Wed, Apr 11, 2:12pm by Staff Writer
The final round of the 2017-18 Hyundai A-League season is headlined by the teams fighting for one finals position. The Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory are separated by just one point on the table, with goal difference separating the seventh placed Roar from the eighth placed Glory.
Sydney FC versus Melbourne Victory
Friday, 13 April 2018 at 7.50pm AEST at Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC clinched their second consecutive minor Premiership a fortnight ago when they beat Perth and there was no let up in the Sky Blues last weekend as they beat Adelaide 3-0.
Melbourne Victory had a far tougher match last round as they had to fight back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in the final moments of the match.
The hosts are $2 favourites ahead of this match with Melbourne Victory $3.30 underdogs. The draw is paying $3.50.
Sydney has had Victory’s measure in their two previous meetings this season, winning 3-1 and 1-0 with both matches in Melbourne.
This will be the first time Victory returns to Allianz Stadium after their 4-2 loss in the penalty shootout in the 2016-17 Grand Final.
Graham Arnold has not hinted whether or not he will rest some of his star players ahead of this match, but with a first round finals bye, it wouldn’t be a shock if Arnold played his full strength team to not give Victory any sort of momentum heading into the finals.
Both teams are struggling in the Asian Champions League, so the A-League championship is most likely all that these highly fancied teams have to play for this season.
Sydney at home has been a juggernaut over the past two seasons, losing only one match in that time. We expect that to continue and getting $2 for Sydney is a rarity nowadays and is definitely value.
Best bet- Sydney FC to win at $2
Wellington Phoenix versus Melbourne City
Saturday, 14 April 2018 at 5.30pm AEST at QBE Stadium
Wellington has had a disappointing season and will take on Melbourne City at QBE Stadium in Auckland hoping to end their season on a high.
Melbourne City look set to finish third and most likely face Western Sydney in the first elimination final in Melbourne next week.
The Phoenix are $3.50 home underdogs as they have been consistently for much of the season. With only four wins under their belt this season, a win could see the Phoenix move off the foot of the table.
City are paying a generous $1.83 and have won the past six matches between these two sides, including a 5-1 triumph in Wellington last season.
Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce will want his side to gather some confidence and momentum ahead of their finals campaign, with this club consistently underachieving in the A-League.
The gulf in class between these two squads is enormous and it’s difficult to see Wellington mounting much of a fight in this one.
Best bet- Melbourne City to win at $1.83
Western Sydney Wanderers versus Adelaide United
Sunday, 15 April 2018 at 5pm AEST at ANZ Stadium
The Wanderers cling to a spot in the finals, four goals clear of the chasing Brisbane Roar and one point ahead of Perth.
With the Glory taking on the Roar in Perth on Saturday night, the Wanderers could have their finals fate already decided for them. A Glory or Roar win would mean this is a must win game for the Wanderers. If the two sides draw, then the Wanderers are through to the finals, regardless of this result against the Reds.
With neither the Glory nor Roar benefitting from a draw, chances are Western Sydney will be needing a win.
The Wanderers are paying a generous $1.91 at home against an Adelaide team with nothing to play for. Adelaide look certain for a fifth placed finish and are paying $3.50 on the road.
The Reds were very disappointing last weekend and while they won’t want to enter a finals campaign with consecutive losses, they will be looking to bigger things next weekend.
We are all over the Wanderers in this one to get the win and some momentum ahead of the finals.
Best bet- Western Sydney Wanderers to win at $1.91
A-League Round 27 Odds – Sportsbet
Sydney $2 Draw $3.50 Melbourne Victory $3.30
Wellington $3.50 Draw $3.60 Melbourne City $1.83
Central Coast $2.88 Draw $3.50 Newcastle $2.10
Perth $1.91 Draw $4 Brisbane $2.88
Western Sydney $1.91 Draw $3.30 Adelaide $3.50
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