Wed, Apr 16, 10:21am by Rob Sheeley
AND then there were six.
The 2013/14 Hyundai A-League has reached the playoffs and what a series it promises to be.
The Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers finished in the top two positions and earn themselves the first week of the playoffs off as a result. They will await the two winners of this weekend’s elimination finals.
It is not clear-cut which winner will play who next week, as it is dependent on season results. The elimination final winner that had finished highest on the Hyundai A-League regular season ladder will face the Wanderers, while the Roar will take on the lowest-placed winner.
Betting for the title still sees the Brisbane Roar as resounding favourites for the title with the market as follows;
Odds courtesy of www.sportsbet.com.au
Brisbane Roar – $1.75
Western Sydney Wanderers – $4
Melbourne Victory – $8
Central Coast Mariners – $9
Adelaide United – $17.00
Sydney FC – $17
The first week has set up two mouth watering elimination finals. With the famous “Big Blue” derby between the Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC taking place at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, followed by the Central Coast Mariners playing host to Adelaide United in Gosford on Saturday afternoon.
Full previews of both elimination finals will be posted here on AustralianGambling through the week.
Always remember, AustralianGambling seeks out the best prices for all of the matches, as well as in premiership betting. Having multiple accounts is a great advantage in trying to obtain the best value available for each individual bet.
Let’s take a look at both elimination final matches;
7:30pm AET, Friday, April 18 at Etihad Stadium
One of the league’s longest rivalries kicks off the playoffs for this season with the Melbourne Victory starting favourites against Sydney FC.
While the Victory may have the form and momentum heading into the match, they have failed to defeat Sydney in three clashes this season. Sydney FC won two of those, including a 5-0 flogging in Melbourne, with the other match resulting in a draw.
The Victory tuned up for the playoffs in style with a 4-1 annihilation of the Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand last week. The Victory have now made it three weeks without a loss and will look to get their first win over Sydney here in a game that promises to be a cracker.
Sydney FC ensured that they sealed sixth place with a clinical 2-0 disposal of the Perth Glory in Sydney on Sunday afternoon. They are playing good enough to suggest that an upset here is not beyond the realms of possibility and they certainly appear to have the wood over their rivals.
This could well be headed for a draw at the end of regular time and could even be decided on penalties, if Sydney can not cause the upset in regular time.
Sydney FC are $2.65 to qualify by any method at both Sportingbet.com.au and Sportsbet, which is still great odds.
Prediction – draw at full time, Sydney to qualify
4:30pm AET, Saturday, April 19 at Bluetongue Stadium
The second elimination final should also be an absolute gem of a game. Adelaide travel to Gosford with two wins and a loss against the Mariners this season. The loss did come at this venue, albeit way back in October of 2013.
The Mariners have won four of their last five and come into this match boasting a 2-0 away win over the Brisbane Roar. That has to be considered good form heading into this match and the reigning premiers are sure to be backed by a parochial crowd at the Gosford venue.
Adelaide United had far from the ideal warm-up for this, losing 2-0 to the Newcastle Jets in a similar road trip when second place was there to play for. They will need to be a lot better than that less-than-flattering effort if they expect to progress beyond this match.
The Mariners have experience and form on their side heading into this encounter and look like they are a deserving favourite to keep their season alive.
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