Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets
Friday December 4, 7:40pm
Sydney FC again failed to trouble the scorers last week in another match where they looked very safe at the back but impotent in attack. Alex Brosque was unlucky to find the back of the net, hitting the post however they just keep finding ways not to score. They have failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches (all ending 0-0). They rank equal 6th for goals scored from open play (subtracting own goals and penalties) with 8 in 8. It gets worse as they have failed to score in 7 of their last 17 home matches and have a conversion rate of only 25% of shots on goal this season (8th ranked).
Newcastle have also scored 8 open goals from open play however at an amazing rate of 53%, far and away the best in the league. They have also failed to score twice this season. One of those being against Sydney when they failed to register a shot on target. Defensively, the Jets have ridden their luck conceding an average of 5.75 shots on goal per match which is the worst in the league and continue to rely heavily on Mark Birighitti to keep them in matches.
As noted, these teams met in round 2. Sydney bossed the game that night but scored a late winner from a corner after registering 18 shots and 7 on target. They registered 59.4% of possession that night and whilst the Jets have improved averaging nearly 50% in most matches since, I still expect Sydney to dominate but whether they finish them off is problematic.
LAY – Sydney up to 1.75 for a risk of 1 unit (profit of around 1.3 units if Sydney fail to win).
Note – 4 of Sydney’s 8 goals scored this campaign have come after the 80th minute in matches so it may be worth to hedge in the run at around 75-80 mins if it is viable.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar
Saturday December 5, 7:30pm
Western Sydney Wanderers are in a great run of form having won their last five games, scoring 10, conceding two and keeping three clean sheets along the way. I think the schedule has been extremely kind to Tony Popovic’s men, having played early season strugglers Perth, Newcastle, Wellington and Central Coast as well as an Aaron Mooy-less Melbourne City, so one can certainly suggest that they may have been flattered by the results. In saying that however those games have also coincided with the addition of Andreu to the team who has been ultra-impressive.
The Roar took advantage of some horrible defending when these teams met in the first round scoring from three of their only four shots in goal, two from corners and one from a misplaced back pass.
Interestingly if you break these two teams seasons up to their first four versus their last four matches it is easy to see why there seasons have taken diverse paths with the Wanderers improving and Roar degrading. Wanderers picked up 4/12 points scoring four goals then 12/12 points scoring nine goals, Roar 9/12 points scoring 10 goals then 6/12 points scoring four goals.
Both teams are built on solid defensive bases conceding seven goals each and recording three clean sheets each (equal 2nd ranked). They have faced only 21 shots (WSW) and 30 shots (BRI) on target ranked 2nd and 4th respectively. It is clear therefore that there will be very little between these two teams with a slight leaning to Western Sydney on a recent form basis.