A-League Season 2017/18 – Finals Week 1

Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United

Saturday 22nd April 6:00pm – AAMI Park

Match Overview

The overall trend in single leg A-League knockout matches leans heavily to the home, higher ranked team. In 36 matches combining the Preliminary and Elimination finals in 90 mins the results have been Home 23 Draw 8 and Away 4. Of the 8 draws only 2 have gone the way of the away team.

In 8 clashes between 4th and 5th in A-League knockout matches there is a more even set of results. Home 4 Draw 1 and Away 3. The 1 Draw wen to the home team on penalties. Since the change to the new system there has been 5 matches between 4th and 5th and 5th has won 3 times.

Victory come into this having won 5 of their last 7 losing away to Sydney and Perth. Their results have certainly been trending strongly in the right direction, even if my notes on most matches suggest they remain far from where they were last year. Leroy George is the x-factor, keep him out of the match and Adelaide will like their chances.

Adelaide themselves have finished the season ok winning 3 of their last 4 including spoiling the Wanderers party last week. Their only loss in their last 4 was away to Sydney. For them Johan Absalonsen is the key. Since he has returned they have been able to play their best football. Of concern for them is their lack of a clinical finisher. They will be reliant on a strong defensive performance to underpin their counter attacking approach.

Key Statistics

  • Victory have won 6 of 14 home games losing 5 and drawing 3. 10 of 14 have been over 2.5 goals.
  • Offensively Victory at home have scored an average of 1.8 goals per match (3rd) from 13.1 (8th) total shots and 4.1 (7th) shots on target. Their home conversion rate of 43% of shots on target is ranked 1st.
  • Defensively Victory at home have conceded an average of 1.4 goals per match (7th) from 11.5 (6th) total shots and 3.6 (5th) shots on target.
  • Adelaide have won 6 of 14 away games losing 6 and drawing 2. 9 of 14 have been over 2.5 goals.
  • Offensively Adelaide away have scored an average of 1.1 goals per match (7th) from 13.4 (1st) total shots and 4.1 (5th) shots on target. Their away conversion rate of 28% of shots on target is ranked 9th.
  • Defensively Adelaide away have conceded an average of 1.6 goals per match (4th) from 11.4 (2nd) total shots and 4.4 (4th) shots on target.

Verdict

The market is reasonably accurate. Adelaide have all the tools to cause an upset and albeit from a small sample we can see that the 5th placed team should have nothing to fear. I think Adelaide offer the value.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Victory up to 2.1 for a risk of 2 units.

Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar

Friday 20th April 7:50pm – AAMI Park

Match Overview

The overall trend in single leg A-League knockout matches leans heavily to the home, higher ranked team. In 36 matches combining the Preliminary and Elimination finals in 90 mins the results have been Home 23 Draw 8 and Away 4. Of the 8 draws only 2 have gone the way of the away team.

In 8 clashes between 3rd and 6th in A-League knockout matches 6th has yet to win in 90 minutes. 3rd has won 5 times and there have been 3 draws, of which 3rd has progressed twice making it 7 of 8 for the highest ranked team.

City had nothing to play for and understandably went down to Wellington last week, albeit they still played reasonably well. They had won 3 in a row prior over Central Coast, Newcastle and Western Sydney, so whilst the form had lifted the strength of the opponents is questionable. What can’t be questioned is the fact that in Bruno Fornaroli they have the most dangerous player on the field paired with a tight defence, particularly at home.

Brisbane have won 7 of their last 11 to come from last to eventually qualify for the finals series. They went to Perth and got the result necessary to clinch 6th place. They have a team full of experience and the high stakes will not be of any concern.

Key Statistics

  • City have won 7 of 14 home games losing 5 and drawing 2. 7 of 14 have been over 2.5 goals.
  • Offensively City at home have scored an average of 1.4 goals per match (7th) from 13.4 (6th) total shots and 5.1 (4th) shots on target. Their home conversion rate of 28% of shots on target is ranked 9th.
  • Defensively City at home have conceded an average of 1.1 goals per match (2nd) from 9.4 (2nd) total shots and 3.1 (2nd) shots on target.
  • Brisbane have won 6 of 13 away games losing 4 and drawing 3. 9 of 13 have been over 2.5 goals.
  • Offensively Brisbane away have scored an average of 1.5 goals per match (4th) from 10.7 (8th) total shots and 3.8 (6th) shots on target. Their away conversion rate of 40% of shots on target is ranked 3rd.
  • Defensively Brisbane away have conceded an average of 1.6 goals per match (5th) from 15.2 (8th) total shots and 4.1 (2nd) shots on target.

Verdict

It’s a tight contest but even on their good recent run the Roar have been giving up far too many chances to their opponents. Added to the history of 6th placed teams in finals and it is City who provide the value.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne City at 1.7+ for 2 units


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