A-League Match Preview: 31 Dec – 3 Jan Posted on December 31, 2015January 4, 2016 | Posted by Clint Vojdinoski Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix Thursday December 31, 4pm, Central Coast Stadium To ring in 2016 is the annual match on the Central Coast, with the Mariners hosting Wellington Phoenix. Central Coast’s desperate season showed no signs of slowing down as they crashed to their sixth straight loss away to Sydney. Unable to contain Sydney captain Alex Brosque, the Mariners were 3-0 down and lost goalkeeper Paul Izzo to a red card in a miserable opening 30 minutes. Harry Ascroft pulled a goal back before halftime but this match highlighted how easily the Mariners can be outmuscled against skilful opponents. Wellington’s inconsistent season continued with a 3-0 hammering away at Adelaide United. Adelaide took the lead in the 42nd minute when Wellington’s Manny Muscat put through his own net. Wellington’s task was made harder when Albert Riera received a second yellow for fouling James Jeggo, with Craig Goodwin and Michael Marrone then securing victory for Adelaide. Prediction Some inconsistent performances in December has seen the Phoenix looking over their shoulders with Adelaide United and Perth Glory ready to pounce and displace them from the top six. An inexperienced Central Coast are struggling to maintain the defensive solidity required to trouble opponents. Wellington to win, and that is paying $2.30. Suggested Bets Match Result – Wellington Phoenix Over 2.5 Goals Western Sydney Wanderers v Adelaide United Friday January 1, 4.40pm, Parramatta Stadium Kicking off the new year is two of the in-form sides in Western Sydney and Adelaide United. On Christmas Eve, Western Sydney Wanderers dispatched Newcastle Jets 2-0. An unmarked Alberto Aguilar gave the Wanderers the lead after he headed in from Scott Jamieson’s cross. The game was sealed 20 minutes from time when former Jets player Mark Bridge scored for the fifth match in a row. The win means Tony Popovic’s men have been unbeaten since the start of November. Adelaide United extended their unbeaten run to four with a comprehensive 3-0 triumph over the Wellington Phoenix. The Reds took the lead through a Manny Muscat own goal just before halftime and added two more in the final 20 minutes through Craig Goodwin, in the 73rd minute, and Michael Marrone, who scored two minutes later, to push the Reds up to seventh. Prediction Adelaide have only conceded once during their unbeaten run and with the current upturn in form of Marcelo Carrusca and Cirio the Reds are suddenly difficult to match up against. The Wanderers though are the form club of the league and are hard to go past here. Suggested Bets Match Result – Western Sydney Wanderers Over 2.5 Goals Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory Saturday January 2, 2.15pm, Suncorp Stadium Brisbane Roar will look to keep pace with the Wanderers when they welcome Perth Glory. Last time out, Brisbane Roar closed the gap on the league leading Wanderers to two points with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Melbourne City. Roar opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Shane Stefanutto’s cross was turned into the net by Melbourne City captain Patrick Kisnorbo. Five minutes before halftime Brandon Borrello doubled the lead with his first goal in nearly two months. Henrique sealed the victory just seconds from full time with a 45 metre shot into an empty net to extend the Roar’s winning streak to three matches. Perth Glory’s mini resurgence continued with a well deserved point away at champions Melbourne Victory. After conceding a soft first half penalty, Glory withstood some decent Victory pressure to equalise 15 minutes from time with a penalty of their own, coolly slotted by Diego Castro to ensure the spoils were shared in a gripping contest. Prediction The problem for Perth Glory is if they give up as much possession to the Roar as they did against the Victory then they are going to have some problems. Brisbane’s midfielders have the passing and distribution range to rattle the Glory. Glory have not beaten the Roar in Brisbane since 2012 and that trend will continue. Brisbane to take the points. Suggested Bets Match Result – Brisbane Roar 2.5 Goals Melbourne City v Sydney FC Saturday January 2, 4.30pm, AAMI Park It is third versus fourth when Melbourne City hosts Sydney FC. City fell to their first defeat since November 13, snapping a five game unbeaten run, when they went down 3-1 away to Brisbane Roar. A poor first half which included a Patrick Kisnorbo own goal saw City 2-0 down at the break. Ultimately, City lost the match in the middle of the park with Roar midfielders Corona and Thomas Broich winning the midfield battle. Sydney FC ended 2015 on a resounding note by thrashing rock bottom Central Coast Mariners 4-1. Alex Brosque starred for the Sky Blues with a double inside 25 minutes and were then in cruise control when Mickael Tavares converted a penalty after Mariners keeper Paul Izzo was sent off to go 3-0 up. Central Coast midfielder Jake McGing’s late own goal restored Sydney’s three-goal cushion. Prediction The best attack versus the tightest defence. Matches like this are won in midfield, especially by those who will distribute the ball more efficiently, create the most chances for their forwards or win the most tackles. Can the Sky Blues control Aaron Mooy or will City stop Filip Holosko? Both sides to cancel each other out in a quality encounter. Suggested Bets Match Result – Draw Under 2.5 Goals Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory Sunday January 3, 2pm, Hunter Stadium Out of form Newcastle Jets round off week 13 of the A-League against Melbourne Victory. The Jets conceded either side of halftime to go down 2-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers. The Jets saw less than 40 percent possession and even more dispiriting they rarely troubled the Wanderers defence. The result means things look bleak for Scott Miller’s Jets, who are winless in nine matches and have failed to score in their last four. Melbourne Victory drew 1-1 at home to Perth Glory to extend their winless run to five matches. Victory took a 1-0 lead to the break as Besart Berisha won, and then converted, a dubious penalty midway through the first half. Kevin Muscat’s men had 63 percent possession, moved the ball better than the Glory and had chances to extend their lead before conceding a penalty 15 minutes from time. Prediction The Victory have of course been going through a rough patch but they have not stopped pushing forward and creating chances with intent. Defensively, the Victory have been off the boil but they will snap their winless run against a very poor Newcastle side. Suggested Bets Match Result – Melbourne Victory Over 2.5 Goals Bet Now!