Fri, Jan 31, 3:12pm by Rob Sheeley
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Just two weeks ago the Melbourne Victory were sitting pretty in third place on the ladder and playing a fairly consistent brand of football. In the past fortnight they have lost both games by five goals. That’s right, 5-0 results two weeks in a row from a top three team.
What makes it even more glaring is the fact that they were beaten by the side running ninth the first week and eighth the next. It is fair to say that this is hardly an outstanding reference for one’s premiership credentials.
In other results, the Roar returned to the winner’s circle, the Heart proved their win was no fluke by drawing with an in-form Adelaide away from home, The Mariners won against a woeful Jets and the Wanderers also returned to their winning ways.
We enjoyed some good collects on the Roar and the Wanderers last week and will look to continue our winning ways again in Round 17.
The Brisbane Roar looks the best bet of the week and also the team we should anchor in any multi’s we have for the weekend. I’d also include the Wanderers who should have no problems disposing of the Newcastle Jets.
The Roar’s clash with the Central Coast Mariners will be our feature match for the week. The Mariners returned to form last week in style with a 3-0 drubbing of the Newcastle Jets in the F3 derby. They now look to carry that form to the sunshine state against the competition leaders.
Our feature preview will include an in-depth form analysis, the keys to victory and the best free selections available anywhere on the web.
Let’s check out Round 17;
7:30pm AEDT, Friday 31st of January at AAMI Park
A resurgent Melbourne Heart play host to Sydney FC to start the weekend. They are two of the hardest teams to find any consistency in and the betting in this game suggests that punters really still aren’t sure. A side who has won just one from 16 will start $2.20 favourite against the team who defeated the Melbourne Victory 5-0 away from home last week. The handicap draw (-1) looks a nice bet at $3.75 in this match.
The Heart rarely win, as the aforementioned record suggests, but they do have the propensity to tough out a draw. They have drawn six of their 16 matches this season, including a tough 2-2 effort last week against and Adelaide outfit who had defeated the top two teams in consecutive weeks leading into the match. They have lost both games to Sydney this season which doesn’t make them very attractive at all as favourites.
Three first half goals and a Del Piero brace saw Sydney absolutely paste the Melbourne Victory last weekend at Etihad Stadium. That must give the men in sky blue an enormous amount of confidence for a match against a team destined for the wooden spoon. At $3.00 they look amazing value too, probably the best value of any team this round and definitely worth having something on.
Prediction – Sydney FC by one goal
9:45pm AEDT, Friday 31st January at NIB Stadium
The Melbourne Victory can lay claim to having one of the worst fortnights in A-League history. They may have only dropped from third to fourth in that time, but they have also had 10 unanswered goals put on them in two matches. This week they make the long trek across the Nullarbor to take on the Perth Glory who have a newfound spring in their step. Over 2.5 goals is worth considering in this match at $1.93.
The Glory lost their first match since being under the tutelage of new coach Kenny Lowe last week when they were outplayed by the Wanderers in Sydney. It was the first blemish in, what has been, a good month of form for the Perth based outfit. They get their opportunity to return to their winning ways against an out-of-form Victory.
After a great 3-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers, the Melbourne Victory have seemingly imploded. Two five-nil losses in a row have the Melbourne team reeling. They face a stiff task here if they want to halt their horrific run.
Prediction – Draw at www.centrebet.com
5:45pm AEDT, Sunday 1st February at Eden Park
Adelaide United travel across the ditch to New Zealand where they take on the Wellington Phoenix in a terrific match-up. Both teams have undergone a reincarnation of sorts since December and have shown how capable they can be on their day. The home team will start favourites on the back of some good recent form and the fact that they play well in front of their own fans. Adelaide (+1) in the handicap market look to be good value at $1.67.
The Phoenix suffered their first loss in six rounds last week when they were beaten, but far from disgraced, against the Roar in Brisbane 2-1. Their last home game was a scoring exhibition when they went on a rout against the Victory in a 5-0 goal-fest. They meet a form team here and will need to be at their very best to get the three points.
Adelaide United have come right into playoff contention. The $11 title hopes have now gone seven rounds without losing a match. That included wins against the first and second placed teams before a draw with the Heart last week. The trip to New Zealand has proven the downfall of many a good team and this will give us a good gauge of just how well the reds are travelling.
Prediction – Draw
7:45pm AEDT, Saturday 1st February January at Hunter Stadium
An out-of-sorts Newcastle Jets will try desperately to get their season back on track this week against the Western Sydney Wanderers. In reality, it looks like the mismatch of the week. The Wanderers (-1) in the handicap market represent massive value at $4.50.
The Jets have produced four losses and draw from their last five matches and drifted to $17 in premiership betting in the process. During that time, they have conceded nine goals and managed to score just two. To make matters worse, they face a second placed side who have rediscovered some of their best form last week.
The Wanderers returned to form last week with an exclamation mark. Their 3-1 win over the Glory featured a scintillating first half that announced simply that the Wanderers “were back”. We can expect to see more of it this week in a game that the Western Sydney side should be winning.
Prediction – Wanderers by 2 goals @ www.centrebet.com
5:00pm AEDT, Sunday 2nd February at Suncorp Stadium
The weekend culminates with our feature match between the Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners. Make sure you check back here in the coming days for a full, in-depth analysis of all facets of the match including key statistics and free tips.
The Brisbane Roar made light work of the red-hot Phoenix last week with a 3-1 win at home. That win was an indication of the professionalism of the competition leaders. The Phoenix had been in great form, yet Brisbane showed why they lead the way in the league this season.
The Mariners continued their up-and-down season when they put paid to the Newcastle jets 3-0 in Gosford. The Mariners have lacked consistency but have shown how good they can be and have to be considered the competition dark horse. This game could be a tough one though, and the Wanderers look a good bet at $2.15.
Prediction – Roar by one goal.
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