The following are previews with betting tips for Round 24 of the 2019/20 A-League season. This will be the first round ever, that following unprecedented circumstances, will be played behind close doors, due to the imminent threat of the Corona Virus within large groups of people/ and or crowds. The A-League is still the A-League though and it’s our boutique league. So bring it on!!!
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Friday, March 20
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City
7:30 PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Central Coast v City
Last Three Matches- The Mariners have won just 4/21 games so far this season. They are dead last (11th place) on the table and a whole 7 points of the 2nd worst side, the Victory. They have just 13 points, a GD of -27 and 16 BIG defeats next to their name. Last round, they went down 1-0 to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium. Prior to that, the Phoenix smashed them in Gosford, 3 goals to 1. Then in RD21, at GMHBA Stadium, W.U, smashed them 6-2. In the match against the Roar, they conceded the games only goal in the 47th minute, as they shot 4/11 on target. They also owned 45% of the ball, as they completed 81% of their passes. Those were good for 377/468. Against the Nix, their sole goal came via an 89th minute Jair consolation strike. Whilst they conceded goals in the 18th, 30th and 78th minutes of the match. That day, they owned 47% of the ball, but shots just 3/16 on target! They also completed 84% of their passes. That good accuracy rate was at 391/468. And then in their efforts against W.U., they leaked goals in the 9th, 25th, 30th, 43rd, 61st and 89th minutes of the match. Their goals came from Harold in the 19th minute and then again via Stensness in the 45th minute.
City are currently 2nd on the ladder. But they’re 10 points of runaway leaders Sydney FC. But they are also virtually all but assured of a finals spot, as they sit 10 points ahead of 7th placed Adelaide (37 vs 27). They’ve won 11/21 matches and have a GD of +7. Last round at AAMI Park, they drew 1-1 with Western Sydney. Prior to that, they beat Perth 3-2 in Perth. And then in RD21, they toppled Brisbane 1-0 in Melbourne. Against the Red & Black, they conceded a goal in the 21st minute, but they evened things up just 9 minutes later via Maclaren’s 15th goal of the season. With 64% possession of the ball, Melbourne managed to shoot only 4/16 on target! They also completed 81% of their passes. That being good for 521/646. Against the Glory, they leaked goals in the 53rd and 65th minutes of the match. But they struck through Griffiths in the 24th min, Berenguer in the 30th min and Susaeta in the 34th min. They had 42% of the ball and shot 5/9 on target. They also successfully made 80% of their passes, good for 317/ 396. Then in RD21 vs the Roar, the only goal of the game was a 55th minute Young OG. Melbourne owned 46% of the ball that match and they shot 5/14 on target + they had 2 shots hit the woodwork. They also made 83% of their passes, good for 373/449.
Past History- City have won 9 of the past 18 games contested between them and the Mariners. And 2 of the past 4, have seen the Mariners claim the scalp of a win and a draw. The last encounter, played late last year, saw City eventually prevail 3 goals to 1. They scored via Good (17th min), Luna (59th min) and Griffiths (82nd min). While the Mariners had Murray score in the 89th minute of the match. City owned 52% of the ball and shot 9/23 on target. They also had a shot hit the woodwork. The Central Coast on the other hand had 48% of the ball, but went just 5/16 on target. That was at AAMI Park. Before that, was also at AAMI as well, in April of last year. there City routed them 5-0! Hairrson scored twice in the 35th and 55th minutes. McGree scored in the 42nd min, Vidosic in the 50th and Najjarine in the 92nd. With 58% of the ball, Melbourne went 6/11 on target. And with 42% of the ball, the Central Coast went just 2/8 on target. And before that, in January of 2019, the Mariners came away with a HUGE 2-1 win at Bluetongue Stadium. They scored via Pain in the 32nd minute and also through a rebounded in Simon strike (after he missed the initial spot-kick), in the 89th minute. City scored through Wales in the 77th minute. The Mariners owned 36% of the ball, shot 4/9 on target and had 1 come of the woodwork. As for City, they lost, despite owning 64% of the ball. They went a poor 4/21 on target!
Key Battle- Clisby vs Noone. Two completely different players. Yet something they both have in common is their genuine and strong ability to create good looks for their team mates. Clisby has 2 assists this year for a struggling Mariners team. And Noone has 4 for an on-fire City team. Clisby also has 13 shot assists in total. And he has made 391 accurate passes so far this campaign, good for 70%. For Noone, he has 53 shot assists. And he has completed 70% of his total attempted passes this season. Good for a grand total of 442 accurate passes. For Clisby, if he doesn’t play well or struggles in this one, then there’s no way the Central Coast take anything out of this one. Despite his position, they rely on him heavily due to their dearth of attacking options up-front. As for Noone, he’s lucky to play for a more talented side. But he’s still a crucial piece to the puzzle for City as they chase their maiden A-League GF win. This battle will be key in helping to shape the outcome of this encounter.
Betting tip: Pick City to win at $1.63 (UniBet)
Also pick them to score first at $1.44 (Bet365)
And back them to be the only team to score during the match at $2.30 (UniBet)
Saturday, March 21
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
7:30 PM AEDT, Bankwest Stadium
View a detailed form guide for Western Sydney v Sydney
Last Three Matches- The Wanderers are currently 8th on 25 points. They’re just 2 of 7th placed W.U. They have won 7/20 games and also have 4 draws next to their name as well. Winning is the name of the game for them at the moment, as they attempt to seal an unlikely finals berth. Last round they drew 1-1 with City at AAMI Park. Prior to that, they went down 3-1 to Brisbane at Suncorp. Then in RD21, they beat the Sky Blues 1 goal to nil at Jubilee Stadium. Last round it was Russell who opened the scoring for the away side in the 21st minute, before City scored 9 minutes later, in what were the only 2 goals of the game. The Wanderers with 36% of the ball, shot an impressive 4/6 on target. But they did however only complete 66% of their passes, good for 250/376. Against the Roar, it was Duke who scored in the 54th minute. But they also leaked goals in the 3rd, 37th and 72nd minutes of the match. They had just 34% possession of the ball that game and shot only 2/6 on target. An 81st minute Duke goal, a 92nd minute Georgievski red card and flares being set of at various points throughout the match were all various contributors (whether big or small), to the Wanderers upset victory over Sydney FC .Those latter 2 games, produced Duke’s 10th and 11th strikes of the campaign. With 33% of the ball, they shot 4/14 on target. And they had a shot hit the woodwork. They also completed 71% of their passes, which was good enough for 204/287.
For Sydney, they are all but guaranteed of winning this seasons Minor Premiership, They are on 47 points, 10 clear of 2nd placed City, with 2 games in hand. Out of 19 games so far, they’ve won 15, drawn 2 and lost only 2. Last round the suffered a rare 0-0 draw with the Glory at home, after a Brattan goal was ruled out via VAR. Prior to that, they smashed the Victory 4-1 at Marvel Stadium. And before that, they lost 1-0 to the Wanderers at Jubilee Stadium. Against the Glory, they shot just 4/13 on target, with 51% possession of the ball. They did however complete a strong 86% of their passes, which was good for 392/458. Against Melbourne, they conceded the opening goal in just the 5th minute of the match. But they struck back through Ninkovic (43rd min), Caceras (64th min), Le Fondre (66th min) and Barbarouses (87th min), as Hoogland saw red in the 85th minute. That was ‘Alfie’s’ 16th goal of the season, as he leads the A-League in goals scored this campaign. They had 55% of the ball and shot 5/15 on target. Their passes were good for an 84% completion rate. Good for 436/519. And against the Red & Balck, Georgievski saw red in the 92nd minute, but it was a little bit of a case of too little, too late for the Sky Blues. With 67% possession of the ball, they shot just 5/16 on target. They also made 88% of their passes. Something that was good for 516/588.
Past History- The Wanderers have won 2 of the past 3 Sydney Derbies. With the other being a draw. They have ended 1-0, 1-0 and 1-1. And they have been played at all of 3 different venues. Those being Jubilee Stadium, Bankwest Stadium and ANZ Stadium. Most recently in that win away from home, Duke scored in the 81st minute. He claimed the only goal in what was a fiery, controversial and closely contested encounter. This was evident through the flares set of at various points throughout the game and Georgievski’s late red card for a kick-to-the-face on Tilio. They won despite only owning 33% of the ball. They also shot 4/14 on target, with a shot bouncing of the woodwork. For Sydney, they had 67% possession, but went only 5/16 on target. Prior to that, it was also just a Duke strike that separated the two teams. He scored his in the 19th minute in this one, going for it a bit earlier in this encounter. The home-side somehow managed to get the impressive win, despite having just 33% ownage of the ball and shooting 2/10 on target throughout the duration of the match. As for Sydney, they owned 67% of the ball, went 4/21 on target + they had 2 shots hit the woodwork. And then in the 1-1 draw, which along with the 2nd 1-0 victory, was played last year, saw Brosque score first in the 7th minute of the match. Then exactly 50 minutes later, Baumjohann scored the equalizer against his future to be team. FC owned 52% of the ball, as they also shot 4/13 on target. The Wanderers had 48% of the ball, as they shot a much better 7/16 on target. They also had a shot hit the woodwork.
Key Battle- Duke up against Le Fondre. The Red & Black captain has 11 goals to his name this seson. And the former Bolton man, now repping Sydney, has 16 so far this A-League campaign. Both sides posses other options, besides these two men. But somehow these two lads, are the most crucial and the most critical to their sides respective offensive life-lines. Duke often helps out his side when they are seemingly devoid of options. It’s easier for Le Fondre, as he has the likes of Barbarouses, Ninkovic and Baumjohann backing him up on the regular. Duke also has 27 shot assists so far this campaign. And he’s scored 2/2 in his most recent meetings against Sydney. And for ‘Alife’, he’s got 26 shot assists so far. Both these men bleed their teams colors and are always passionate, yet poetic when out on the field. This should be an amazing battle, that heavily dictates which direction the game goes in. Duke won it last time. Will Le Fondre get his much awaited revenge this time around?
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $2.02 (BetEasy)
Also pick them to score the games 1st goal at $1.61 (Bet365)
And back both teams to score at least once at $1.62 (UniBet)
Perth Glory v Western United
9:45 PM AEDT, HBF Park
View a detailed form guide for Perth v Western United
Last Three Matches- On 31 points, the Glory currently sit in 4th place and just a mere 2 wins of 2nd placed Melbourne City. They’ve won 8 of their 20 games played so far this campaign + they’ve also got 5 draws next to their name. They’re on 31 points and have a GD of +13. The 2nd best of any side within the Top 6, outside of Sydney. Last round they battled away to a 0-0 draw with the Sky Blues in Sydney. Prior to that, they went down 3-2 to City at NIB Stadium. And then in RD21, they lost 2-1 to the Jets in Newcastle. Against Sydney, Perth were somewhat lucky to escape with the draw, as Brattan had a goal ruled out via VAR for the opposition. They had 49% of the ball, but they shot just 1/9 on target! They did however complete 86% of their passes. Something that was good for 386/451. Against City, they conceded goals in the 24th, 30th and 34th minutes of the match, in what was a simply disastrous 10 minute period for them in H1. But they came back fighting in H2, with goals to Chianese in the 63rd minute and then again to Fornaroli in the 65th minute. They had 58% possession of the ball throughout the match. They also shot 7/16 on target, as they had 2 shots hit the woodwork. And they made 85% of their passes, good for 449/530. And against Newcastle, they leaked goals in the 12th and 74th minutes of the match. Whilst their sole-goal came through Kilkenny in the 29th minute. Despite owning 47% of the ball, they shot just 3/11 on target. And they had a shot hit the woodwork as well. They completed 83% of their passes. which was good for 385/464.
W.U.currently sit just inside the Top 6 with a finals berth, on 27 points. They are just -1 point away from slipping outside of a finals spot, but ….. they are also just 5 points of the 4th placed Roar. They have won 8/20 games and also have 3 draws as well. Their GD is +6 and they are on 27 competition points. Last round they had a bye. Prior to that they smashed Adelaide 5-1 away from home. Before that it was 6-2, winning against the Central Coast at home and then in RD20, they went down 2-0 to Wellington in NZ. Against the Reds, Berisha scored twice in the 18th and 56th minutes. Diamanti (32nd min), Burgess (38th min) and Pain (48th min), also all got on the score-sheet as well. They won despite only having 38% of the ball during the game. They shot 7/13 on target and completed 67% of their passes. That was good for 231/343. Against the Central Coast, Burgess scored a hatty with goals in the 25th, 30th and 43rd minutes of the game. Berisha scored twice in the 9th and 89th minutes and Durante once in the 61st minute. The possession was split evenly at 50% all, as they shot 12/21 on target + had a shot bounce of the woodwork. They also completed 82% of their passes, good for 385/467. And against the Nix, the goals they conceded came in the 29th and 90th minutes of the match. They owned 45% of the ball and shot 2/5 on target. They also completed 84% of their passes. Something which was good for 366/437.
Past History- The only affair that these two sides ever contested, was played on October the 19th, 2019 at GMHBA Stadium. There they battled to a well-deserved 1-all draw. Kone struck first for the home side in the 49th minute, then Popovic evened things up under his Dad’s tutelage in the 76th minute. W.U. owned 46% of the ball. They also shot 5/11, with a shot coming of the woodwork. And they completed 81% of their passes, which was good for 380/468. As for the Glory, they owned 54% of the ball. They shot 6/11 on target. And they completed 86% of their passes, which was good enough for 462/540. W.U. had 59 long balls, 14 crosses and 2 corners. Perth had 32 long balls, 33 crosses and 4 corners. W.U. won 60 duels, 10 aerials, 26 tackles and 15 take-ons. The Glory on the other hand won 65 duels, 15 aerials, 21 tackles and 14 take-ons. Fouls-wise, W.U. gave up 16 during the game. + They had 2 yellows and 0 reds. For Perth, they leaked 10. And they also had just the 1 yellow and 0 reds.
Key Battle- Grant vs Skotadis. If you’d said who would win this game, just a couple of weeks ago, you would’ve more then likely said Perth. But now W.U. are hot and are on a damaging roll. So it males it difficult to say. And given both teams likeness for a goal or two, defence will be the name of the game here. Which is where these two not so reserved gentleman come into play. Grant has 4 yellow cards this season and Skodatis 5. They love a rusty challenge and that’ll be MASSIVE in this one. A bruising tackle or two will let the opposition know the flow of the game. Whilst in the event they scale it back a bit, their defensive tendencies should be quite good, as they help to attempt to get their side a W. Either way, regardless of what happens, this will be a fun, but also at times ugly, battle to watch.
Betting tip: Pick W.U. to be victorious at $4.90 (UniBet)
Pick both teams to score at $1.66 (Bet365)
And back Berisha to score any time at $2.72 (BetEasy)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Le Fondre to score any time against the Wanderers at $1.90 (BetEasy)
And also back Maclaren to score any time against the Mariners at $1.67 (BetEasy)
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