:00pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
Sydney FC 0 – Central Coast 2
The Mariners complete the second half of their Sydney Derby rebound double header when they visit Sydney FC in the opening match of Matchweek 5.
Their recent history against the Sky Blues does not make for pleasant reading with just one win and three draws in their last 17 matches, dating back to the start of the 2014/2015 season.
It will not help them coming off barely 72 hours rest after going down to the Wanderers 1-0 during the week.
Considering they will be on incredibly short rest, it would not be at all surprising to see Sydney FC look like the stronger side as the Mariners seem destined to sink to back to back defeats.
Back Sydney FC to Win & Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.30
Saturday 23 January, 5:00pm, GMHBA Stadium
Western United 5 – Perth 4
It’s fair to say Perth had an entertaining entrance into the A-League this season, going ballistic in a 5-3 victory over Adelaide during the week.
New manager Richard Garcia has to have been impressed with how ruthless his side was in front of goal, and how quickly new/old signing Andy Keogh fit right back into the Perth setup.
Unsurprisingly they were a bit flat in the final few minutes, playing their first competitive match after a long layoff.
Now they have a three day turnaround (and a cross country flight) before their next match and you have to like their chances against a Western United outfit that has not found its stride just yet.
Chances are this will be a slightly less frenetic match than what we saw during the week as Western United look to play this match on their preferred terms.
Back Under 2.5 Goals
Saturday 23 January, 7:40pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide 1 – Melbourne Victory 0
Adelaide may very well be the toughest team to get a read on this season.
They looked phenomenal in their convincing 2-0 win over Melbourne City in early January, then looked a step behind Perth after a 17-day layoff.
Perhaps that will have served as a wake up call ahead of their original rivalry clash with Melbourne Victory.
The visitors will have had 20 days between A-League matches since their last outing, a 3-1 loss at home to Brisbane Roar, and chances are they will be a bit lethargic out of the gates.
This has been a rivalry that is dominated by the home side with the hosts taking out the last eight meetings and that trend should continue here.
Back Adelaide to Win @ $2.10
Sunday 24 January, 6:00pm, WIN Stadium
Wellington 1 – Newcastle 2
In a way, you kind of have to feel for the Jets, they just are not at the same level as the rest of the A-League.
In spite of a couple of promising youngsters, Valentino Yuel and Ramy Najjarine, the squad as a whole is just not able to find a breakthrough.
I’ll continue to back against them for most of this season.
Back Wellington to Win @ $1.90
Tuesday 26 January, 7:00pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne Victory 2 – Perth 1
Border closures have robbed us of our traditional Australia Day Big Blue clash between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, however the latter’s fallback option of the Perth Glory is a pretty good backup plan.
There is plenty of attacking talent on both of these sides and it should lead to an entertaining encounter.
With Perth staying in Melbourne after Saturday’s clash with Western United, the travel factor gets taken out and they should have some fresh legs to unleash in this fixture.
Back Over 3.5 Goals
Central Coast Mariners
Friday 8 November, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 3 – Central Coast 1
Saturday 9 November, 5:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle 1 – Perth 1
Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 9 November, 7:30pm, GMHBA Stadium
Western United 2 – Western Sydney 1
Sunday 10 November, 4:00pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne Victory 1 – Wellington 1
Sunday 10 November, 6:00pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide 1 – Brisbane 0
After observing the international break for the first time, the A-League returns for another big week of action.
Having played their respective derbies in the opening month, the competition’s biggest rivalry between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory headlines this weekend of action.
Following on from that the high-flying Glory look to continue their unbeaten run to start the season as heavy favourites against the Central Coast Mariners.
Read on for our previews, predictions and more for the upcoming A-League matches.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday 23 November, 7:50pm, Spotless Stadium
Western Sydney 0 – Newcastle 2
After three weeks travelling and a “home” game in Mudgee, the Wanderers finally get to play in their nominal home venue of Spotless Stadium.
This kicks off what they hope will be their final year of nomadic existence with Parramatta Stadium’s rebuild nearing completion.
Newcastle are nothing like the side that finished as last season’s runners up, although it is worth noting that the team is still very much in development.
The Jets are still winless and just don’t look like they have the firepower up front to match the Wanderers here as Oriol Rieria is the difference maker.
Back Western Sydney to Win @ $2.10
Saturday 24 November, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington 1 – Adelaide 3
Mark Rudan’s rebuild has hit a snag in the last two weeks with back to back losses.
The Phoenix’s main issue has come in front of goal with the side now having played 271 minutes of football without scoring a goal.
Adelaide’s unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of Perth but they won’t be expecting a second straight defeat here.
Even with this game being played in Wellington, Adelaide are offering great value to come away with a win and continue their good start to the season.
Back Adelaide United to Win @ $1.95
Saturday 24 November, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane 2 – Melbourne City 0
Two teams that have been very hard to get a read on this season face off in Saturday night’s feature match.
At times Melbourne City have looked like they can beat anyone, such as their opening round Derby win, while at other times, such as their 3-0 loss to Sydney, they have looked like a deeply flawed side.
Brisbane on the other hand are still searching for their first win of the season after three draws and a loss.
In every game they have been punished for slow starts before having to crawl back into the game as they did against Western Sydney in Mudgee two weekends ago.
While Roar fans would love to see them pick up all three points at home, City should have the quality to hold them to a draw in this one.
Back Both Teams to Score and a Draw @ $4.20
Sunday 25 November, 5:00pm, Jubilee Stadium
Sydney 1 – Melbourne Victory 2
A rare Sunday afternoon Big Blue between the last two A-League champions makes this one a must watch.
Take the pre-existing rivalry out of this and you still have a very intriguing game as both sides will want to use this as a leg up over a fellow premiership aspirant.
After losing their first two games, the Victory have looked much stronger as of late, picking up (another) 1-0 win in Newcastle before demolishing Central Coast last week.
Sydney on the other hand were held to their second draw of the season in their last match but have also shown flashes of brilliance over the first month.
Their last meeting was a memorable clash in the semi finals as the Victory won in extra time and, with only 90 minutes on offer, a score draw is the play in this one as well.
Back Both Teams to Score and a Draw @ $4.33
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 25 November, 7:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth 3 – Central Coast 2
Top of the league and flying, Perth are enjoying a dream start under Tony Popovic with three straight wins.
A home clash against a Mariners side that looked like it would be competitive early in the season but has had its confidence shot in the last two weeks suggest this game is only going to go one way.
While the Mariners may start out strong, it is hard to see them being able to contain Perth’s flying left side with Jason Davidson and Chris Ikonomidis.
Back Perth to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.00
A top of the table clash headlines A-League Round 5 as Sydney FC and Melbourne City kick off the weekend Friday night at AAMI Park. Four A-League sides are still without a win and despite playing each other but Brisbane and Central Coast have the chance to fix that Sunday evening. The round closes out with Melbourne Victory’s traditional Melbourne Cup fixture.
Friday 3 November, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
A top of the table clash is the best way to start off a weekend of football. It is the second time these sides will face off this season with the Sky Blues claiming the FFA Cup Semi Final 2-0 at Leichardt Oval in September. The return of Adrian Mierzejewski from a hamstring problem will be a big boost to Sydney having the ability to deploy their twin creatives. Melbourne City though are off to a record breaking start winning their first four games and Ross McCormack is starting to find his goal scoring touch. Graham Arnold will look to contain the City attackers but there is enough defensive fortitude to stifle this one, I would be looking at a score draw here.
Back a Draw @ $3.50
Saturday 4 November, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
In their first game without Ronald Vargas the Jets put in an admirable showing to come away with a draw against a Western Sydney side that looks very formidable so far. Wellington will be kicking themselves after letting a 3-0 lead slip at home against the struggling Roar. The Phoenix do not travel well at all and the Jets appear to have a decent home following which will drive them home. With Roy O’Donovan making a case to be the best acquisition of the offseason with plenty of goals and exciting youngster Joseph Champness coming off the bench, the Jets will get the job done here.
Back Newcastle to Win @ $2.00
Saturday 4 November, 10:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth will want to move on from their frustrating defeat against Sydney FC where they gave away three penalties. Adelaide will also want to atone for their home defeat to Melbourne City, this week they will have a few key players back having had to rotate last week with FFA Cup commitments. It lines up as an intriguing midfield battle with plenty of talent on both sides with some questionable defending. The matchup to keep an eye on here is how Adelaide look to restrict the pair of Diego Castro and Xavi Torres. I think that both teams will get on the scoreboard but Perth will finish stronger and come away with the win.
Back Perth to Win @ $2.10
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 5 November, 5:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
A bottom of the table contest at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon that has the potential for plenty of excitement with both sides desperate for a win. Each of the last three Roar games has had its share of drama including last weekend’s three-goal rally to get their first point of the season in Wellington. They will draw plenty of confidence from their comeback and back themselves in this game. Central Coast had no trouble getting plenty of scoring chances against Melbourne Victory but were unable to convert one for the winning goal. Their pace will trouble the Roar but their experience and the home crowd should get them over the line.
Back Brisbane to Win @ $1.80
Western Sydney Wanderers
Monday 6 November, 7:50pm, Etihad Stadium
Victory’s traditional Melbourne Cup Eve fixture has them scheduled to host the Wanderers but it might lack the traditional fireworks. The club is one of four still looking for their first win of the season and the absence of Besart Berisha, plus the struggles of their other attacking weapons will not make this an easy task. Western Sydney will feel hard done by having to settle for a draw last week but are showing a resiliency that will hold them well away from home so with that in mind, the draw is the suggestion here. The Wanderers will have the added motivation of performing for their new coach Josep Gombau who was announced just this week.
Back the Draw @ $3.50
We are now over a month into the 2016/2017 A-League season and the action is really starting to heat up.
It is Sydney FC that have set the pace in the early stages of the season and they face another tough challenge against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night, while Central Coast, Adelaide United and Wellington are still chasing their first wins of the season.
We have analysed every game of round five of the 2016/2017 A-League season and you can find our thoughts on every fixture below!
Friday 4 November, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Roar 1 - Melbourne City 0
The Brisbane Roar maintained their stellar record in front of their home fans with a solid win over the Perth Glory last weekend, but they go into this clash with Melbourne City as narrow underdogs.
This will be the first time that the Roar have started a home game as underdogs in 12 months, but they have won 11 of their 15 past 15 games in front of their home fans for a huge profit.
Melbourne City returned to winning form with a victory over Adelaide United and they will start this game as the punter elects.
Away favouritism has not been a strong point for Melbourne City – they have won three of their past seven games in this scenario for a clear loss.
The Roar will need to improve to beat the Melbourne Cup, but you can’t knock their record at home and they are a good bet to get the job done.
Back Brisbane To Win @ $2.63
Saturday 5 November, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Wellington Phoenix 2 - Newcastle Jets 0
The Wellington Phoenix are still chasing their first win of the season, but they will start this clash as clear favourites.
Wellington were very poor against Melbourne Victory on Monday night and they are a very tough team to trust from a betting standpoint – they have won just one of their past four games as home favourites.
Newcastle went down to Sydney FC last weekend, but there was still some merit in the performance.
The Jets have not won any of their past ten games as away underdogs, but they have been able to take a draw from four of those fixtures and backing the draw has been a profitable move in their games over the past 12 months.
The $3.60 available for a stalemate and well over the odds and is one of the best betting plays of the weekend.
Back The Draw @ $3.60
Saturday 5 November, 7:50pm, Sydney Football Stadium
Sydney FC 2 - Melbourne Victory 1
Sydney FC have been in outstanding form during the A-League season to date and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Sydney’s record as home favourites over the past 12 months is surprisingly poor and they have won just four of their past 11 games in this scenario for a clear loss.
Melbourne made it two wins on the trot with a dominant performance against Wellington and they will go into this clash with plenty of confidence.
The Victory have won two of their past 7 games as away underdogs for a loss and their record against Sydney FC is unconvincing.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 6 November, 5:00pm, Suncorp Stadium
Adelaide United 1 - Central Coast Mariners 2
Adelaide United are another team that are chasing their first win of the season and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Adelaide United have made a very poor start to their title defence, but their record as home favourites does warrant confidence – they have won nine of their past 14 games in this scenario for a clear profit.
Central Coast are another winless side and they claimed their second point of the season with a fighting performance against the Western Sydney Wanderers last Saturday night.
The Mariners have won just one of their past 14 games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they are a tough side to trust from a betting perspective.
Adelaide United really should get the job done, but there is no value at their current price and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 6 November, 7:00pm, NIB Stadium
Perth Glory 2 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2
Perth Glory lost to the Brisbane Roar last weekend, but they have the opportunity to return to winning form this weekend and they are clear favourites to get the job done.
The Glory have been able to turn NIB Stadium into somewhat of a fortress in the past 12 months and they have won four of their past five games as home favourites.
Western Sydney head into this clash on the back of two disappointing draws against Central Coast and Newcastle and they will need to improve to have any real chance in this fixture.
The Wanderers have taken at least a point from four of their past six games as away underdogs for a narrow profit, but their recent form really has not been particularly impressive.
I am always keen to back Perth in front of their home fans and they should be able to get the job done.
Back Perth To Win @ $2.05