Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
Friday November 20, 8pm
Brisbane moved to the top of the table beating Perth last week 1-0 and whilst it took them quite some time to finish Perth off they were very comfortable. City on the other hand capitulated to the Wanderers 3-0 at home with Coach John van’t Schip suggesting it was their worst loss under his leadership and it was hard to argue with the Dutchmen.
The Roar have been consistent all year on the back of dominating possession (average 55% this season) scoring 11 goals at a league high conversion rate of 22% (goals to total shots excluding blocked shots) and 44% goals from shots on target. City have been quite strong in attack also with 12 goals and conversion rates of 20% and 39% respectively.
It is in defence that the teams are miles apart.
The Roar have conceded a league low of only 5 goals from 24 shots faced (4th best). Digging even deeper we see that they have not conceded in their last 3 matches and faced only 9 shots on goal in those 3 matches which suggests an improving defence.
City on the other hand have conceded 13 goals, failed to keep a clean sheet and conceded 3 goals in 3 out of 6 matches. This can largely be put down to the fact they have been missing key personnel and with Ivan Franjic a potential to return they may improve however they have only one central defender fit which has been their Achilles heel.
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
Saturday November 21, 7.30
Perth Glory held firm for 60 minutes against Brisbane last weekend and whilst they had a few chances on the counter they never looked likely to win. They face Sydney FC at home this weekend desperate for a win.
The Sky Blues were actually very good in their loss against the Victory at home and looked more impressive going forward particularly down the flanks with Alex Gersbach and Rhyan Grant
Statistically, Perth are really struggling ranking nearer the bottom of the league in most key metrics (Goals For, Total shots, Shots on target, passing accuracy). Their only win of the season came against Adelaide when they had a paltry 31% possession at home but managed to score from 3 of their 4 shots on goal. They can also carry some confidence in the fact that they have scored in 15 of their last 16 home matches.
Up until their 4-2 loss last week, Sydney matches have been very tight, mostly defensive affairs. Their defence was the bedrock of their previously undefeated start. On face value conceding 4 goals looks terrible however they didn’t do a lot wrong and Perth certainly don’t have the firepower of the Victory.
They managed to score greater than 1 goal for only the second time this season and will be looking to improve their conversion rates from 15% (goals from total shots) and 28% (goals from shots on target). Coach Graham Arnold commented post-match that he was happy with their improved attacking threat and I have to agree with that train of thought. Sydney do have to manage without Jacques Faty in central defence but Perth have their own problems in that area also.
Sydney have won their last 10 regular season away matches and can be taken to win again for 2 units at 2.0+. Sydney are likely to be a little leg weary following last weeks Big Blue, as we saw Melbourne Victory were against the Mariners. Therefore hopefully they are in front at 75 mins at which time I recommend a lay bet for at least 50% of your stake.