Wed, Oct 11, 12:51pm by Head Editor
Round one of the 2017-18 Hyundai A-League season saw wins to Melbourne City, Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers. Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix shared the spoils in New Zealand, and the Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory all suffered round one losses.
Brisbane Roar versus Adelaide United
Friday, 13 October 2017. Kick-off: 7:50pm AEDST at Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Roar were underwhelming in their 2-0 loss to Melbourne City on Friday night. City had 54% possession and five more shots on goal, with the Roar only managing a single shot on target.
It was the opposite story for Adelaide, who will have felt hard done by leaving Wellington with only a single point on Sunday evening. After conceding an early goal, the Reds had an instant reply, and dominated the majority of that contest.
Matches between these two sides have always featured goals, with only one of their past eight clashes featuring under 2.5 goals.
At Suncorp Stadium last season, it was the Roar who were victorious 4-0 over Adelaide, with the Reds atoning for their loss with a 2-1 win in March this year.
Returning from Wellington on Monday and travelling to Brisbane will work against Adelaide, particularly early in the season. Brisbane to win, and expect goals in this contest.
Best bet: Over 2.5 goals $1.76 (Sportsbet)
Melbourne Victory versus Melbourne City
Saturday, 14 October 2017. Kick-off: 7:50pm AEDST at Etihad Stadium
Melbourne Victory will be hoping to avoid losing their first two games of an A-League season for the first time since 2012/13, when they host Melbourne City at Etihad Stadium.
Victory were impressive in the first half against Sydney FC last weekend, but were dominated in midfield during the second 45 minutes, although unlucky to concede an own goal.
Melbourne City did enough to defeat Brisbane Roar on Friday night. Their defense was solid, without facing any serious threats to goal. This will be a much tougher challenge for City, given that Victory will be buoyed by the return of three players from international duty.
Melbourne Victory won both Melbourne derbies last year by a score of 2-1. Prior to that, City held sway in this local rivalry, taking points from all four derby games over the past two seasons.
Melbourne Victory will have a big crowd on their side on Saturday night, however I think City will be solid defensively once again and be hard to break down for a Victory midfield who struggled last weekend.
Best bet: Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City to draw $3.70 (Sportsbet)
Sydney FC versus Wellington Phoenix
Sunday, 15 October 2017. Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDST at Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC will unfurl their 2016-17 premiership banner on Sunday evening when they host the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium.
Sydney have been dominant over the past 12 months, and despite a mid-week FFA Cup clash against South Melbourne to contend with, the Sky Blues should have too much for a Phoenix side which consistently struggles on the road.
Sydney’s new recruit Adrian Mierzejewski was outstanding against Melbourne Victory last weekend, slotting balls to his attacking players with ease.
The only criticism of Sydney FC last weekend would be their lack of potency in attack, with the side having to rely on a fortunate own goal to take all three points in Melbourne.
Wellington have won two of their last four matches at Allianz Stadium, as well as drawing a match played at this venue between the two teams in 2015.
I don’t see Wellington having any such luck this time around, as Sydney will be hoping to kick off their 2017-18 home campaign in style.
Best bet: Sydney FC to win at $1.38 (Sportsbet)
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