Football returns to Australian shores this weekend and we will preview the long 2015/16 A-League season and give a few predictions and betting tips for the year ahead, while we will also be offering plenty more soccer betting tips each and every week.
The two Grand Finalists from last season are again favourites to be fighting it out at the top of the table. It was Melbourne Victory who won the battle and claimed top spot and we are backing them to repeat their feat and claim the Minor Premiership once again. The talent they pose up front with Besart Berisha and Kosta Barbarouses would send shudders through any defensive line in Asia with Berisha having scored 63 goals in 104 matches for A-League sides since 2011. He was also one of the main contributors to Victory’s success last season and the Brisbane Roar’s success during his stay there from 2011-2013. The loss of Mark Milligan will be felt in the midfield but they have found a suitable replacement in Oliver Bozanic.
Sydney FC will be strong again under coach Graham Arnold and there is nine new faces in the side that fell in last year’s Grand Final. The frontline will be again lead by captain Alex Brosque and Shane Smeltz will be looking to add to his tally of 85 goals in the A-League however his impact was small last year only scoring 8 goals in 21 matches for the Sky Blues.
The only concern with these two teams will be whether the teams will succumb to overload as they will be taking part in the Asian Champions League. This requires teams to play sometimes up to three times in the space of a week. The two teams are currently still alive in the FFA Cup, which will also involve playing numerous more matches.
The depth of the Victory is far superior of their rivals and they should be able to back up from mid-week matches strongly.
Finals football is harder to predict because anything can happen on a certain day, however with the dominance of Victory it is easy to predict that they will be their on the final day of the A-League season but their opponent is a little harder to pick.
Sydney FC will definitely be a contender and it is likely that they will be fighting for a position to return to the biggest stage of Australian Football for the second straight year. However, the emergence of Melbourne City gives the prospect of an all Melbourne Grand Final.
City have had a great preseason and have booked their spot in the semi-final of the FFA Cup and have looked impressive throughout the tournament. One of the strongest positives for City has been their excellent recruiting and they now have strong coverage at every position if there is to be an injury throughout the long season. They also have a strong goal keeper in Thomas Sorenson whilst Socceroo Aaron Mooy is fast becoming one of the most influential player’s in the competition and if he can continue his form from last season than City will be in with a real chance.
The Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets are the favourites to be battling it out for the wooden spoon. Since coach Graham Arnold’s departure from the Mariners, they have been unable to attract players to the club and have lost a lot of their experienced players that saw them be the dominant side of the competition for three years and they finished the season last year in 8th place.
The Jets struggled in both areas last season conceding the most amount of goals whilst scoring the least amount themselves. However, they should improve this season with owner Nathan Tinkler shown the door and Scott Miller has taken over as head coach and has already received a lot of credit for being a great tactician. The solid signings of Nigel Boogaard, David Carney, Daniel Mullen and Labinot Haliti are capped off with their two latest inclusions of Leonardo Santiago and Milos Trifunovic who are going to be relied heavily upon to produce some attacking flair that was lacking last season.
We believe the side that will likely have one of their worst seasons is the Brisbane Roar. It was only 18 months ago that the Roar were lifting their third championship in fourth years but their decline has been so steep that the club is in turmoil and it is up to the young coach of John Aloisi to steer the club back around. Aloisi’s first stint as a head coach of the A-League failed with the Melbourne City as he was sacked after his first season with his side earning 8 wins, 7 draws and 24 losses. They were one of the least active sides during the offseason as their aging roster was only boosted by a few signings. Jamie McClaren will add a lot upfront with pace and a strong scoring ability but it won’t be enough to steer this side away from last place.
Arguably the most potent goal scorer in the history of the A-League is Besart Berisha and if he is able to stay healthy throughout the full length of the season than he could reach an all new high with the Melbourne Victory side. Last season they scored the most goals in the league at 56 and it is hard to see another side producing more goals and with Berisha leading from the front, it is no surprise that he is favourite to take home the golden boot at the end of the season.
Bruno Fornaroli is a good pick if you are looking for value, as he will play in his first season in the A-League. He is a Uruguayan striker that will benefit from the strong side that has been produced by Melbourne City.
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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