Mon, Mar 5, 12:24pm by Head Editor
With only five rounds remaining in the 2017-18 Hyundai A-League season, Sydney FC appear to have the minor premiership secured, as they are eight points clear of the second placed Newcastle Jets.
Last weekend however, the Jets showed that the Sky Blues are beatable and Newcastle produced one of the most rousing performances in recent memory, defeating Sydney 2-1.
The Jets task was made more difficult with the sending off of Roy O’Donovan in the 14th minute.
A straight red to the Irish striker meant the Jets played with a man down for over 80 minutes.
Goals to Dimitri Petratos and Andrew Nabbout sealed the win for Newcastle, who will be buoyed by the result in front of over 18,000 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Jets have been the second-best team all season, but on their day have shown that they can match it with the might of Sydney.
Newcastle has been backed into one of their best prices to win the A-League all season, at $4.33 at Sportsbet.
Sydney FC remains steady at $1.66 and is the overwhelming favourite to win back-to-back titles.
The Melbourne Derby once again produced drama, with Melbourne Victory once again defeating Melbourne City 2-1.
Despite City having the better of possession and shots on target, Victory were admirable in defense and closed the gap on third placed City to just one point.
Both teams have been underwhelming this season, only showing fans glimpses of what they are capable of.
Victory is priced at $8.50 to win the 2017-18 title, while City are at $9. Both teams are well off the pace compared to their New South Wales compatriots.
The Brisbane Roar are making a late claim to a surprise finals berth, with a gritty 1-0 win against Adelaide on Saturday night.
An Eric Bautheac thunderbolt secured the win, in a free-flowing game that produced 27 shots at goal.
The Roar’s finals destiny remains in their own hands, with matches against Wellington, Central Coast, Western Sydney and Perth still to come.
Brisbane’s chances of winning the title are at $151 at Sportsbet, with a finals appearance far more likely.
Adelaide is without a win in three matches and have been struggling, going goalless in two matches.
The Reds are $26 outsiders at Sportsbet to win the title.
Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory played out a dramatic 1-1 draw in front of the lowest ever Wanderers crowd in Sydney on Sunday afternoon.
Two early goals set the match up to be a goal fest, but red cards and missed opportunities followed, symbolic of both teams difficulties this season.
The result means the Wanderers maintain a two-point advantage over the 7th placed Roar, while Perth are four points adrift of sixth position.
Despite their struggle this season, the Wanderers are fifth favourites to win the A-League, at $20 at Sportsbet.
Central Coast and Wellington both had a bye in week 22. Although still mathematical chances of playing finals, both teams are $501 to win the A-League title and it will be a huge surprise if either made finals.
A-League outright odds – Sportsbet
Sydney FC $1.66
Melbourne Victory $8.50
Melbourne City $9
Western Sydney $20
Central Coast $501
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