Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Thursday December 24, 7:00pm
Western Sydney Wanderers returned from Perth with just a point in a match they dominated pretty well from start to finish. Coach Tony Popovic chose the match to give some of his fringe players a hit out and after a shocking early goalkeeping error gave up a penalty he claimed to be quite pleased with the point. I for one certainly wasn’t!
Newcastle Jets welcomed back captain Nigel Boogaard and kept their 3rd clean sheet of the season in a tame 0-0 draw with Adelaide.
The Wanderers rank second to Sydney but well clear of the pack on all key defensive stats conceding on average one goal per match from 2.9 shots on target and have managed four clean sheets. In attack overall they are right on average at 4.4 shots per match on target but that rises closer to six on target in home matches. Their conversion of shots on goal is also above average at 35%.
The Jets on the other hand have created just 21 shots on goal in 11 matches against a league average of 45. They have faced 62 shots on target in their 11 matches “bettered” only by the Mariners at 64. So it is quite amazing they have managed three clean sheets, to put that in perspective title rivals City and Victory have only managed one and two clean sheets respectively.
The market on the match therefore looks pretty right with the home team at around 1.42 although the Jets have managed two wins on the road at Wellington and City however I still think there is a nice edge in one of the markets.
Both teams have consistently been level at Half Time in their matches. Western Sydney in eight of 11 and Newcastle in nine of 11. Western Sydney have also scored 50% of their 18 goals in the 75th minute or later.
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
Sunday December 27, 5pm
Melbourne Victory are coming off four straight losses including a 1-0 reverse at Perth last Wednesday. That was their poorest performance of the season with zero shots on goal despite having 71% of possession. They then turned in arguably their best performance of the season but still lost to City in the derby last week.
Perth Glory on the other hand picked up another creditable draw against the Wanderers to end the week with seven of a possible nine points from three home matches in six days.
Against City, the Victory amassed 23 shots of which 13 were on target, not bad considering their averages prior to the match were 12.3 and 4.2 in their 10 matches prior. To put that into further positive perspective they had managed just 13 shots on target in their previous four matches prior to the Derby. The question now is will they revert to mean or will the momentum gathered, albeit in a loss, carry forward. Victory have won 4/4 at home this season and have been notable fast starters leading all four at the break.
Perth have averaged just 40% of possession this season but have been reasonable in defence with just above the average for shots faced on target at 4.5 per match overall. However this is skewed positively by their home record of just 2.5 per match. In their 5 away matches they have conceded on average 5.8 shots on goal on the way to losing all 5. They have been behind in three of those five matches at half time and have conceded in the first 10 minutes in 4 of their 11 matches.
I doubt Melbourne Victory will suffer any Derby hangover and can be backed via the Home/Home option in the half full double at 1.90+ for 1.5 units.