Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Friday March 18, 7:40pm
Both these teams come into this match off the back of strong wins. Melbourne City went to Adelaide and halted the hosts 14 match unbeaten streak winning 1-0, whilst Brisbane Roar smashed Melbourne Victory 5-0 at home. City trail league leaders Brisbane by just three points so a win here will catapult them into serious Premiers Plate contenders. Bruno Fornaroli (20 goals) and Jamie Maclaren (17 goals) go head to head in a battle to secure the Golden Boot.
- At home City have won six of their nine matches (excluding matches v Victory) and led at half time in six of nine.
- City have kept two clean sheets succession after managing just one in their first 21 matches.
- City have faced an average of 4.2 shots per match in their last six matches an improvement against their season average of 6.
- City have scored 1.5 open play goals (excluding penalties and own goals) per match in their last 6 against a season average of 2.2.
- Brisbane have an overall away record W3-D3-L5.
- Against other Top Six sides Brisbane are W1-D0-L4 with their only win a fortuitous at Western Sydney in Round 1.
- Brisbane have scored 2.2 open play goals per match (+3 pen and 1 own goal) in the last six against their season average of 1.7 at a steady conversion rate of 32%
- Brisbane are have conceded 2.2 goals per match in their last six against a season average of 1.5.
A near fully fit City can take advantage of their home surrounds against the travel-phobic Roar.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Adelaide United
Saturday March 19, 7:30pm
Another top of the table clash with second-placed Western Sydney just two points ahead of Adelaide United in third. Western Sydney eased to a comfortable if tight 1-0 win at Newcastle last week. They gave up six shots on goal and wasted a number of chances themselves which is not an unusual trait of Wanderers teams against inferior opposition. Adelaide had their 14 match unbeaten streak come to a thunderous halt falling to City 1-0 at Hindmarsh in a subdued performance.
- The Wanderers have a good home record (W7-D1-L3) but they have lost two of their last four at home to Wellington and Sydney.
- Their attacking statistics have remained reasonably stable all season and had them ranked between third and fifth on a consistent basis.
- Defensively the Wanderers have faced 5.2 shots per match in their last six against 3.8 for the season and conceded 1.8 goals per match including two penalties in their last six against a season average of 1.4.
- Adelaide have won their last five away matches and are undefeated in seven road trips.
- Adelaide’s attacking output has decreased in their last six matches having 8.3 total shots and 4.7 on target against their season average of 10.3 and 5.2 respectively.
- United’s shots on goal conversion of 46% in the last six is superior to both their season average of 26% and the league average of 29%
- Adelaide are ranked first in the league for clean sheets (10).
Adelaide badly missed Tarek Elrich last week and in a tight match their conversion rate likely won’t be maintained.
Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory
Sunday March 20, 3:00pm
Wellington won in Sydney last week their second upset in that town in their last three away matches. Perth continued their fine form thumping Central Coast 4-0 and increasing their break on seventh-placed Sydney to four points to just about cement their place in the Top Six.
- Wellington have won three and lost three of their last six matches and won two and lost two since the news of their license extension was announced.
- Defensively they have conceded on average two goals per match all season from a consistent five shots faced.
- In attack Wellington have improved greatly of late scoring at 1.8 goals per match (+1pen) in their last six against an average of 1.3 overall. This on the back of a conversion rate of 46% against a season average of 31%
- Perth have allowed just an average of two shots on goal per match in their last nine matches, of which they have lost just the once. They have not allowed a single shot on goal in their last 180 minutes albeit against the Mariners and the Jets.
- Perth have scored 1.8 open play goals per match in their last six rising to 2.8 if you include the 4 penalties they have received in that time.
- Perth have outshot their opponents in each of the last nine matches except for the 1-0 win in Wellington.
Perth are red hot however they really struggled in Wellington in Round 18 and conditions are looking less than favourable. If Wellington had managed to win half their matches all season they would have been in a race for the championship not a fluky chance to make the six. Lay the Glory in what I’m expecting to be a tight match.