Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday March 25, 7:40pm
Melbourne Victory are clinging onto sixth spot having wasted the opportunity to go five points clear of Sydney when drawing 1-1 with the Newcastle Jets last week despite the Jets being reduced to 10 men for 50 mins.
Western Sydney also failed to capitalise on the opportunity to go three points clear at the top when their sustained pressure came to nothing in a goalless draw with Adelaide.
- Melbourne Victory’s last 6 matches (W1-D3-L2). They have failed to win their last 4 home matches.
- After starting the season scoring 15 goals in their first 6 home matches they have managed just four in five since. They have managed just 22 shots on goal in their last six (3.67 per match) against a season average of 3.9. 12 of those shots have been against worse than average defences in City and Central Coast.
- Victory’s shots on goal conversion rate is the worst in the league over the last 6 matches.
- Their defensive stats have remained relatively stable all season facing around 4 shots and conceding 1.5 goals both comparable with the league average.
- Western Sydney have split their last 6 matches (W2-D2-L2) and their last 12 (W4-D4-L4)
- Western Sydney have scored 27 of their 38 goals in the second half of matches and 16 of those in the final 15 minutes
- Western Sydney had been remarkably consistent in both their attacking and defensive stats all season however the last 6 has seen them slip against all key metrics for both.
Defensively I can accept the Wanderers recent under performance as we saw last week with their best team available they conceded 0 shots on goal to Adelaide. Both teams are really struggling in attack.
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory
Saturday March 26, 5:15pm
Newcastle have shown some fight of late and were unlucky not to beat Melbourne Victory despite playing the majority of the match with 10 men. Perth Glory are nipping at the heels of the top four and continued on their winning way at Wellington last week. Both teams lose key defensive personal for this match with Daniel Mullen suspended for Newcastle and Josh Risdon of Perth on international duty.
- Newcastle scored 11 of their 22 season goals in a six match sequence from rounds 15-20. Since then they have scored just two goals in four matches.
- Defensively Newcastle have improved conceding just 4.5 shots on target per match in their last 6 matches against an average of 5.5 for the season.
- In their last 10 matches the Jets have average 3.4 shots on goal per match whilst facing 5.2 shots on goal from their opponents
- Perth have scored in their last 16 matches after starting the season scoring in just four from eight.
- Perth have win five of their last six losing only away to Western Sydney
- Perth have averaged 7.1 shots on goal in their last 10 matches whilst facing 1.9 shots on goal from their opponents
Perth are arguably the best team in the competition at the moment. They will miss Josh Risdon but can be confidently backed to beat the Jets even away from home.
Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Saturday March 26, 7:30pm
Brisbane Roar slipped from the top of the table after going down to Melbourne City 3-1. They were well in the match until Jack Hingert conceded a penalty and was sent off in the same instance. They will miss Matt Mckay on international duty. Sydney FC led 2-0 with five minutes to play at Central Coast only to draw 2-2 leaving them 3 points out of the top 6.
- Brisbane’s home form has been the key to their success (W9-D2-L1) with the only blemish to an, at the time, rampant Adelaide.
- Brisbane have led at half time in six of their 12 home matches going on to win each match.
- Brisbane have conceded an average of 2.7 goals per match in the last six against an average of 1.5 over the season and have always been below average with around five shots faced per match.
- Sydney have picked up 15 of their 31 points on the road courtesy of three wins and six draws from their 12 matches. They have however not won in their last five away matches.
- Sydney have faced 4.2 shots on goal per match in the last six. Good when compared to the league average but poor when considering they were sub two shots faced per match early in the season.
- Sydney have managed just 2.5 shots on goal in their last 6 matches well below the league average and lower than their 3.75 season average.
Brisbane have one of the deepest squads in the competition. Still Matt Mckay is a big loss. It is for this reason I am not declaring them a 3-unit play, but they easily could be.