Wed, Apr 26, 4:23pm by Staff Writer
The Elimination Finals provided plenty of action and surprises, with the most expensive squad ever assembled on these shores, Melbourne City, knocked out by Perth Glory on their home deck.
In the other knockout final, Brisbane squeezed past the Wanderers in a penalty shootout, despite conceding the opening goal of the match.
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory had their feet up, watching on with interest, but there’ll be no time for resting this weekend when both clubs take the pitch in do-or-die matchups.
WATCH: Our Preview of the A-League Semi-Finals
Here’s the best bets for both the A-League Semi Finals:
Sydney FC v Perth Glory, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Saturday April 29. 7:50pm AEST
Sydney FC have just completed the most dominant season in the history of the A-League, but should they fail to turn up on Saturday night, it will all count for nothing.
Their opponents made it two in a row against Melbourne City on the weekend as they secured a 2-0 win and a semi-finals berth.
The $1.45 for the Sky Blues to win inside the 90 minutes is probably fair given they’ve conceded just four goals at home this entire season, which consisted of 13 games.
Perth are $6.50 to snatch one of the biggest upsets in memory inside regular time. That seems very unlikely though, given the three matches this season between the two sides have consisted of 11 goals to Sydney and just two to Perth, and three wins to the Premiers.
Being a Semi-Final, we must have a result on the night, with 30 minutes of extra time to be followed by penalties – if required. Sportsbet is offering just $1.17 for Sydney to qualify for the Grand Final by any of the three ways, with the visitors at $4.60.
There is one result this season that will give Perth hope, and that’s Sydney’s susceptibility in big games, they of course lost 1-0 to Melbourne City in the final of the FFA Cup.
Reigning Johnny Warren Medal winner – Diego Castro – was instrumental in Sunday’s upset win over City, and will no doubt be the focus for the Sydney FC defence this weekend,
Looking at Sydney’s home record on the season, I can’t make a case against them.
Suggested Bet: Half Time/ Full Time (90 minutes): Sydney FC: $2.10
Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar, AAMI Park, Melbourne, Sunday April 30. 5:00pm AEST
The second semi-final is a much tighter one in the betting market, and rightly so, given that Victory have hardly set the world on fire in the last six weeks. They’ll need to be on their game this weekend though, against a Roar side who’ve won five of their last six games in Asia and domestically.
Sportsbet has Victory as a $1.80 favourite to win inside the 90 minutes with Brisbane at $4.33. The draw is a $3.50 shot while the hosts to qualify for the Grand Final – either inside the 90 minutes, extra time or penalties – is at $1.35, with Brisbane at $3.01.
Victory fell away towards the end of the season with some disappointing losses but a lot of that could be attributed to the fact that they had second place on the table locked up with around six weeks to go.
Their opponents have not been afforded the same luxury, having to fight until the end of the season, to ensure they secured third on the ladder, as well as competing in Asia.
They claimed an outstanding victory in penalties over the Wanderers on Friday night in one of the best games in recent times.
After conceding in the 47th minute, the Queenslanders were in all-out attack mode to get back in the game, it led to an equaliser from star forward Jamie Maclaren in the 55th minute.
The Roar will clock up 15,000 kilometres this week, they face Thai team Muangthong United in the Asian Champions League on Wednesday, before travelling to Melbourne for this one.
Considering this travel, and the fact that Melbourne had the week off last week, I’m taking the $1.80 about the Victory, who will be much fresher.
Suggested Bet: Victory to win (inside the 90 minutes): $1.80
Multi of the week: Combining the below for $3.99 at Sportsbet
Half Time/ Full Time (90 minutes): Sydney FC: $2.10
Victory to win (inside the 90 minutes): $1.80
A-League Semi Final odds:
Sydney FC $1.45 v Perth Glory $6.50 Draw $4.33
Melbourne Victory $1.80 v Brisbane Roar $4.33 Draw $3.50
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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