Fri, Oct 5, 10:46am by Staff Writer
The 2018-19 A-League season is just a fortnight away with last season’s minor premiers Sydney FC the $4 favourite to go one better and win this season’s title.
The Sky Blues lost Graham Arnold as coach, with the veteran now coaching the Australian national team.
They won’t be playing at their regular home venue of Allianz Stadium as it is being demolished and rebuilt, so will split games between the Sydney Cricket Ground, Jubilee Oval and Leichhardt Oval.
Their three biggest transfers have coming from European clubs, with Ajax’s Siem de Jong the most esteemed name of the trio.
He joins Bolton’s Adam le Fondre and AZ Alkmaar’s Jop van der Linden for the Sky Blues.
They have lost significant fire power up from with Brazilian Bobo leaving to play in Turkey and Polish striker Adrian Mierzejewski playing in China.
The 2017-18 champions the Melbourne Victory are $5 to win back-to-back A-League titles and have bolstered a strong squad with some experienced acquisitions.
Japanese international Keisuke Honda joined the club on a one-year deal and adds to the scoring depth of the team.
They have lost club veteran Besart Berisha to Japanese club Sanfrecce Hiroshima, but have added European talent in Raul Baena and Ola Toivonen.
Their Victorian rivals Melbourne City have perennially underachieved in the A-League and even with the backing of the owners of the powerful Manchester City they have failed to make an A-League Grand Final.
Coach Warren Joyce is under pressure to perform and their price of $6 to win the title looks slim given their track record.
Riley McGree has come in from Club Brugge on loan, with Ritchie De Laet, Curtis Good and Florin Berenguer their transfers from European clubs.
Perth Glory is another club that has struggled in the A-League era and are this season led by former Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic.
These has been an emphasis on recruiting defenders to Perth, with Ivan Franjic, Brendon Santalab and Mathew Spiranovic some of the new players arriving in Perth
The Glory are $8 to win the A-League.
Since winning the A-League and Asian Champions League early in their existence, the Western Sydney Wanderers have struggled.
They will once again play home games out of ANZ Stadium and Spotless Stadium in Sydney’s west.
After the coaching tenure of Josep Gombau ended abruptly after less than a season, Markus Babbel takes over.
They are $8.50 to win the A-League but their new signings have done little to inspire. The biggest name of them is former City played Bruce Kamau on a two-year free transfer.
The Central Coast Mariners garnered plenty of pre-season interest after they signed Usain Bolt for some pre-season games.
The Gosford club is $26 to win the A-League and it remains to be seen whether or not Bolt receives an ongoing contract with the club.
In his pre-season appearances he has looked a touch out of place with the pace of play and he doesn’t have enough time on the ball to make things happen.
Regardless of whether or not Bolt signs, the decision to bring him in for the pre-season was sure to have added intrigue to the Mariners this season and given up merchandise and sponsorship opportunities.
Melbourne City captain Bruno Fornaroli is the leader to be the season’s leading goal scorer and is priced at $5.50.
The Uruguayan has been cruelled by injury in recent seasons, but should take plenty of the spotlight in the City attacking third this season.
Sydney’s Adam Le Fondre comes to the A-League with a goal scoring pedigree in the English Premier League and English Championship.
The 31-year-old scored 54 goals in 96 appearances for Rotherham United and 39 goals in 110 games for Reading.
Brisbane’s Adam Taggart ($6) and Sydney’s Siem De Jong ($7) are the next best in the market.
Sydney FC are the leaders for the minor premiership at $3 after winning it the past two seasons.
Melbourne Victory are $4.50, with City priced at $5. If City were to win the minor premiership, it would be their first in club history.
A-League Championship Odds
Sydney FC $4
Melbourne Victory $5
Melbourne City $6
Perth Glory $8
Western Sydney Wanderers $8.50
Newcastle Jets $9
Adelaide United $11
Brisbane Roar $12
Central Coast Mariners $26
Wellington Phoenix $34
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