2018 A-League Semi Finals Preview

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

We are down to the final four in the 2017-2018 A-League Season after Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United saw their seasons ended last weekend.

Two more sides begin their holidays this weekend as Sydney FC and Newcastle enter the fray after earning a bye week.

All eyes will be on Besart Berisha though and whether or not he can replicate his miraculous match winning bicycle kick against Adelaide.

Read on for our previews and predictions for the A-League Semi-Finals.

Newcastle Jets Vs Melbourne City

Friday 27 April, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

Newcastle Jets 2 – Melbourne City 1

Any concerns over the Jets and their ability to flick the switch ahead of the finals was put to bed with their ruthless destruction of Central Coast in Round 27.

They will find themselves ruing the draw however as they drew the toughest possible opponent from last week’s Elimination Finals.

Melbourne City has won the two meetings in Newcastle this season with a 2-2 draw in Melbourne as the third contest.

We saw the attacking capability of Melbourne City last week against Brisbane even if they were quite wasteful in front of goal, missing several chances to put the Roar away.

They will need to be much more efficient with their chances this weekend if they want to spring an upset, they will still be feeling the pressure in this match as they look for their first Grand Final in team history.

What Ernie Merrick has done with this team is nothing short of phenomenal this season but unfortunately for me the fairytale ends here as Melbourne has the firepower to shoot them down.

Back Melbourne City to Qualify @ $1.90

Sydney FC Vs Melbourne Victory

Saturday 28 April, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC 2 – Melbourne Victory 3 (A.E.T)

A fourth and final Big Blue for the 2017-2018 A-League season and a rematch of last season’s Grand Final.

These teams met a fortnight ago at Allianz as Sydney raised the Premiers’ Plate and extended their unbeaten run in this fixture to eight matches.

Victory have had just two draws in that time after 90 minutes, in February 2016 and last year’s Grand Final which was decided on penalties.

If the Victory are going to have any hope of springing a massive upset, they need their forwards to fire and take advantage of the opportunities given to them.

Besart Berisha is the man made for the A-League Finals and I like his chances of finding the net but Sydney should still have too much quality to drop this game.

Back Sydney FC to Win and Both Teams to Score @ $3.10


2016/2017

The 2017 A-League Semi Finals get underway this weekend and there are now only four teams left in contention for the A-League Championship.

The Brisbane Roar kept alive their campaign with a thrilling shoot-out victory over the Western Sydney Wanderers, while the Perth Glory were simply too good for Melbourne City.

Perth face a much tougher challenge against a dominant Sydney FC this weekend and the Roar will need to improve their lacklustre record in Melbourne to account for the Melbourne Victory.

We have closely analysed both games set to take place this weekend and our 2017 A-League Semi-Finals tips can be found below.

Sydney FC Vs Perth Glory

Saturday 29 April, 7:50pm, Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC have been the team to beat throughout the A-League season and it is no surprise that they will start this clash as clear favourites.

Sydney FC have only lost the one game this season and they have recorded comfortable wins in their past four games against the Perth Glory.

They have won 10 of their past 13 games as home favourites and really do look as though they will be extremely tough to beat.

Perth head into this clash on the back of three straight victories and they have found form at the right time, but beating Sydney in Sydney is a very tough assignment.

The Glory have won three of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but their record against Sydney really not does inspire a great deal of confidence.

Sydney FC will be the first side to book a place in the A-League Grand Final and they should do so in a very comfortable fashion.

Back Sydney FC To Beat The Line (-1 Goal)

Melbourne Victory Vs Brisbane Roar

Sunday 30 April, 5:00pm, AAMI Park

This looks likely to be the more competitive semi-final, but Melbourne Victory are still dominant favourites to account for the Brisbane Roar.

Melbourne have struggled for consistency so far this season, but one position in which they have thrived is as home favourites and they are 10-1-3 as home favourites.

Another factor in their favour is their outstanding record against the Brisbane Roar in Melbourne and it has been several seasons since they lost to the Roar in front of their home fans.

The Roar required a penalty shoot-out to beat the Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend and they would likely need to improve on that effort to have any chance against the Victory.

Brisbane have won just one of their past eight games as away underdogs and stringing together back-to-back wins has been easier said than done so far this season.

This really is Melbourne’s game to win and they are a safe bet to set-up another Grand Final showdown with Sydney FC>

Back Melbourne Victory To Win @ $1.85


2016

The A-League Semi Finals will decide which two teams meet in the A-League Grand Final.

Adelaide United and the Western Sydney Wanderers secured their places in the A-League Semi Finals after finishing first and second on the ladder, while the Brisbane Roar beat the Melbourne Victory in thrilling fashion and Melbourne City were too good for Perth Glory in their respective elimination finals.

The Brisbane Roar are the only team left in the competition that have previously won the A-League Championship and Adelaide United, Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers are all chasing their first title.

Adelaide United Vs Melbourne City

Friday 22 April, 7:35pm, Coopers Stadium

Adelaide United 4 - Melbourne City 1

Adelaide United finished the regular season on top of the A-League ladder to claim the Premier’s Plate and they go into their semi final clash with Melbourne City as clear favourites.

Adelaide United have recorded three wins on the trot and in their last game against Melbourne City they proved far too good for their rivals.

The Reds finished the A-League season with a profitable 13-4-3 record as favourites and they were 9-3-2 as the punters elect in front of their home fans at Cooper Stadium.

Melbourne City returned to winning form with a 2-0 victory over Perth Glory – thanks mainly to the outstanding Bruno Fornaroli – and they played some good football in doing so.

Melbourne City finished the regular season with a 4-4-5 record as underdogs for a narrow loss, but their record against Adelaide United as underdogs is excellent and they have two of the past three games played between the two sides.

You can make a case for both teams here and there is data that suggests Adelaide United will prove far too strong for their rivals, but it is tough to discount a team with the talent of Fornaroli and Aaron Mooy and the $3.50 currently on offer does appeal.

Recommended Bet: Back Melbourne City To Win @ $3.50

Western Sydney Wanderers Vs Brisbane Roar

Sunday 24 April, 5:00pm, Pirtek Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers 5 - Brisbane Roar 4

It has been an incredible fortnight for the Brisbane Roar.

They blew a golden opportunity to win the Premier’s Plate when they were unable to score against the Brisbane Roar in the final game of the regular season before they came from a goal down with less than three minutes remaining to earn their place in the semi finals.

Despite their heroics, the Roar will start this game against the Western Sydney Wanderers as a clear underdogs and their record in this position this season has been very poor.

The Roar won just three of their 14 games away from home this season and their record as away underdogs is a very poor 2-1-6.

The Western Sydney Wanderers have not been the safest betting team in the A-League this season, but they were still a profitable 8-2-4 as home favourites this season and backing them in each of their games against the Roar would have delivered you a very nice profit.

The style of football played by the Wanderers is perfect for the high stakes of finals and they are a safe bet to get the job done this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back Western Sydney Wanderers To Win @ $2.20