Wed, Apr 4, 11:59am by Staff Writer
Two rounds of the regular season remain in the 2017-18 Hyundai A-League with Sydney FC guaranteeing a second consecutive season on top of the ladder with their 3-2 win against Perth last Thursday night.
The race for the top six is set to intensify this weekend, with Brisbane currently occupying sixth position. Western Sydney and Perth are hot on their heels and will be hoping for three points this week to overtake the Roar.
Newcastle Jets versus Perth Glory
Friday, 6 April 2018 at 7.45pm AEST at McDonald Jones Stadium
The Jets have cooled off since their win against Sydney FC a month ago. Newcastle have since beaten Wellington 1-0 and lost to Adelaide 5-2 and Melbourne City 3-0.
They go into this match against Perth as $2 favourites at home with the Glory $3.30 underdogs. The draw is paying $3.60.
Perth are in a must-win situation as they are three points outside the top six with only two games remaining.
Despite falling behind 3-0 to Sydney, Glory fought admirably to almost sneak a draw, going down 3-2.
Newcastle has been a changed team without Andrew Nabbout who moved to the J-League after their 2-1 win against Sydney.
It is no coincidence since the Socceroo has departed that the Jets have struggled to score, managing only three goals in three games and conceding eight goals in that span.
The last time Perth visited Newcastle they grabbed a 2-2 draw with a late Adam Taggart goal.
Glory will need more than a point on Friday night and we think they will get it. Newcastle lack that cutting edge which has defined their season so far and are playing their poorest football at the most important stage of the season.
A desperate Perth team will be too much for Newcastle to contain.
Best bet- Perth Glory to win at $3.30
Western Sydney Wanderers versus Brisbane Roar
Saturday, 7 April 2018 at 5.30pm AEST at ANZ Stadium
A season-defining match for both the Wanderers and Roar on Saturday night when the two teams collide at ANZ Stadium.
Brisbane will start as $2.70 underdogs against the Wanderers but have enjoyed good recent success against the Western Sydney club, winning three of the last four matches between the two, including a penalty shootout win in last year’s finals series.
The Wanderers start the match as $2.20 favourites but have hardly played like deserving favourites in recent weeks.
Their past fortnight has been horrible as they lost to Melbourne City 3-0 and then Melbourne Victory 3-1.
Prior to a 4-1 win against the hapless Wellington Phoenix, the Wanderers were struggling for form and have done so all season.
They are undeserving of a finals position and should be thankful that a number of early season draws have kept them in contention points-wise on the table.
Brisbane have been rewarded for their improved play in recent times, with four wins in their past six matches which includes a 2-1 win in Sydney against the Sky Blues.
With both teams’ seasons on the line, the Wanderers should be the more desperate, but Brisbane is in better form and will win.
Best bet- Brisbane Roar to win at $2.70
Sydney FC versus Adelaide United
Sunday, 8 April 2018 at 7pm AEST at Allianz Stadium
The Sky Blues put a rare home loss behind them three weeks ago, their first in over two season and have recorded 2-1 and 3-2 wins during the past fortnight.
With the minor premiership a certainty again, Graham Arnold’s men will be looking towards the finals series where they will enjoy a first round bye.
Before that, they have two matches to negotiate, with the first being a home game against Adelaide.
The Sky Blues are $1.91 favourites with the Reds $3.40 underdogs. The draw is paying $3.40.
Adelaide enjoyed their best win of the season last weekend when they dismantled the Jets 5-2.
Adelaide have a slim chance of playing a home final if they win both of their remaining fixtures and Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory slip up.
The Reds played tremendously well when these two teams last met at Hindmarsh in mid January.
On that night a stout defensive performance from the Reds ensured the teams shared the points, with Adelaide creating more chances on the night.
With Sydney assured of top spot, we expect them to take the foot off the pedal and give the Reds a chance to win this game.
Both teams are playing good football recently and we can’t split them. We are backing a goal-draw in this one.
Best bet- Sydney FC and Adelaide United to draw at $3.40
A-League Round 26 Odds – Sportsbet
Newcastle $2 Draw $3.60 Perth $3.30
Western Sydney $2.20 Draw $3.60 Brisbane $2.70
Melbourne City $1.36 Draw $4.33 Central Coast $6
Melbourne Victory $1.36 Draw $4.50 Wellington $6
Sydney FC $1.91 Draw $3.40 Adelaide $3.40
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