A-LEAGUE aficionado Will Dyer (@W2Dyer) tackles the weekend action.
Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar | Friday 08.40 | BT Sport 1
At half-time in Central Coast last week I was bemused by Melbourne Victory’s start to the season.
A little bit of me though felt that they might just come back and get a result and that’s exactly what they did despite being 3-0 down at the break. That 3-3 draw will have inspired Kevin Muscat and his team and I think they will relish this challenge against top-of-the-table Brisbane Roar.
Play this game 12 months ago and I think you’d see Victory 1/3 favourites to win. But we can back them at odds-against on Friday morning and that just looks far too big for me for a team that still has exceptional quality and time to recover before the Finals.
In seven away games this season they have scored just eight goals and three of them arrived in one game. Victory’s woes have all come on their travels; they are W4-D1-L0 at home.
Roar failed to dispatch an injury-ravaged Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand. That was only the second time this season that they’d failed to score and considering they lost all three meetings with Victory last season, and they’ve only won once at AAMI Park in 10 attempts since 2009, I don’t give them much chance here.
Victory are 11/10 with William Hill.
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners | Saturday 06.15 | BT Sport 1
Central Coast have shown time and again that they can take chances when they create them and they even did that against Victory last week, scoring three times in the first-half without top scorer Roy O’Donovan on the pitch.
But they show their fragilities all too often…
Letting that lead slip will have left the dressing room feeling pretty low at the A-League’s basement club and calls for relegation and promotion in Australian Soccer are rising.
Adelaide had a mare of a start to this season under new boss Guillermo Amor but the ex-Barcelona man is evidently getting to grips with things now as his team are unbeaten in six games.
United have had their troubles at the back this season and I believe the Mariners will find a way through with their decent counter-attacking game and the talent in Fabio Ferreira.
Central Coast are pretty predictable on their travels; they basically score but also lose. They have scored exactly one goal in all of their six away league games so far this season.
But if you open that trend up, you find they’ve scored exactly once in 13 of their last 17 road games (76%). That’s the kind of percentage I like, especially when you can find 6/4 (Coral) on it happening again.
Perth Glory v Melbourne City | Saturday 10.40 | BT Sport 2
Perth’s salary cap problems last year were very much involved with Andy Keogh. The striker left to play in Thailand as a result but has returned to the A-League and replaces Guyon Fernandez whose injury lead Perth to ditch the Curacaoan.
Keogh is keen to get Perth firing again and if he can return to anything like the form he showed last year then they do have a chance of making the Finals. The Irishman scored 12 goals in the 2014/15 season.
Perth have won their last seven consecutive games against Melbourne City (formerly Melbourne Heart) at home and though they are in much better shape than when making most of those previous visits, I do fancy their chances again with City facing the arduous 1,700 mile trip West.
Melbourne City dug in in fantastic fashion to beat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-2 at home last week in a game that I highlighted for goals. They are playing very cavalier football at the moment but it has also lead them to concede 24 goals in just 14 games; only Central Coast have conceded more.
Keogh can score against them at home and re-open his Glory account, this time without dirty money. He’s 21/10 to notch at anytime with Bet365.
Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar – Melbourne Victory to win (11/10 William Hill)
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners – Central Coast Mariners to score exactly 1 goal (6/4 Coral)
Perth Glory v Melbourne City – Andy Keogh to score anytime (21/10 Bet365)
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