Wed, Jan 24, 11:38am by Staff Writer
Despite two draws in their last two matches, Sydney FC still have a commanding seven point lead at the top of the A-League ladder.
It was a dominant performance from the competition’s two Melbourne team last weekend with Victory and City scoring eight goals between them and conceding none.
Wellington also returned to the winner’s circle, producing one of the upset’s of the season to defeat Newcastle 3-2.
Melbourne City versus Newcastle Jets
Thursday, 25 January 2018 at 7.50pm AEDST
Melbourne City produced their best performance of the season last weekend in a 5-0 rout of Adelaide United.
Adelaide should have been in the match on paper given City’s lack of goals and the fact their main marksman Ross McCormack was starting the match from the bench, but they were never in the match.
A two goal half-time advantage could have been three or four, and when Adelaide tired late, City put five goals past the Reds.
While City produced their best performance, Newcastle produced one of its worst, a lethargic 3-2 loss to the bottom placed Wellington Phoenix.
The Jets continue to score goals, but their defense was the problem on Saturday, something they will need to address when they face City.
Melbourne City have won three of the last four matches between these two teams, including a 2-1 win at Newcastle in late 2017.
These two teams have not drawn a match since 2014 and we expect that trend to continue. The home team are at a decent $2.10 price at Sportsbet to win the match, and will be extremely confident after their last result, and keen to narrow the gap between the two sides to just a single point with a win.
Best bet- Melbourne City to win at $2.10
Melbourne Victory versus Sydney FC
Friday, 26 January 2018 at 7.50pm AEDST
No matter where these two teams are on the A-League table, this fixture always generates a lot of hype from the media and fans alike.
‘Big Blue’ as it has become affectionately known is one of the best rivalries in the A-League’s history, with both teams earning bragging rights at one point or another.
Currently it is Sydney who have the dominance over Melbourne, winning last year’s Grand Final and their only meeting this season, a 1-0 win in Melbourne.
Sydney has won the last four regular season matches between the two teams, with Victory’s last win being in this exact same Australia Day fixture two years ago.
Melbourne Victory has looked to be in second gear for much of the season so far, putting in a good performance and following it up with a loss to a team in the bottom four.
Victory are catching Sydney FC in a rare lull, as the Sky Blues have drawn their past two matches.
With Melbourne 14 points behind the league leaders on the ladder, Victory will be chasing second placed Newcastle and a chance of a home final.
Given Sydney’s consistency and that they have only lost one game all season in all competitions, it has difficult to bet on any opposition team to beat them.
The team’s goal scoring ability and possession-style football is like no other we have seen in the A-League and even if Melbourne Victory score, it will be hard to deny the Sky Blues.
Best bet- Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC draw at $3.40
Wellington Phoenix versus Adelaide United
Saturday, 27 January 2018 at 5.35pm AEDST
Two teams with contrasting weekends meet in Wellington, with Adelaide keen to atone for a putrid 5-0 loss on Sunday evening.
That result was the worst of the Red’s season and came after one of their most promising displays of the season, a 0-0 draw with Sydney FC.
What stood out a fortnight ago was Adelaide’s attention to detail defensively, something which they lacked in abundance on Sunday.
Wellington have made some audacious signings in a bid to save their season, including 24 year old Serbian midfielder Matija Ljujic.
Ljujic made an immediate impact on Saturday afternoon, scoring the first of Wellington’s three goals in their 3-2 win at Newcastle.
The Phoenix have taken seven points from their past three matches, which is half of their points total for the entire season, through 16 fixtures.
Wellington have turned a corner in recent weeks and are starting to see results, something which we expect to continue against Adelaide.
It is incredibly hard to overcome such a poor performance, and having played Sunday night and travelling to Wellington for a Saturday game, Adelaide will be up against it.
The last three fixtures between these two teams have ended in draws, but with Wellington a much-improved side, we expect them to get all three points.
Best bet- Wellington Phoenix to win at $2.50
A-League week 18 odds
Melbourne City $2.10 Newcastle $3.25 Draw $3.60
Melbourne Victory $2.80 Sydney $2.37 Draw $3.40
Wellington $2.50 Adelaide $2.60 Draw $3.30
Central coast $2.10 Brisbane $3.50 Draw $3.40
Perth $2.50 Western Sydney $2.63 Draw $3.30
*Odds provided by Sportsbet
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