Week 17 in the Hyundai A-League kicks off on Friday night with an interesting clash between the Wanderers and Roar. As usual, the Sunday League Shark has you covered with his best bets for the round below.
Friday 7.05pm (AEST)
The Wanderers are in a bit of a weird patch of form at the moment, having drawn their last three games to the Roar, Mariners and Adelaide United. The most recent two did come against the top two teams in the league, so one could argue that their form at the moment is actually pretty good. They will be at home this Friday night against the Roar to open up Round 17 and a win could see them cement a spot in the coveted top six.
The Roar currently sit five points behind the Wanderers in seventh place, so they will either be two, five or eight points behind depending on the result of this clash. A loss wouldn’t completely rul them out, given that they have played three less games than the Wanderers to this point in the season.
The Wanderers haven’t defeated the Roar in their last four attempts, racking up two draws and two losses in that time. Hard to bet against another draw here given the Wanderers run of late. They play such a defensive minded game style that a 1-1 or 0-0 draw is nearly always the most likely outcome.
Saturday 7.10pm (AEST)
The second Melbourne Derby has rolled around already, just a few weeks after Melbourne City dished out a monster 6-0 drubbing to Melbourne Victory back in late march. City are coming off a draw with Sydney FC in what was a highly anticipated clash and they have won seven of their last eight games. They currently sit in third place on the table with a 9-1-5 record.
Melbourne Victory have had a horror season to date. They are dead last on the ladder with a 3-2-10 record and will miss the finals for just the fourth time in their 15 year history. They are, however, coming off a win against the Newcastle Jets in their last, coming back from a 0-1 deficit to win the game 2-1.
Playing against Melbourne City is a different kettle of fish to playing against the Jets, who are currently the only team in the realm of the Victory on the A-League ladder. City start as firm favourites for this one and after their 6-0 win over the Victory just a few weeks ago, I have no trouble backing them to record another big win.
Sunday 4.05pm (AEST)
No doubt the game of the round sees Sydney FC hosting Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon. Adelaide United sit in second place on the ladder with a 9-2-5 record but could be overtaken by Sydney FC with a loss on Sunday afternoon. The race for points at the top of the table is tight and there isn’t a disparity in the amount of games played like there is further down the ladder, so the run home should be interesting for the top six teams.
Adelaide United went on a six game winning stream before failing to win two on the trot with a loss to the Mariners followed by a draw with the Wanderers. They bounced back with a strong 3-1 win over Macarthur on the weekend and will be looking to carry on their momentum away from home.
Sydney FC start as firm favourites here but I’m actually leaning towards Adelaide. Sydney looked less than convincing against Melbourne City in a 1-1 draw on the weekend while Adelaide have been arguably the form side of the competition over the last few months. Adelaide claimed a 1-0 draw in their last match and I think they can easily secure at least a point on the road here.
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