Fri, Oct 25, 3:06pm by Rob Sheeley
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After two weeks of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season, we are starting to get an insight into the strengths, weaknesses and overall form of each team. We have a new competition favourite with the Brisbane Roar being backed right in from the third line to lead the betting at $5.00. The Western Sydney Wanderers have drifted out to second line favouritism at $5.50 on the back of two draws in their first two outings, and they share that position with the Central Coast Mariners who are still well fancied.
One side to keep a close eye on is Wellington. After starting as despised outsiders, the Phoenix were unlucky not to grab a draw against the Roar before claiming a share of the points with Western Sydney. They have now slimmed to $21 in premiership betting.
In multi-bets this week, I’d definitely anchor the Wanderers and Phoenix. I would also consider throwing in a Heart v Glory draw which is paying $3.40. We had solid success on the punt last week with great selections from our feature match (Adelaide-Melbourne) paying off. These included tipping the draw at $3.40, and Jeronimo Neumann to score at $2.37, so let’s replicate our triumphs again. Stay tuned for our detailed preview of this week’s massive Sydney-side Derby between the Wanderers and Sydney FC.
7:30pm, Friday October 25 at Etihad Stadium
High flying competition favourites Brisbane Roar head south this week to take on Melbourne Victory. The Roar are two wins from two starts this season, while the Victory have drawn both of their matches.
After appearing to be dead and buried, Victory came home with a wet sail last week to snatch a gripping 2-2 draw in the dying stages against Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium. It was a great show of tenacity and it will be interesting to see if they can replicate that drive against the current league leaders. Fittingly, Ange Postecoglou will serve his final match in charge of Victory against his former team Brisbane, after signing on to become head coach of the Socceroos. Since defecting to the Victory in April last year, Postecoglou has been unable to beat the Roar. Can he finally taste victory against his old club before it’s too late?
After travelling to New Zealand and winning with a late goal in Round 1 against the Phoenix, the Roar produced a clinical performance last weekend with a 4-0 demolition of Sydney. It is little wonder why they have been backed in as favourites for the title after two great victories. A hat-trick of victories to start their campaign would be amazing for the Roar. With emotions surely running high, this promises to be a fierce battle. Prediction: Draw.
5:30pm, Saturday October 26 at Bluetongue Stadium
This game should be a real cracker. The reigning premiers host Adelaide United and both look poised for a strong year ahead. With each team coming of enthralling draws, you can rest assured this one will go down to the wire. The Mariners came from 2-0 down to salvage a draw on the back of two late penalties last weekend against the Heart. The $5.50 second favourites in premiership betting are still yet to register that first win, with both of their games ending in ties. They will be more than keen to turn change that come Saturday.
Adelaide United looked to have its match with Melbourne Victory all bottled up last week, before its opposition flew home to snatch a stunning 2-2 draw. It was quite the opposite of Adelaide’s show of tenacity a week earlier when it held off Perth in a brave win. However, the Reds were undermanned and worn-out as a result of their two red cards they received against the Glory. They’ve remained steady in the premiership market at $12 and punters will be keen to see what they produce this week. Prediction: A 1-1 draw @ $7.00 with Sportsbet
7:45pm, Saturday October 26 at Allianz Stadium
Despite having the reputation of being somewhat of a glamour team, Sydney will host its much more fancied cross-town rivals in the Western Sydney Wanderers this Saturday night. A sell out crowd can be expected and the match should harbour all the intensity of a classic derby.
Sydney was completely outplayed against the Roar in Brisbane last week, going down 4-0. It was a worrying sign for the boys in sky blue and a complete 180 on their strong performance against the Jets a week earlier. The loss has seen punters go a little cold on Sydney, who has drifted out to $8.50 in premiership betting.
The Wanderers lost their mantle as premiership favourites, slipping out to $5.50, after fighting out a draw against Wellington Phoenix last week, in a game they were expected to dominate. They will be keen to bounce back to form and there’s no better time to do so than against your arch rivals. They will be supported by a vocal sea of Red and Black fans who will provide a strong boost for them in this away game. Prediction: Wanderers by 2 goals.
2:00pm, Sunday October 27 at NIB Stadium
This match is a battle of two teams who look likely to finish mid-table or worse, but I think there is some solid betting value here. Perth start as favourites in the H2H betting (largely because the game is in WA) despite having only managed one point this season. The Heart are yet to lose (or win) but look to have a strong competitive streak.
Perth journeyed to Newcastle last week and came away with a scoreless draw. Not the best result, but certainly not the worst either after their 3-1 loss to Adelaide in Round 1. I certainly couldn’t back them with any conviction in the H2H market. They are $15 chances to win this season’s title.
The Heart played out their second draw in as many weeks in Round 2 and look a good price to either bank their third tie on the trot, or even pull off an upset victory over the Glory. Last week’s match against the Mariners showed they can mix it with quality opposition and may augur well for this week’s clash. It might be worth wagering on the Heart in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market at $2.62 with Sportsbet, so if it does happen to be a draw (our prediction), you still get your money back. But Heart are a strong chance. Prediction: Draw.
5:00pm, Sunday October 27 at McLean Park
After two weeks of competitive football, the Wellington Phoenix return to New Zealand as short-priced favourites against the Jets, and deservedly so. Newcastle is yet to show any real signs to suggest they’ll finish anywhere higher than the bottom three this season. While both sides are on equal premiership points, the Phoenix have been a lot more aggressive in their two games as opposed to the Jets.
The Phoenix surprised plenty by claiming a share of the points with the Wanderers in Sydney last weekend, which followed a heart-breaking first-up loss to the Roar. Their form suggests they are playing significantly better than what was initially expected. They remain $21 in premiership betting but have thus far proven they have a strong ability to compete with the top teams in the competition.
After suffering a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC in Round 1, the Newcastle Jets played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Perth last week. They look solid contenders for the wooden spoon, and against a Phoenix side performing above expectations, they may struggle in New Zealand. Prediction: Phoenix by 2 goals.
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