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Less-than-perfect Sydney face City as Victory host Reds

Thu, Feb 23, 1:17pm by Head Editor

Sydney FC’s perfect season is over and to make matters worse for them, their first loss came to their bitter rivals, Western Sydney in the derby.

The win was 1,129 days in the making with Brendon Santalab netting the winner in the 26th minute. Next up, the Sky Blues head south to take on Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Friday night.

24 hours later, on the same pitch, second-placed Melbourne Victory shouldn’t have too many problems when they take on the last placed Adelaide United.

Later on Saturday, the Wanderers ($3) will be hoping to back up their derby win and cement their spot in the top six when they face Perth ($2.20) in the west.

Glory are coming off a 2-2 draw with Brisbane and currently sit four points ahead of the Wanderers on the ladder in fifth spot.

The weekend’s action concludes on Sunday when Newcastle ($1.72) host Central Coast ($4.20) when it’s must win time for both clubs if they want to be play any part in the finals.

WATCH: Our Preview of Round 21 of the A-League

Here’s the best three bets for Round 21 of the A-League season:

Melbourne City v Sydney FC, AAMI Park, Melbourne, Friday February 24, 7:50pm AEDT

Competition leaders Sydney FC fly south to take on Melbourne City at AAMI Park for the first time since November’s 1-0 FFA Cup final loss. That was also the score for their first loss of the season last week in the Sydney derby.

City will be confident following their 5-1 demolition of Wellington Phoenix across the ditch last week. The win lifted them to third on the ladder, keeping their slim hopes of a top two finish alive.

Sportsbet has installed the Sky Blues as $2.45 favourites with the hosts at $2.70. The draw is at $3.50.

Should Sydney drop another game here then their lead could be cut to just five points if Victory beat bottom-placed Adelaide United at the same venue just 24 hours later.

City are undefeated in their past five games against Sydney, winning two and drawing three while keeping two clean sheets during that period.  However, they are aiming for back-to-back league wins for the first time since the opening two rounds.

This fixture comes at a very interesting time for Sydney, if they get the three points then things are back to normal, if not, the race for the Premiers’ Plate is on.

Suggested Bet: Both teams to score: $1.57

Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday February 25, 5:35pm AEDT

Two teams with vastly contrasting form lines are set to meet at Suncorp Stadium in the first of a triple-header of A-League action on Saturday.

Wellington head to the sunshine state without a win in five weeks, including losing their last three by two goals or more. Waiting for them is a Roar team who haven’t lost in six matches, both in Asia and the A-League.

Thus, Sportsbet has the hosts as strong favourites at $1.67 with the Phoenix at $4.60 and the draw at $3.85.

This one is open and shut for me, Brisbane are in a solid patch of form, led by Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren, who sits third on the golden boot tally with 11 goals this season.

Suggested Bet: Brisbane to win: $1.67

Melbourne Victory v, Adelaide United, AAMI Park, Adelaide, Saturday February 25, 7:50pm AEDT

Melbourne Victory were back to their best last Sunday with a 3-0 win over the in-form Mariners while the Champions registered just their third win of the season by defeating the Jets 1-0.

Melbourne Victory are solid favourites to keep the pressure on Sydney with a win at $1.42 with Adelaide at $7 and the draw at $4.40.

Besart Berisha and Marco Rojas have been consistent performers all season but James Troisi really impressed last weekend. He was brilliant, scoring his fifth goal of the campaign, if he continues to play like that, adding another string to Victory’s attacking threat, they can win the title.

For Adelaide, it’s been a season to forget and to make matters worse, they opened their Asian Champions League campaign with a 3-0 home loss to Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka.

Suggested Bet: Victory to win both halves: $2.10

Multi of the week: Combining the below for $5.46 at Sportsbet

City v Sydney: Both teams to score: $1.57

Brisbane to win: $1.67

Victory to win both halves: $2.10

A-League Round 21 odds:
Melbourne City $2.70 v Sydney FC $2.45 Draw $3.50
Brisbane Roar $1.67 v Wellington Phoenix $4.60 Draw $3.85
Melbourne Victory $1.42 v Adelaide United $7 Draw $4.40
Perth Glory $2.20 v Western Sydney Wanderers $3 Draw $3.60
Newcastle Jets $1.72 v Central Coast Mariners $4.20 Draw $4

Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*

All times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)*

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