Sydney v Melbourne City

Friday 15 December 7:50pm – Allianz Stadium

Match Overview

Sydney put on an exhibition last week smashing Western Sydney 5-0. They were at times unplayable and scarily for the competition they regain Milos Ninkovic to the squad for this round. They are becoming unstoppable with their only loss in 10 rounds the unexpected 0-2 defeat to the Central Coast.

After parting company with Tim Cahill last week City eased to a 1-0 win over the Central Coast with their sturdy defence looking back to their early season form. They will certainly need to improve on their performance at home to Sydney earlier in the season when the went down at home 0-1 and barely got out of their own half.

Key Statistics

  • Sydney are unbeaten in their last 18 home matches winning 14.
  • Sydney had just 5 from 13 over 2.5 matches at home last season they are 4 from 5 this season.
  • At home Sydney average 6.6 shots on target per match (ranked 2nd) and convert at 36% (3rd)
  • City have won 3 of 4 away matches
  • City have had 3 of 4 away matches this season go over 2.5 goals and 10 of 14 last season.

Verdict

Sydney could be excused for having a let down after such an emphatic win last week, however this is an area that Graham Arnold will not stand for. They will win and I expect a reasonably open match.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 goals for 2 units at $1.80+ (max bet 3 units)

 BACK – Sydney at -0.75 on the Asian Handicap market at for 1 unit at $1.80+

Newcastle v Adelaide

Saturday 16 December 5:35pm – Hunter Stadium

Match Overview

Newcastle committed grand larceny in Perth last week after trailing 0-1 in the 87th minute they scored in the 88th and were handed an own goal in the 92nd minute to win 2-1. (obviously a result cheered by readers!). They have been struck down by the loss of striker Roy O’Donovan in training this week however they are a determined team under Ernie Merrick and will be keen to put that aside.

Adelaide were good against a very poor Victory team winning 2-1 at Etihad. Unfortunately for them they finished with 9 men and now must do without both Ben Garuccio and Daniel Adlung for the match.

Key Statistics

  • Newcastle are ranked 1st in total shots and shots on target for home teams this season with 18.2 and 7.2 respectively.
  • Newcastle have had 4 of 5 home matches go over 2.5 goals and 7 of 13 last season
  • Newcastle have converted their Total Shots at 12% (3rd) and Shots on Target at 31% (6th)
  • Adelaide are ranked 1st in total shots (17.8 per match) and 2nd for shots on target (4.8) for away teams this season
  • Adelaide have had 3 of 5 away matches go over 2.5 goal and 7 of 13 last season
  • Adelaide have converted just 8% of total shots (9th) and 29% of shots on target (9th).

Verdict

Both these teams have been a little profligate in their finishing this season, but one thing is for sure this will be an open match. I expect the Jets to nick it but am more confident in a few goals

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 goals for 2 units at $1.70+

 BACK – Newcastle to win for 1 unit at $1.80+

Central Coast v Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday 16 December 7:50pm – Central Coast Stadium

Match Overview

Central Coast were a little stunted by City away last week eventually going down 0-1. They were certainly not out of the match but struggled to break down a resilient defence and will appreciate the return to Gosford.

Western Sydney had a good 15 minutes spell part way through the first half v Sydney last week but aside from that they were diabolical for most of the rest of the match losing 0-5 at home. Coach Josep Gombau made a host of changes last week that seemed to back fire. The question is now what does he do this week. He went through a similar situation when he arrived at Adelaide going winless in 8 before turning them around to win the championship so there is hope for Wanderers fans but with little by way of home ground intimidation and a restless supporter base they do appear to be at a low ebb.

Worth noting Central Coast led them twice when they met at Homebush earlier in the season and dominated on all statistical markers.

Key Statistics

  • Central Coast have won 2 of 5 home matches (including a win over Sydney) and lead in each of the other 3 matches.
  • Central Coast have averaged 57% of possession in all matches ranked 1st
  • Central Coast have averaged 372 passes per goal (9th)
  • Western Sydney have drawn 4 of their 5 away matches losing the other match
  • Western Sydney have averaged 54% of possession in all matches ranked 2nd
  • Western Sydney have averaged 480 passes per goal (10th)

Verdict

Subjectively more than objectively I see Western Sydney as false favourites in this match. From the result betting perspective, I worry that they will cancel each other out but from a total goal perspective I think this lends itself to a low goal count.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 2.5 goals at $2.00+ for 1.5 units

 BACK – Central Coast at 0 in the Asian handicap market (or in the Draw no bet market) at $1.80+ for 1.5 units


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