The A-League Analyst: Week 22 Preview

 bruno fornaroli

Melbourne City v Sydney FC

Saturday March 5, 7:30pm

Match Odds

 

Melbourne City lost at Wellington 2-1 last week though they certainly aren’t the first team to come back from a very windy Wellington with their tail between their legs. Their form reads very inconsistently with their last six matches reading WLWLWL, their three away losses were all away from home but still a disappointing return for a supposed title contender.

Sydney’s last six has been even more disappointing LLDLDD. Their fixture draw has been tough with each opponent in the top 6 and they have fought bravely coming from behind in each of those three draws. They performed very well in the ACL midweek beating the defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

City’s underlying stats have remained reasonably consistent all season their last six v last season highlighted in the table below

 

Factor (per match) Last 6 Overall Variance (+ improving)
Goals For 2.33 2.4 -0.07
Shots on Goal 6.3 5.8 +0.5
Shots on Goal conversion 29% 37% -8%
Goals Conceded 2 1.8 -0.2
Shots Faced 4.8 6.1 +1.3
Points Per Game 1.5 1.5 0

 

Using the same factors and considering Sydney’s season they have been quite poor in their last six matches

Factor (per match) Last 6 Overall Variance (+ improving)
Goals For 1 1.3 -0.3
Shots on Goal 3.3 3.9 -0.6
Shots on Goal Conversion 15% 25% -10
Goals Conceded 1.7 1.1 -0.6
Shots Faced 4.2 2.8 -1.4
Points per Game 0.5 1.4 -0.9

 

Whilst the last six matches in only a snapshot of a season it is clear that Sydney need to improve rapidly and they must do that this week without three of their first choice four defenders (Seb Ryall, Jaques Faty, Rhyan Grant) all suspended and attacking duo (David Carney – Suspended and Alex Brosque – injured).

What’s more it is their fifth match in 14 days and whilst Graeme Arnold has been able to rotate the squad well they team has to be somewhat jaded despite the good result midweek.

 

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Melbourne City at 1.8+ for 2.5 units

They are heart attack material but with a fully fit squad and the return of Harry Novillo I expect a comfortable victory for City.

 

 besart berisha

Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory

Sunday March 6, 5:00pm

Match Odds

 

Central Coast lost at home to the Newcastle Jets last week for only the second time in their history so it is safe to say their season has reached its nadir and the only way is up in a season that has produced just the three wins.

Melbourne Victory like Sydney have had to contend with the ACL and are playing their fifth match in 16 days. Coach Kevin Muscat has rotated his squad and has the luxury of Gui Finkler and Fahid Ben Khalfallah concentrating on the A-League alone. Kosta Barbarouses is out suspended in this match and they certainly missed him in their 1-0 loss to Adelaide two weeks ago.

The Mariners have struggled to create chances of late with just 2.5 shots on goal per match in their last six but have managed to convert 47%. They regain three highly important players for this match with Jacob Poscoliero, Fabio Ferriera and Roy O’Donovan all back from suspension. They do lose captain Nick Montgomery however he has been far from his best in recent weeks.

The Victory have a reasonably good conversion rate of 26% from shots on goal but have struggled for chances of late with just 3.8 shots on goal per match resulting in just six open play goals in their last six matches (including one own goal). Oli Bozanic is also in doubt for this match suffering a head knock midweek against Gamba Osaka in Japan.

 

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Central Coast at 5.5+ for 1 unit

Speculate on the Mariners to shock the Victory, particularly if Bozanic misses out. If I’m in a position to I will certainly lay back at around the 65th minute mark.

 

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