A-League Round 15 Preview. It’s one of the biggest fixtures on the A-League calendar and the Sydney Derby will once again be the cornerstone of Australian football this weekend. Sydney FC will take confidence from their 4-0 victory against the Wanderers in Week 1, and are in brilliant form that sees them undefeated so far this campaign.
Adelaide United will host Melbourne City on Thursday night to kick start Week 15, with the defending premiers sitting last on the ladder with a miserable campaign to date. Melbourne City, however, won their first game since the FA Cup Final and sit comfortably in third position.
Friday night football will return to AAMI Park this week, with Melbourne Victory clashing with Brisbane Roar in a top of the table clash. Victory are flying high with five wins in a row, whilst Brisbane have dropped points with back-to-back losses.
A-League fans will travel across the ditch before the Sydney Derby on Saturday Night, with Wellington Phoenix hosting Central Coast Mariners. The fixture is highlighted as a must win for both sides in order for either team to stay in touch with a spot in the finals.
Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory will finish off Week 15 at McDonald Jones Stadium, with both sides desperately looking to find form as they slowly make their way to the business end of the season.
Adelaide United are just not the same team as last season and are facing the prospect of their second wooden spoon. They lost 2-0 to Melbourne Victory last weekend, despite promising signs from their draw with City the week before. The defending premiers have struggled in front of goal this season, scoring just 10 goals and converting at 9%.
Melbourne City won for the first time since their FA Cup triumph with a 1-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers. They have won the past three out of five encounters against Adelaide, including two of their last three trips down South. They will be looking to record back-to-back Hyundai A-League victories for the first time since Week 1 and 2 of the season.
It’s hard to find positives in such a struggling Adelaide side and Melbourne have been in good form away from home. It’s hard to look past them considering they have found strong success in their recent visits to Adelaide.
Tip: Adelaide United 0 Melbourne City 2 Best bet: Melbourne City win ($2.10) Did you know? Adelaide United have scored nine goals in their last three Thursday fixtures in the Hyundai A-League, winning twice. Though, their only Thursday loss across those matches came in a 4-2 defeat to Melbourne City in November 2015.
They sit well behind Sydney FC on the ladder but you cant ignore the brilliant form of Melbourne Victory. They are coming off another 2-0 win over Adelaide United; their fifth in a row and ninth of the season. The competition heavyweights are undefeated in their last six home games, and have kept clean sheets in their last three home games against Brisbane.
Brisbane Roar were flying high when they were undefeated since Week 2 of the competition, however have now succumbed to back-to-back losses. They hold onto fourth place at the moment, however may struggle considering they have only won once out of their last 12 fixtures at AAMI Park. In saying that, they are undefeated in their last four games against Victory, which includes a 5-0 win in March 2016.
Melbourne Victory have been near perfect in their past fixtures and are up against a side who may be lacking confidence after their two losses. Bersart Berisha and Marco Rojas are in sublime form and with them leading the way its hard to look past the home side here.
Tip: Melbourne Victory 2 Brisbane Roar 1 Best bet: Bersart Berisha anytime goal scorer ($2.00) Did you know? Bersart Berisha and Marco Rojas have scored contributed to 30 of Victory’s 32 goals this season (20 goals and 10 assists).
Wellington Phoenix are certainly struggling to put wins away this season after they were defeated 2-1 by Perth Glory last weekend. The loss is at the end of three successive draws, but can take confidence in knowing they have won their last two fixtures against the Mariners. Roy Krishna continues to lead the way for Phoenix, with his opening strike last week being his 8th goal for the season.
Central Coast Mariners are still winless since Week 8 of the season and are coming off another loss to Sydney FC. Despite the loss, there were some promising signs as they were the first team to score twice against the ladder leaders this year but further added to their tally of goals conceded which is the worst in the competition (31).
It can be viewed as a potential thriller considering both teams have struggled in recent weeks and enjoyed little success this season. Considering their defensive woes, the game could potentially see many goals scored and offer a very open game of football.
Tip: Wellington Phoenix 3 Central Coast Mariners 2 Best bet: Roy Krishna anytime goal scorer ($2.00) Did you know? Central Coast Mariners have won just two of their last 22 Hyundai A-League away games outside New South Wales (D3, L17) and have conceded seven goals across their last two such fixtures.
Sydney FC will host the second Sydney Derby of the season in a highly anticipated match up that should draw thousands of fans to Allianz Stadium. They haven’t lost a derby since January 2014, and will be looking to capitalise on their recent dominance against their arch rivals, including a 4-0 thumping in their last fixture. The ladder leaders will welcome the return of Captain Alex Brosuqe, who missed last weeks game due to suspension.
It’s fair to say the Wanderers have experienced some tough times in recent weeks, having not won in their last five fixtures and coming off a tough 1-0 loss to Melbourne City. Their failure to claim three points has affected them significantly this season, recording the most draws in the competition (8) including three in their last five games.
The derby is always a huge occasion for both players and fans no matter the position on the ladder. There is always a finals like atmosphere, and it could definitely bring out the best in both teams. Despite the build up, I can’t go past Sydney FC.
Tip: Sydney FC 3 Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Best bet: Sydney FC -1.0 handicap ($2.60) Did you know? Western Sydney Wanderers are undefeated in their last six Hyundai A-League away games within New South Wales (W5, D1), outscoring their opponents 12-4 in that period.
It has certainly been a drastic turnaround of events for Newcastle this season, now sitting sixth on the competition ladder after their 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar. Three of their four wins have come in their last five fixtures, and have scored two or more goals in all those encounters. A win over Perth will see them jump to fifth on the ladder and potentially just a point outside the top four.
Perth Glory will be taking a boost of confidence to Newcastle this weekend after they recorded their first victory since Week 7 of the season. They have been one of the most inconsistent sides this year, but can take confidence in knowing they are undefeated at Hunter Stadium since their last loss there in 2011.
This game can be considered another blockbuster as both teams look to further cement a place in the top half of the ladder. After the thrilling contest these two teams had at the start of December, this game could be anything and one that could kick start something special.
Tip: Newcastle Jets 2 Perth Glory 1 Best bet: Newcastle Jets win ($2.30) Did you know? Glory have scored five headed goals this Hyundai A-League season, the equal-most of any team alongside Melbourne City.
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