Wed, Mar 22, 5:08pm by Head Editor
Normal service resumes in the A-League this weekend, with all 10 teams back on the pitch after the ‘split’ round.
First up, the Wanderers host City on Friday night, both clubs took a step towards finals with big wins last weekend, and will be keen to keep that momentum going.
On Saturday night, a top four battle sees Brisbane Roar host Melbourne Victory.
Two teams with their season on the line clash on Sunday when the Wellington Phoenix ($2.55) entertain the Newcastle Jets ($2.60). It’s a must-win for both sides to have any chance of catching the Wanderers, who sit in sixth place.
Round 24 action concludes in Perth on Sunday night with Glory taking on the all-conquering ladder-leaders – Sydney FC.
WATCH: Our Preview of Round 24 of the A-League
With only four games remaining for each club in the regular season, the race for a finals berth is heating up. Here’s the best bets for Round 24 A-League season:
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City, Spotless Stadium, Sydney, Friday March 24, 7:50pm AEDT
It’s 3rd versus 6th when City head north to face the Wanderers – a side they’ve never beaten in Sydney.
The hosts took one step closer to sealing a finals spot with a dominant 3-1 win over the Wellington Phoenix, while City were on fire against the Newcastle Jets, firing four goals past the hapless Hunter Valley outfit.
Two goals from Brendon Santalab and one from Nico Martinez last week means that the Wanderers last five goals have been scored by either of that pair. City have scored 43 goals this season versus the Wanderers 27, with 17 of the former’s goals coming from their skipper Bruno Fornaroli.
As mentioned, the Wanderers are undefeated at home in this fixture with four wins and three draws, though three of their last five such meetings have ended in a 1-all draw, including the most recent meeting at this venue in November.
Suggested Bet: I’m taking the $1.53 for both teams to score
Brisbane Roar v, Melbourne Victory, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday March 25. 7:50pm AEDT
Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium is known as the best rectangular venue in Australia and on Saturday night, it will play host to a clash we could also see recur in the finals series.
Brisbane coach John Aloisi would still be fuming after conceding a dubious penalty in the eight minute of stoppage time against Adelaide last Sunday.
That result means that the Roar are hanging onto fourth spot by a single point. Sportsbet has this one priced very closely, with a Roar win at $2.30 and a Melbourne win at $2.85. The draw is at $3.60.
Victory had last weekend off, after disposing of Perth easily, 4-1. Once again it was their talisman Besart Berisha who did the damage, scoring one and providing one for Fahid Ben Khalfallah in what was one of the assists of the season.
But there will be no Berisha this time around as he’s in Kosovo playing his first game for his home nation, while James Troisi and Marco Rojas are also representing country rather than club this weekend.
With the Premiers Plate looking out of reach, and second spot secure, Victory won’t worry too much about dropping this one and may look to experiment with their depth.
Suggested Bet: Brisbane to win $2.30.
Perth Glory v, Sydney FC, NIB Stadium, Perth, Sunday March 26, 7:00pm AEDT
Sydney head to Perth on Sunday for a clash that has plenty on the line. If Sydney win they will be crowned Premiers, while a win is also vital for the hosts, who can jump into the top four, should Brisbane lose to Melbourne.
Graham Arnold’s side have been the standouts all year both at home and away, but their away form has been something to savour. They are the only club that have won more games away (9) than home (8) this season.
Keeping with that trend is their form against Perth, they’ve won their last three games against the Glory, scoring four goals each time and they haven’t lost in their last four visits to nib Stadium – three of wins were wins.
If the Glory are to upset Sydney and keep their chances alive of a top four finish and a home final, then they’ll need their marksman Adam Taggart to continue his good form.
The former Socceroo has scored seven goals in nine home games this season, only Marco Rojas and Bruno Fornaroli (10 goals in 11 games each) have a better goals-per-game ratio at home (2+ games). The $3.20 for him to score looks value.
Suggested Bet: Sydney to win: $2.10
Multi of the week: Combining the below for $5.04 at Sportsbet
WSW v City: Both teams to score: $1.53
Double Chance: Victory to win or draw: $1.57
Sydney FC to win: $2.10
A-League Round 24 odds:
Western Sydney Wanderers $2.50 v Melbourne City $2.65 Draw $3.50
Central Coast Mariners $2.60 v Adelaide United $2.45 Draw $3.70
Brisbane Roar $2.30 v Melbourne Victory $2.85 Draw $3.60
Wellington Phoenix $2.55 v Newcastle Jets $2.60 Draw $3.50
Perth Glory $3.15 v Sydney FC $2.10 Draw $3.75
Odds sourced Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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