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A-League Wrap: Finalists are set but all-important venues are not

Mon, Apr 10, 11:55am by Head Editor

The six participants for this seasons A-League finals are set with a full round to play. The biggest question remaining is the make-up of the top six, and who gets to host the the minor semi-finals.

First and second are set, and have been for several weeks, with Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory guaranteed of having a week’s rest in the first week of the finals. The Sky Blues are at $1.90 for the Championship with Victory at $3.

The battle for third is where the interest is, with City, Roar and the Glory in a three-way battle for the coveted home final position. Perth face City this week, and must win by four or more goals to overturn their ladder positions, while Brisbane host Wellington.

Brisbane Roar are $11 for the title with City at $13 and the Glory at $17 but that could all change after this weekend’s matches.

The penultimate round of the season kicked off in Melbourne on Friday night when City beat Adelaide 1-0. It was a vital three points for the hosts with Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer – Tim Cahill – scoring the only goal of the match in the 36th minute.

A world first was created on Saturday during the Wellington-Sydney FC match as the video referee made his first entrance into a game to award a penalty to Sydney FC for a handball inside the area.

That match finished 1-1, thanks to a last-minute goal from Michael McGlinchey but it wasn’t enough for Wellington, who need a win to keep their finals hopes alive.

Later on Saturday, the Wanderers couldn’t make the most of their man advantage that they had for over half an hour when Daniel Georgevski was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the 53rd minute.

The Wanderers needed to win to push for a home final but couldn’t break through. They are now guaranteed to be on the road in the first week of the finals. Sportsbet has them at $17 for the Championship.

Perth’s 3-1 win over an undermanned Brisbane side was their first in five games, and sets the scene for this week’s match against City.

Brisbane coach John Alosi was forced to defend his decision to leave veterans Thomas Broich, Thomas Kristensen and Avraam Papadopoulos in Brisbane with a view to Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League match against Kashima Antlers.

On Sunday, the Mariners beat the Jets 2-0 in the F3 derby which was also the battle for the wooden spoon. A market that Sportsbet has taken down as the Jets are now bottom of the ladder, and face Sydney FC in the last match.

Australian A-League 2016-2017 (Sportsbet)

Sydney FC $1.90

Melbourne Victory $3

Brisbane Roar $11

Melbourne City $13

Perth Glory $17

Western Sydney Wanderers $17

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