Soccer Preview

A-League Match Preview: January 8 – 10

Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory

Friday January 8, 4.40pm, Simonds Stadium

Round 14 of the A-League kicks off in Geelong with Central Coast playing Melbourne Victory.

On the last day of 2015 goals to Fabio Ferreira, Mitch Austin and Mickey Neill helped Central Coast bag their first win since the opening week with an impressive 3-1 win over a poor Wellington Phoenix. Two goals in the space of four minutes to Ferreira and Austin plus a maiden A-League goal in the second half to Neill were enough to help the Mariners put an end to a dreadful run of 11 matches without a win.

Melbourne Victory grinded out a 1-0 triumph away at Newcastle to end their five game winless run. A tepid match was decided by a moment of quality when Fahid Ben Khalfallah grabbed his first goal of the season after a neat set-up by Kosta Barbarouses. It was Victory’s first win at Hunter Stadium in more than six years and their first clean sheet in their last nine games.


Last time out, it took Victory 71 minutes to breakdown a poor Jets side, therefore for the Mariners to have any chance they have to be aggressive in midfield and defence by winning their tackles, closing up passing channels and forcing Victory’s impressive attackers into errors. Having said that, it is a tall order for an inexperienced Mariners team to pull it off against a technically superior Victory.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Melbourne Victory

Over 2.5 Goals

Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets

Saturday January 9, 2.15pm, Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets open up the first of the A-League’s Saturday triple-header.

Milos Ninkovic’s double helped Sydney FC twice come from behind in a fascinating 2-2 draw away at Melbourne City. The Sky Blues, who have been curiously subdued in attack for much of the season, played a higher defensive line, dominated possession as well as attacked City’s goal with six shots on target. Sydney could have snatched all three points when Shane Smeltz fired a gilt edged chance over the bar from six yards in injury time.

Newcastle Jets are still in freefall after going down 1-0 at home to Melbourne Victory. On 71 minutes the Jets were undone by a swift Victory counterattack to decide a poor match characterised by a lot of fouls. Newcastle’s biggest issue came to the fore again and that is their lack of attacking impetus. They have failed to score in five matches and have set a new club record going 469 minutes without a goal.


The Jets’ winless run has of course been characterised by their awful attacking form. Nine goals in 13 matches suggests that they lack imagination and confidence in front of goal and there are no signs that will change.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Sydney FC

Under 2.5 Goals

Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday January 9, 4.30pm, AAMI Park

Melbourne City will be looking to close the gap on the second placed Wanderers when they meet at AAMI Park.

An injury-hit Melbourne City were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Sydney FC. Without key trio Aaron Mooy, Ivan Franjic and Erik Paartalu, City were on the back foot before taking a 1-0 lead eight minutes before halftime thanks to Aaron Hughes’ first A-League goal. A second half double to Sydney playmaker Milos Ninkovic, either side of Bruno Fornaroli’s header, ensured the points were shared.

While Western Sydney were held to a goalless draw at home to Adelaide on New Year’s Day. Tony Popovic’s team kept possession well, looked to play at pace and carved out a flurry of chances with striker Federico Piovaccari having what looked a good goal disallowed in the first half. The Wanderers have now gone 10 games without defeat.


While City can grind out a result, they are very prone in defence, thus the reason for the pursuit of Adelaide defender Osama Malik. City will also be boosted by the return of talisman Aaron Mooy which should keep the Wanderers’ defence pinned deeper. Look for a draw at $3.45.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Draw

2.5 Goals

Perth Glory v Adelaide United

Saturday January 9, 6.40pm, nib Stadium

Perth Glory faces a tricky test to stay in touch with the top six when they face an in-form Adelaide United who are unbeaten in five matches.

Perth Glory slipped to a 2-1 defeat against the Brisbane Roar. Goalless at halftime, the Roar’s Jamie Maclaren opened the scoring against his former club, and Henrique fired home a brilliant second on the turn just nine minutes later. Substitute Hagi Gligor smartly halved the deficit with 20 minutes left to play but will rue their late missed opportunities especially when Josh Risdon passed up a one-on-one chance close to full time.

While Adelaide United are one of the form clubs of the A-League after their solid 0-0 draw at Western Sydney. Another strong defensive performance from the Reds saw them match their more fancied opponents. Their best chance was Craig Goodwin’s header forcing a fine save from Wanderers keeper Andrew Redmayne.


Adelaide’s defensive woes are in the past right now and that solidity has seen them become a dangerous outfit. While the Glory can be accused of being too reactive and prone to being overrun in midfield which the Reds have to exploit. Overall, look for a draw in this match.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Draw

Under 2.5 Goals

Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar

Sunday January 10, 2pm, Westpac Stadium

Winless in four, a frustratingly inconsistent Wellington Phoenix take on league leaders Brisbane Roar.

Wellington Phoenix put in a woeful performance in their 3-1 loss at Central Coast to lose their seventh straight away clash. Errors from Nix defenders Manny Muscat and Andrew Durante directly resulted in two goals. Tellingly, Wellington had a lot of possession but lacked any penetration against a Mariners team who were defensively committed.

Brisbane Roar moved back to the top of the A-League after a 2-1 win over Perth Glory. Goals from Jamie Maclaren and Henrique put the Roar 2-0 up on the hour mark. Despite dominating with 70 percent possession it was a nervy finish for the Roar and they had their goalkeeper Jamie Young to thank as he pulled off a slew of good saves to deny Glory an equaliser in the final quarter of an hour.


A win apiece between the two clubs so far this season but both clubs’ form at the moment could not be any more different, Roar have won four straight while the Nix are struggling to stay in the top six. Wellington are struggling with injuries and with forward Roy Krishna out with an ankle injury, Ernie Merrick’s team have lost another creative spark.

Suggested Bets

Match Result – Brisbane Roar

Over 2.5 Goals

Bet Now