Wed, Nov 23, 12:00pm by Head Editor
Although their winning streak came to an end just one win away from a record seven wins to start the season, Sydney FC certainly showed why they are top in their 1-1 draw with Brisbane that on another night could have easily been a four-goal win.
Further illustrating Sydney’s dominance in the match that saw them drop their first points of the season was that the player of the round was the Brisbane keeper, Michael Theo. The veteran thwarted wave after wave of Sydney attacks and stopped a total of 18 shots on goal, six of which were on target.
Next up, Sydney host champions Adelaide on Saturday night, before that match though, the round kicks off in Gosford on Thursday night when the second from last Mariners ($3.60) host fourth-placed Perth ($1.95).
On Friday, the Wanderers meet the Roar for the first time since last season’s semi-final, a nine-goal thriller, one of the best in the history of the league. The following day the Victory are back in action after their week off against the Jets.
The last fixture of the round sees City go in as heavy $1.53 favourites when they host the Phoenix at AAMI Park. City remain in second place on the ladder after their 1-1 draw in Western Sydney last Friday. The Phoenix had an enforced bye due to the earthquake that rocked New Zealand the previous week.
WATCH: Our Preview of Week 8 of the A-League
Here’s the best three bets for eighth round of the A-League season:
Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar, Spotless Stadium, Sydney, Friday November 25. 7:50pm AEDT
After snapping Sydney’s winning streak last week, the Roar prepare to exact some revenge on last season’s semi-finals conqueror, the Wanderers.
The clubs have created a strong rivalry in recent seasons, meeting each other in three of the last four Finals Series including last season’s memorable 5-4 Semi Final as well as the 2013-14 Grand Final.
The home side have played three matches at their adopted home of Spotless Stadium so far this season and on each occasion, they have walked away with just a point and last week they looked scrappy, leaving it extremely late to nab a point against Tim Cahill’s City.
John Aloisi’s side are starting to build some momentum, they defeated the second-placed City three weeks ago before getting a point against last season’s champions and then doing the same against the ladder-leaders last week. They currently sit in third position on the A-League ladder, three places higher than Friday’s opponents.
I’m backing Brisbane to get a result out of this one, they are well structured in defence and are good on the counter attack. The Wanderers are not the same team they were last season at Pirtek Stadium.
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets, AAMI Park, Melbourne, Saturday November 26. 5:35pm AEDT
Melbourne Victory play their first match for 14 days in the twilight fixture on Saturday when they face a Newcastle team that had to come from behind in Sunday’s F3 derby and have hit a rough patch, losing three of their past four.
Melbourne Victory are $1.50 to inflict more pain of the Jets who started the season well and were unbeaten after three rounds but have since slumped to the bottom four. The visitors are huge outsiders at $6 with the draw at $4.25.
The hosts will be fresh after their match with the Phoenix was postponed and, according to forward James Troisi, the club made the most of the break, scheduling in a few extra training sessions and are ready to go.
The same cannot be said for Jets who have been ravaged by injury this season with the latest player to be struck down, former Victory winger Andrew Nabbout.
That’s on top of injures to defenders Nigel Boogaard (knee), Daniel Mullen (knee) and Lachlan Jackson (ankle), while goalkeeper Ben Kennedy (Achilles) and Daniel Alessi (knee) are out for the season.
I’m backing the home side to be too strong for a depleted Jets outfit.
BEST BET: Victory to win: $1.50
Sydney FC v Adelaide United, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Saturday November 26. 7:50pm AEDT
The Sky Blues will go in as warm favourites to get straight back onto the winners’ list against an Adelaide side whose title defence is yet to leave the runway.
As discussed at the top of this article, Sydney created several chances last week but were nullified brilliantly by the heroics of Brisbane number one Michael Theo, who’s only blemish was the goal of the season so far, a thunderbolt from Josh Brillante.
He took the ball in space with a heavy touch, well outside the box and put everything he had behind it, sending it into the top corner of Michael Theo’s goal, leaving the keeper helplessly diving to his right. Adelaide can only dream of a finish like that with May’s Championship win now so far in the rear-view mirror it can hardly be seen. Last week they took an early lead thanks to a superb Tarek Elrich cross that left Josh Risdon with no way to avoid hitting it into his own net.
They were not able to retain that lead for very long though, conceding within three minutes. Sydney FC are my best bet of the week.
BEST BET: Sydney FC to win: $1.55
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining the below for $3.55 at Sportsbet
Roar – Double Chance (Win or Draw): $1.53
Victory to win: $1.50
Sydney FC to win: $1.55
A-League Round Eight odds:
Odds supplied by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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