Wed, Oct 17, 1:19pm by Staff Writer
A new A-League season is upon us and features a number of intriguing week one matches including an FFA Cup final preview between Adelaide and Sydney and the Melbourne derby between Victory and City.
Adelaide United versus Sydney FC
Friday, 19 October 2018 at 7:50pm at Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Adelaide United and Sydney FC have both enjoyed a reasonable amount of A-League success in recent times, but will both want to improve on last season’s results.
The Reds start this game as $3.10 outsiders, with the Sky Blues from Sydney $2.25 favourites. The draw is paying $3.50.
The two team will meet in the FFA Cup Final in less than a fortnight’s time after both being winners of the Cup in recent seasons.
Sydney FC finished last season as the raging hot favourite to win back-to-back A-League titles but stumbled in extra-time against Melbourne Victory in the semi finals to be knocked out.
They have recruited heavily in the off-season, with plenty of attacking firepower coming into the squad after some of their most prolific players have left the club.
Brazilian Bobo scored 42 goals in 57 appearances for Sydney, who have signed Dutchman Siem de Jong as his replacement.
Coach Graham Arnold has also left the club to coach the national team, with long-time assistant and former Sydney player Steve Corica taking on the head role.
Adelaide’s first team squad is made up of predominately Australian-born players with former City player Michael Jakobsen signing this year to bolster the defence.
The opening game of the season can be unpredictable and while Sydney FC have plenty of power up front; they struggled the most against Adelaide last season.
We can see that happening again and the Reds should be good enough to nick a point.
Best bet- Adelaide United and Sydney FC to draw at $3.50.
Melbourne Victory versus Melbourne City
Saturday, 20 October 2018 at 7:50pm at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
The first game in Melbourne this season will be a derby between Victory and City on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium.
The reigning champions are $2.40 favourites to win the match, with City starting as $2.80 outsiders. The draw is paying $3.60.
Melbourne Victory surprised few but stunned many when they won last season’s title. The first half of their campaign in particular was poor, but they got it together at the pointy end to win yet another premiership.
The opposite can be said for Melbourne City, who continues to underachieve despite strong investment and recruitment from the club.
Belgian Ritchie de Laet is their biggest name signing during the off-season with captain Bruno Fornaroli hoping to play a bigger role for the club this season after missing plenty of game time through injury in the last campaign.
Victory wasted no time in finding a replacement for departing striker Besart Berisha, signing Japanese international Keisuke Honda.
He is part of a menacing Victory side on paper that is full of experience at the right end of the season.
Victory has won four of the past five matches between these two teams and the fixture has not been drawn since February 2016.
The premiers are on offer at a good price to kick start their season just as they finished the last and should be good enough to get the win on Saturday night.
Best bet- Melbourne Victory to win at $2.40
Perth Glory versus Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday, 21 October 2018 at 7pm at nib Stadium, Perth
The Perth Glory signed former Wanderers coach Tony Popovic in the off-season and will be looking to make an imprint on the A-League after a decade of futility for the former NSL powerhouse.
They start as $2.20 favourites on Sunday night to defeat the Wanderers who are paying $3.10. The draw is priced at $3.50.
Perth haven’t made many drastic roster changes this season and that gives Popovic the opportunity to work with a squad with some existing chemistry.
It has been a revolving door for coaches since his exit from Western Sydney with Markus Babbel assuming the head role this season.
The team has struggled since its early success both in Asia and Australia. They have signed a trio of players from Melbourne City and two German players in the off-season, all on free transfers.
Past matches between the two clubs have been a mixed bag, with plenty of draws sprinkled among wins for both teams.
Last season they each one at home and a game was drawn in Sydney. Both sides have scored in seven of the last eight encounters and we can expect plenty of goals on Sunday night.
Best bet- Perth Glory to win and both teams to score at $3.75
A-League Round 1 Odds
Adelaide United $3.10 Draw $3.50 Sydney FC $2.25
Melbourne Victory $2.40 Draw $3.60 Melbourne City $2.80
Wellington Phoenix $3.20 Draw $3.65 Newcastle Jets $2.10
Brisbane Roar $1.90 Draw $3.60 Central Coast Mariners $3.80
Perth Glory $2.20 Draw $3.50 Western Sydney Wanderers $3.10
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