OUR World Football expert Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) shares his best bets on the opening week of the new Australian season.
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets | Sunday 07:07 | BT Sport 1
It looks like the ‘Nix will struggle to emulate last season’s heroics. Losing Socceroo star Nathan Burns as well as Kenny Cunningham (the Costa Rican international, not the ex-Wimbledon defender) removes much of their attacking talent but I feel there’s a way for us to prosper from that.
If you’d read my season preview you’ll know I fancy Roy Krishna to top-score this season. The Fijian seems to be peaking at 28 and with those players gone he could find himself charged with much of the scoring duties. He’s been taking penalties in pre-season and bagged nine goals in 25 games last season.
Two of those goals came against the Jets as Phoenix smashed nine past Newcastle across the three meetings. Jets have the worst defence in the A-League conceding just over two goals per game on average in 2014/15 and I believe Krishna will cause them plenty of trouble.
Wellington should win but I feel 3/4 is bang on and after a 5-1 hammering in the FFA Cup at the hands of Melbourne City I don’t think it’s worth a bet. Krishna scored in that 5-1 loss too and at 7/4 anytime I think he warrants backing.
Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory | Saturday 07:22 | BT Sport 1
As all but one of MLS games have been culled by the International break I’ve turned my attention to the beautiful game Down Under. Perth Glory make the long trip East to Gosford in New South Wales on Saturday and I’ve an angle.
Perth had a nightmare finish to last season with the salary cap penalty barring them from the Finals. However, Kenny Lowe has stood firm in a difficult time for the club and he’s lost just one of five to the Mariners which has put a stop to Glory’s awful head-to-head record with Saturday's opponents.
Losing Danny Vukovic to Victory is a blow; the in-form keeper naturally bagged a clean sheet on his A-League debut for the reigning champions on Friday. Perth have also lost Andy Keogh and Rostyn Griffiths who were both key to their success last season but I believe they have replaced them well.
Guyon Fernandez and La Liga veteran Diego Castro should add some class to Perth this season and they have been exceptional on the road in 2015. Glory have lost just two of their last 19 away games in all competitions and both of those were to Adelaide United.
I have Central Coast down as the worst side in the A-League so I’ve got to oppose them here, especially as this is Tony Walmsley’s first game in the division and they’ve already lost at home to the ‘Nix in the FFA Cup; a team that’s lost their star player and is traditionally poor on the road.
Perth managed an impressive W6 D6 L1 record in road league games last season so Draw No Bet (0 Asian Handicap) at Evens looks a very safe bet to me.
Central Coast v Perth Glory – Perth Glory 0 Asian Handicap (43/40 Bet365)
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets – Roy Krishna to score anytime (7/4 Paddy Power)
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