Wed, Apr 18, 11:35am by Staff Writer
A long regular season came to an end last weekend with the Brisbane Roar defying the odds and making the A-League finals, after Western Sydney failed to defeat Adelaide at home as short priced favourites.
Sydney FC and Newcastle enjoy a first week finals bye after finishing first and second on the table, with this weekend’s matches both elimination finals.
Melbourne City versus Brisbane Roar
Friday, 20 April 2018 at 7.50pm AEST at AAMI Park
Melbourne City have perennially underachieved in the A-League and are $1.72 favourites to progress to the second week of the finals where they would meet Newcastle.
After a poor start to the season, Brisbane picked up their game in the second half of the season and recorded a number of terrific wins, including beating Perth at nib Stadium last weekend to give themselves a chance of playing finals football.
The Roar are $4.50 to defeat City on Friday, with the draw after 90 minutes paying $3.60.
City have only lost one of their last five games against the Roar, with two wins and two draws. Despite that, City will be looking for back-to-back wins against Brisbane for the first time since 2014/15.
The Roar’s woes at AAMI Park against City could be the difference in this one, with the Queensland club winless in ten matches at the venue, with City boasting seven wins from the past 10 fixtures at AAMI Park.
Roar keeper Jamie Young has kept them in plenty of games this season and is a frontrunner to win the club’s player of the year. He has the best save percentage of any goal keeper in the A-League this season at 73 per cent.
If the match isn’t decided in 90 minutes, extra time and penalties will follow, with City a very short $1.30 to qualify for the next round and the Roar at $3.20.
There is little to separate these two sides on recent form, with City a tad too short given their shortcomings in recent weeks, including a loss against the lowly Phoenix last weekend.
The Roar will have a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude and that could bode well for them, as they have been chasing the top six all season.
We are predicting a cagey match, with the Roar hanging in until late on, but City has more scoring firepower and will get the job done in a low scoring match.
Best bet- Half-time/full-time Draw/Melbourne City at $4.50
Melbourne Victory versus Adelaide United
Sunday, 22 April 2018 at 6pm AEST at AAMI Park
Melbourne Victory boast a dominant record against Adelaide United, losing just two of their last 15 games against the Reds, including eight wins.
Adelaide’s woes against Victory continue in the post-season, with the Reds never beating Melbourne Victory in the finals.
The odds of $1.91 for Melbourne Victory look to be spot on, with the underdog Reds paying $3.40 for the win. The draw is at $3.30.
Each side won one match, lose one match and the pair drew a contest in their three meetings this season. The Reds’ 2-1 shock win at Etihad Stadium in December was despite them having less than 40 per cent possession.
Adelaide has been occupying a position in the top six all season without looking like they will challenge the upper echelon of the competition.
Further, the Reds have never won a finals game outside of South Australia, losing all seven of their finals matches interstate.
All roads are pointing towards a Victory win in this fixture, with the Melburnians experience in the finals sure to be a crucial advantage against a youthful Adelaide team.
Best bet- Melbourne Victory to win at $1.91
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