Wed, May 2, 8:53am by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Saturday May 5, 7:50pm AEST
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
TV: Fox Sports, Channel One
The 2017-18 A-League season comes to an end on Saturday night when the Newcastle Jets host Melbourne Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle to crown the newest A-League champion.
The Jets start as narrow home favourites for the Grand Final at $2.50, with the visiting Victory $2.65. A draw after 90 minutes is paying $3.50.
An extraordinary weekend of semi-finals saw Newcastle come from behind to beat Melbourne City 2-1, with the result including a Riley McGree stunner.
Melbourne Victory’s path to the Grand Final was similar to that of the Jets, having to come from 1-0 down, before taking a 2-1 lead all the way into stoppage time.
A final minute Terry Antonis own goal looked to have shattered Victory’s hopes of appearing in a sixth Grand Final. Late in the second period of extra time, Antonis turned from hero to villain as he made a scything run from half-way to score the winning goal for Victory.
These sides have met three times this season, with Newcastle winning twice and Melbourne Victory once. All wins came at each teams respective home ground.
Their most recent match up was a 2-nil win to the Jets with goals to Nigel Boogaard and Riley McGree.
On that night, Victory had 56 per cent possession and nearly double the number of shots as the Jets but were unable to break the Newcastle defence.
Both sides are evenly matched, with Victory possessing more big name talent, with a number of their players having played in and won Grand Final’s in the past.
Newcastle’s home ground is certainly an advantage to the Jets, but they mustn’t get tentative, particularly if they score early, as Victory can and will pile on the pressure at Newcastle’s goal.
The Jets are $1.72 to lift the trophy, whether that be at full-time, after extra-time or through penalties. Victory are $2 in the same market.
Goals are expected in the contest, with over 2.5 goals currently at $1.61, with under 2.5 goals paying $2.20.
After two own goals against Melbourne Victory in the semi-finals, an anytime own goal is paying $9.50 in the Match Specials market.
Both teams are expected to score if the bookies are correct, with that market paying $1.50 for both sides to net a goal (Yes) and $2.50 for both teams not to score (No).
The shortest priced correct score market is a 1-1 draw at $6.50, followed by a Newcastle 2-1 win at $9 and a Victory win by the same score at $9.50.
Both sides are so evenly matched, with home field advantage proving decisive during regular season fixtures.
Newcastle were not playing their best football in the latter part of the season, while Melbourne Victory needed come-from-behind wins in both of their finals matches to progress.
The Jets will be spurred on by a vocal home crowd and should manage to grab their second A-League title, with a late goal.
Suggested Bet: Newcastle Jets to win at $2.50
A-League Grand Final Odds – Sportsbet
Newcastle $2.50 Draw $3.50 Melbourne Victory $2.65 * Market after 90 minutes + injury time
To Lift the Trophy
Newcastle $1.72 Melbourne Victory $2
Over 2.5 $1.61
Under 2.5 $2.20
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