Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
Friday February 26, 7:40pm
Western Sydney picked up a tough-earned point away to Sydney FC in a typical high-tempo, full-blooded Derby last week. They managed to regain top on Goal Difference last week after this week’s opponents Perth belted Brisbane Roar 6-3 on the way to their 5th win in succession.
The Wanderers went 7-1-2 (WDL) in the first 10 rounds including a run of 7 straight victories after a slightly scratchy first few weeks, their last 10 they have been 3-4-3. In attack they have scored 16 (1st 10 matches) and 17 (2nd 10 matches) and managed to create an extra chance on goal per match (5.6 to 4.4) in the last 10. However their defence has trended poorly with only 8 conceded (1st 10) against 18 (2nd 10). On a positive for the Wanderers they get Alberto back this week and as such have their three Spanish imports available for this match.
Taking a similar approach to breaking the season into two halves of 10 matches Perth have shown heavy improvement having been 3-1-6 (1st 10) they have been 5-3-2 (2nd 10) if we extend that to their last 12 matches they are have picked up 24 of a possible 36 points. Their attack has led the way scoring 25 of their 35 season goals in their last 10 matches including 2 hauls of 6 goals whilst conceding at around the same rate 17 (2nd 10) to 15 (1st 10). They have faced on average 4.6 shots per match in the second half of the season and removing the 14 of those that came against Adelaide in one match that rate drops to 3.4 per match.
Whilst I don’t expect it to be an easy match I have to stick with Perth at the big value.
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar
Saturday February 27, 5:15pm
Adelaide picked up another win over the Victory last week to move to their highest position (third) and just two points off the lead. Quite remarkable when you consider they were last as recent as Round 8.
Brisbane were on the end of a hiding from Perth 3-6 despite leading on two occasions in the first half in a quite remarkable match.
Adelaide are 10-2-0 in their last 12 matches after starting the season 0-3-5 from their first 8 matches. They have improved in both attack and defence. Their shots on goal have leaped from four per match to six per match and their conversion rate of these shots from an extremely poor 12.5% to 30% resulting in a doubling of their goal count from 10 to 20. Defensively they still managed three clean sheets in their opening 10 matches despite not playing well. They have increased this to five clean sheets in their last 10 and the shots faced has dropped from 4.2 per match down to 3.3 and conceded just seven goals half that of the next best in the league.
Brisbane have yet to be below fourth this season however a loss here combined with a win for Melbourne City will see them fall back to the pack and at risk of securing the very important top-two birth. Their season has been very consistent from a results point of view. Their 10 wins five draws and five losses have been split equally between their two halves of the season. They’ve been slightly more attack minded with their average shots on goal rising from 4 to 5.4 per match and their goals scored from 16 to 19. Their defence however has been underperforming with the shots they have faced rising from 3.8 per match to 5.5 and conceding 20 goals to nine. The sequence of goals conceded in their last six matches doesn’t make for pretty reading (6,2,0,1,4,4).