Expert Weekly A-League Predictions

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Total Units Staked: 10.00

Total Units Returned: 11.56

ROI: 15.57%

Adelaide United v Melbourne City

Match Overview

City were by far the better team in the Melbourne Derby last week. Very unlucky not to win they were their normal rock-solid selves at the back, perhaps more so with the coverage provided in defensive midfield by Josh Brillante.

They created plenty of good chances but lacked the final piece of finishing, which on a terrible surface and without star striker Jamie Maclaren was somewhat understandable. Maclaren returns from Socceroos duty which is a big in and Craig Noone looked like he would be a quality side kick.

Adelaide fought back from 0-2 to 2-2 before the sending off of Ryan Strain halted their progress. There was a lot to like about young striker Hassan Toure, his coolness and combination with Ben Halloran for his goal was exciting and even at his young age he looks ready to step up to a key role.

They too were very solid defensively.

Key Statistics

2018/19 Statistics (ranking)CityAdelaide
Points40 (5)44 (4)
Win11 (5)12 (4)
Draw7 (2)8 (1)
Lost9 (5)7 (2)
Goals Scored39 (7)37 (9)
Total Shots For (p/match)13.1 (6)14.1 (3)
Shots on Target For (p/m)4.4 (8)4.7 (7)
Goals Conceded32 (3)32 (3)
Total Shots Against (p/m)10.1 (1)12.6 (4)
Shots on Target Against (p/m)3.6 (2)4.2 (4)
Clean Sheets9 (2)8 (3)
Over 2.512 (9)12 (9)
Under 2.515 (1)15 (1)
Shots On Conversion Rate0.33 (5)0.29 (10)
Shots On Concession Rate0.33 (7)0.28 (5)


Not much between these teams. Despite both being under teams last season it is important to note that City finished the season with 7/10 over 2.5 once Maclaren joined.

This will be a quality game. I expect City to edge it and despite the quality of both defences can see a few goals scored. City 3-1

Betting Strategy

 BACK – City to win at 2.0+ for 2 units

 BACK – Over 2.5 at 1.9+ for 1 unit

Melbourne Victory v WSW

Match Overview

As expected, left back Adama Traore was an absolute stand out for the Victory last week. Him aside though there were worrying signs. Their creativity was poor, their midfield thin and their central defence laborious. Again, the quality of the pitch didn’t help, as it won’t again here but they are not a team that should be as short as they are.

Western Sydney did enough to see off Central Coast, who themselves were pretty good. Mitchell Duke getting a double was encouraging and the influence of Keanu Baccus continues to grow. Wanderland wasn’t quite back to it’s heaving best, but a few good performances and I expect they can get on a roll.

Key Statistics

2018/19 Statistics (ranking)VictoryWSW
Points50 (3)24 (8)
Win15 (3)6 (8)
Draw5 (7)6 (4)
Lost7 (2)15 (8)
Goals Scored50 (2)42 (5)
Total Shots For (p/match)12.3 (8)15.5 (2)
Shots on Target For (p/m)4.9 (4)5.1 (2)
Goals Conceded32 (3)54 (8)
Total Shots Against (p/m)14.5 (7)13.6 (6)
Shots on Target Against (p/m)4.4 (5)5 (6)
Clean Sheets6 (5)4 (7)
Over 2.516 (4)18 (2)
Under 2.511 (6)9 (8)
Shots On Conversion Rate0.38 (1)0.3 (9)
Shots On Concession Rate0.27 (2)0.4 (8)

Statistics Comment

For a team that finished 8th the Wanderers stats were not too bad last season. They only won 3/13 away which was a problem but one that can be turned around. Victory overshot last season on back of their conversion rates.

Victory could have a tough season, whilst the clouds are lifting for Western Sydney. Vic 0 -1

Betting Strategy

 LAY – Victory up to 2.3 for a risk of 2 units

Victory v City

Match Overview

Victory finished 3rd last season on the back of their clinical finishing. They certainly didn’t create enough and will be looking to turn that around this season. I expect returning midfielder Adama Traore to have a big season and the Victory to have another strong year.

City were hamstrung for much of last season having to cope without striker Bruno Fornaroli on the back of a falling out with then-coach Warren Joyce. They improved rapidly on the back of the Jamie Maclaren but he misses this match due to national team duties. With four new visa players they may take time to gel however I expect they will have a strong season.

Key Statistics

2018/19 Statistics (ranking)VictoryCity
Points50 (3)40 (5)
Win15 (3)11 (5)
Draw5 (7)7 (2)
Lost7 (2)9 (5)
Goals Scored50 (2)39 (7)
Total Shots For (p/match)12.3 (8)13.1 (6)
Shots on Target For (p/m)4.9 (4)4.4 (8)
Goals Conceded32 (3)32 (3)
Total Shots Against (p/m)14.5 (7)10.1 (1)
Shots on Target Against (p/m)4.4 (5)3.6 (2)
Clean Sheets6 (5)9 (2)
Over 2.516 (4)12 (9)
Under 2.511 (6)15 (1)
Shots On Conversion Rate0.38 (1)0.33 (5)
Shots On Concession Rate0.27 (2)0.33 (7)

Statistics Comment

City had the tightest defence last season while Victory, on the back of their conversion rates, were the 2nd-ranked scoring team. The derbies results are reasonably split with Victory winning 12, City 9 and 7 draws. The most interesting stat of the derbies is the fact that 21 of 28 have resulted in over 2.5 goals.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 1.7+ for 3 units

Adelaide v Sydney

Match Overview

After a mixed season, Adelaide finished within a game of the Grand Final, losing to Perth on penalties.

Had they a top-class striker over the last few seasons they surely would have done far more. New manager Gerthan Verbeek has looked to Norway and Kristian Opseth to fix the scoring issues. The new striker had a prolific record in Norway before a disappointing return of 1 goal from 12 matches in Turkey so it will be interesting to see how he goes.

Sydney were consistent last season – their first under new coach Steve Corica finishing 2nd on the ladder before winning the championship on penalties in Perth. Their close season transfers have been largely like-for-like and they possess a stack of attacking players at their disposal.

Last year they played with a pair of defensive midfielders, as they did under Graeme Arnold. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go with just one defensive midfielder which, whilst potentially opening them up defensively, will be a good move.

Key Statistics

2018/19 Statistics (ranking)AdelaideSydney
Points44 (4)52 (2)
Win12 (4)16 (2)
Draw8 (1)4 (9)
Lost7 (2)7 (2)
Goals Scored37 (9)43 (4)
Total Shots For (p/match)14.1 (3)13.9 (5)
Shots on Target For (p/m)4.7 (7)5.1 (3)
Goals Conceded32 (3)29 (2)
Total Shots Against (p/m)12.6 (4)11 (3)
Shots on Target Against (p/m)4.2 (4)3.6 (2)
Clean Sheets8 (3)8 (3)
Over 2.512 (10)14 (6)
Under 2.515 (1)13 (4)
Shots On Conversion Rate0.29 (10)0.31 (7)
Shots On Concession Rate0.28 (5)0.3 (6)


Expecting a tight match that Sydney might just shade on the back of their stronger attack.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 2.5 goals at 1.9+ for 1 unit

 BACK – Sydney to win at 2.2+ for 1 unit

Adelaide United

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Adelaide
Points44 (4)
Win12 (4)
Draw8 (1)
Loss7 (2)
Goals For37 (9)
Goals Against32 (3)
Total Shots For p/match14.1 (3)
Shots on Target For p/m4.7 (7)
Total Shots Against p/m12.6 (4)
Shots on Target Against p/m4.2 (4)
Clean Sheets8 (3)
Over 2.512 (9)
Under 2.515 (1)
Shots on Target Conversion0.29 (10)
Shots On Target Concession0.28 (5)

Adelaide were incredibly unlucky to go out at the Preliminary Final stage last year after losing on penalties to Perth. They have had an interesting off season with new coach Gertjan Verbeek coming in to replace Victory-bound Marco Kurz.

The Reds struggled for goals for the last three seasons and unless Kristian Opseth can produce, I’m once again querying their premiership potential as they won’t produce enough goals. They also look a little short on defensive options.

Once again bottom half of the top 6 looks to be their maximum finish.

Predicted Finish: 6th

Brisbane Roar

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Brisbane
Points18 (9)
Win4 (9)
Draw6 (4)
Loss17 (9)
Goals For38 (8)
Goals Against71 (10)
Total Shots For p/match12.1 (9)
Shots on Target For p/m4.2 (9)
Total Shots Against p/m17 (10)
Shots on Target Against p/m6.3 (9)
Clean Sheets3 (9)
Over 2.521 (1)
Under 2.56 (10)
Shots on Target Conversion0.34 (4)
Shots On Target Concession0.42 (10)

Brisbane were terrible last season. In hard times, some pray to God and, well, perhaps Robbie “God” Fowler as the manager might be the answer. Certainly in their FFA Cup win over Sydney FC, there was plenty to like about the new look Roar.

With 16 players in and out it will take time to get a feel for them. I’m expecting Aiden O’Neill and Jay O’Shea to have big seasons in the attacking third.

They have to tighten up the defence after setting an A-League record for conceding the most goals in one season. They are the biggest query heading into the competition.

Predicted Finish: 8th

Central Coast Mariners

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)CC
Points13 (10)
Win3 (10)
Draw4 (9)
Loss20 (10)
Goals For31 (10)
Goals Against70 (9)
Total Shots For p/match10.8 (10)
Shots on Target For p/m3.7 (10)
Total Shots Against p/m16 (8)
Shots on Target Against p/m6.3 (9)
Clean Sheets1 (10)
Over 2.518 (2)
Under 2.59 (8)
Shots on Target Conversion0.31 (8)
Shots On Target Concession0.41 (9)

Since the departure of Graham Arnold, the Mariners have finished (10,10,8,10,8). New Coach Alen Stajcic started his caretaker role with an F3 derby win. They certainly were better performed in those last six games of the season but now the real hard work begins.

The Mariners have suffered massive losses in Aiden O’Neill and Matt Millar and they will be heavily reliant on new midfielders Milan Duric and Kim Eun-Sun to drive what looks to be a very average strike force.

Hoping the best but fearing the worst.

Predicted Finish: 11th

Melbourne City

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)City
Points40 (5)
Win11 (5)
Draw7 (2)
Loss9 (5)
Goals For39 (7)
Goals Against32 (3)
Total Shots For p/match13.1 (6)
Shots on Target For p/m4.4 (8)
Total Shots Against p/m10.1 (1)
Shots on Target Against p/m3.6 (2)
Clean Sheets9 (2)
Over 2.512 (9)
Under 2.515 (1)
Shots on Target Conversion0.33 (5)
Shots On Target Concession0.33 (7)

With the City Group scouting network at their disposal, Melbourne City have generally done well in the recruiting of foreigners to the team. They look to do so again with four of their five visa players joining this season.

Coach Erik Mombaerts takes over and he has a very interesting history particularly working with the young French teams in a period when they excelled. The loss of Ritchie De Laet will hurt but aside from that they look to have recruited well.

Jamie Maclaren is their key player as he will need to score the bulk of goals for the team and, having scored five in nine to finish the season, I think he will more than fit the bill. With respect to last season it has to be remembered they spent much of it with no striker given the standoff between then Coach Warren Joyce and Bruno Fornaroli.

Predicted Finish: 3rd

Melbourne Victory

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Victory
Points50 (3)
Win15 (3)
Draw5 (7)
Loss7 (2)
Goals For50 (2)
Goals Against32 (3)
Total Shots For p/match12.3 (8)
Shots on Target For p/m4.9 (4)
Total Shots Against p/m14.5 (7)
Shots on Target Against p/m4.4 (5)
Clean Sheets6 (5)
Over 2.516 (4)
Under 2.511 (6)
Shots on Target Conversion0.38 (1)
Shots On Target Concession0.27 (2)

For the first time in their history, the Victory enter a season without Kevin Muscat as player or coach. Marco Kurz comes across from Adelaide to try and straighten up a Victory team that has really finished strongly in the transfer market.

Returning Adama Traore and Andrew Nabbout could turn out to be the key men, along with Ola Toivanen.

Stats last year were relatively strong bar the fact they were over-reliant on SOT Conversion.

I expect they will be strong again. That said coach Marko Kurz would want the team to find early form as they Victory fans won’t stand for a drop-in intensity. Thankfully I think he is a man that can carry them forward.

Predicted Finish: 5th

Newcastle Jets

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Newcastle
Points35 (7)
Win10 (7)
Draw5 (7)
Loss12 (7)
Goals For40 (6)
Goals Against36 (6)
Total Shots For p/match16.2 (1)
Shots on Target For p/m4.7 (6)
Total Shots Against p/m13.5 (5)
Shots on Target Against p/m5 (7)
Clean Sheets6 (5)
Over 2.513 (8)
Under 2.514 (3)
Shots on Target Conversion0.31 (6)
Shots On Target Concession0.26 (1)

Newcastle fell from 2nd to 7th last season and spent much of the season wasting forward opportunities by not converting their position as the top rank shots per match without converting.

I query Dimi Petratos as the man to convert the possession and as such, they will be reliant on Panamanian striker Abdiel Arroyo to get the goals.

I expect defender Johnny Koutroumbis to have a very strong season and the addition of Matt Millar is big. The Jets are likely to improve, if not compete for the top of the table.

Predicted Finish: 7th

Perth Glory

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Perth
Points60 (1)
Win18 (1)
Draw6 (4)
Loss3 (1)
Goals For56 (1)
Goals Against23 (1)
Total Shots For p/match14.1 (4)
Shots on Target For p/m5.8 (1)
Total Shots Against p/m10.2 (2)
Shots on Target Against p/m3.1 (1)
Clean Sheets12 (1)
Over 2.514 (6)
Under 2.513 (4)
Shots on Target Conversion0.36 (3)
Shots On Target Concession0.27 (4)

In the loss of Keogh, Davidson and Lowry, Perth have lost a big part of their Premiership winning team from last season.

On the flip side, they have added quality headlined by Bruno Fornaroli. I just hope for Perth’s sake that he doesn’t fall foul of the Popovic training regime. I expect a big return for Osama Malik who will add further starch to their defensive midfield position.

Statistically, there’s little to improve on and with a second pre-season under that Popovic fitness regime, we can expect they will be there or thereabouts about again.

Predicted Finish: 1st

Sydney FC

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Sydney
Points52 (2)
Win16 (2)
Draw4 (9)
Loss7 (2)
Goals For43 (4)
Goals Against29 (2)
Total Shots For p/match13.9 (5)
Shots on Target For p/m5.1 (3)
Total Shots Against p/m11 (3)
Shots on Target Against p/m3.6 (2)
Clean Sheets8 (3)
Over 2.514 (6)
Under 2.513 (4)
Shots on Target Conversion0.31 (7)
Shots On Target Concession0.3 (6)

In the first season of the Steve Corica coaching reign, Sydney finished 2nd on the ladder before winning the Grand Final on penalties. Their stats were not great but they had the quality when it mattered.

Their transfers largely leave them as strong as they were last season and with Alex Baumjohann and Kosta Barbarouses coming in they have an attacking midfield that is the envy of the other teams.

I expect they will play a more attacking brand this season, potentially dispensing with the pair of number 8s to be more attack-minded. There’s little doubt they will be towards the top of the ladder come round 29.

Predicted Finish: 2nd

Western Sydney Wanderers

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)WSW
Points24 (8)
Win6 (8)
Draw6 (4)
Loss15 (8)
Goals For42 (5)
Goals Against54 (8)
Total Shots For p/match15.5 (2)
Shots on Target For p/m5.1 (2)
Total Shots Against p/m13.6 (6)
Shots on Target Against p/m5 (6)
Clean Sheets4 (7)
Over 2.518 (2)
Under 2.59 (8)
Shots on Target Conversion0.3 (9)
Shots On Target Concession0.4 (8)

The Wanderers started their life with ladder positions of (1,2,9,2) and in the year they finished 9th they won the Asian Champions League. Subsequently, they have finished (6,7,8). The timeline coincides with not only the loss of Coach Tony Popovic but also the loss of their fortress at Parramatta Stadium.

I expect they will turn Bankwest into a fortress provided they can re-engage with the RBB, and I think they will. Many of their stats last season belied their lowly finish and I expect this to turn around.

Predicted Finish: 4th

Wellington Phoenix

2018/19 Stats (Rank in brackets)Wellington
Points40 (5)
Win11 (5)
Draw7 (2)
Loss9 (5)
Goals For48 (3)
Goals Against43 (7)
Total Shots For p/match13.1 (6)
Shots on Target For p/m4.8 (5)
Total Shots Against p/m16.7 (9)
Shots on Target Against p/m5.9 (8)
Clean Sheets4 (7)
Over 2.516 (4)
Under 2.511 (6)
Shots on Target Conversion0.37 (2)
Shots On Target Concession0.27 (3)

Wellington have introduced Ufuk Talay as the new manager. Josip Skoko described talay as the best player never to play for Australia, and as someone who had his own battles against the man once upon a time, I can say I expect he will make a great success of the management business.

He has assembled a squad of young players to replace the likes of Sarpeet Singh, Roy Krishna and Filip Kurto. I love the idea but just hope he is given time to adapt to such a squad.

With few striking options, David Ball presents as the key man.  I am hoping they do better than I think they will.

Predicted Finish: 9th

Western United

They’re a new team into the competition this season I like the promotion of coach Mark Rudan to A-League level.

They have compiled a squad skewed to attacking strength. Alessandro Diamanti was still reasonably prolific last season for Livorno in the Serie B. He should link well with the likes of Panagiotis Kone, Scott McDonald and Besart Berisha.

Their defence is lacking and I expect Filip Kurto will have to carry them to some extent. Naturally, as a new team, they’re a query but they shouldn’t be the worst.

Predicted Finish: 10th

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth Glory to win the A-League

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