Wed, Oct 19, 11:37am by Jake Equid
The third round of the A-League is here and already the table is starting to take shape with City and Sydney FC jumping out to an early lead with six points from six. The surprise packet though is Newcastle who were completely written off in the pre-season but have made a solid start with four points already.
Melbourne City humbled their cross-town rivals last week and in the process moved in from $5 to $4.50 for the Championship and equal favoritism with Sydney. Victory slid out to $6 from $5 after the 4-1 defeat.
Sydney FC’s 4-0 win over Central Coast Mariners meant the Sky Blues scored eight goals in their first two games of the season, equalling the A-League record for most goals after two games.
This week they head to Wellington to take on the Phoenix and the bookies are backing Sydney’s good run to continue, having installed them as $1.85 favourites with Wellington at $3.90.
WATCH: Our Preview of Round 3 of the A-League
Elsewhere, Brisbane Roar are $1.75 favourites to bounce back against the Central Coast Mariners ($4.25) after their humiliating 4-0 loss to the Jets last week. The win was one of the best in Newcastle’s history.
Here’s the best three bets for third round of the A-League season:
Melbourne City v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne, Friday October 21. 7:50pm AEDT
Hype is building at Melbourne City after their emphatic derby win against Victory. Next up they host a Glory side who are coming off a solid win themselves in the ‘distance derby’.
The last time these clubs met was the elimination final from last season at the same venue when Bruno Fornaroli netted twice to give Melbourne a 2-0 win, ending the Glory’s season.
Glory let a three-goal lead slip at home in round one but bounced back to beat the Phoenix on Sunday. After scoring two goals in round one, Adam Taggart missed the win over Wellington with a calf injury, he is a crucial part of the team and the club will be sweating on his fitness. Free-kick specialist Nebo Marinkovic replaced him and scored.
There was plenty of talk about Tim Cahill after his stunning debut goal but the trio of Fernando Brandan, Nicolas Colazo and Bruno Fornaroli were outstanding. It’s a great squad that will go a long way this season.
BEST BET: City to win: $1.70
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide, Saturday October 22, 7:50pm AEDT
After dropping their home opener to the Wanderers last week, Adelaide welcomes their biggest rivals, Melbourne Victory to Coopers Stadium. Victory can’t wait for the first whistle after last week’s poor showing.
After an hour of play, things were going along nicely for Adelaide last week before substitute Brendon Santalab scored two goals to steal the points for the Wanderers. Adding salt to the wound, Sergio Cirio suffered significant medial ligament damage to his right knee after a strong tackle from Jack Clisby.
Adelaide United winger Ryan Kitto has revealed he is ready to step up in the absence of injured teammate.
Kevin Muscat’s men never really got going in the Derby last week, unable to come to terms City’s new midfield system which includes a lot more movement. Marco Rojas provided the only highlight for the club with a superb solo goal.
The last time these clubs met at this venue it was a draw and I’m backing the same result here. It is rare that Victory are outplayed for the full 90 minutes but that was the case last week and I expect a strong response.
BEST BET: Draw: $3.40
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Spotless Stadium, Sydney –Sunday October 23, 7:00pm AEDT
The Wanderers host the Jets in an all New South Wales affair to round out the weekend of football at a venue that’s never hosted an A-League match before. The Jets are coming off one of their best wins in recent memory while the Wanderers stole the points in Adelaide.
The match will be played at Spotless Stadium due to the refurbishment taking place at Parramatta Stadium – the Wanderers home ground. A player who played on that surface many times, won’t be doing it again as it was confirmed on Tuesday that Wanderers captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley has departed the club after signing with a side in the United Arab Emirates.
The Jets have missed the finals for six seasons in a row but Sunday’s demolition of powerhouse Brisbane Roar has given their long-suffering fans a reason for hope.
Right winger Andrew Nabbout was outstanding in the 4-0 whitewash but he had plenty of support from the likes of skipper Nigel Boogaard, Ben Kantarovski, Steven Ugarkovic and Lachlan Jackson. The key now will be to keep their standards at this level.
Santalab shocked United with his two goals last week to snatch the points but it was no fluke. The super-sub has scored more goals that anyone from off the bench since the start of last season than Santalab (7) and he also has the best minutes per goal rate of any man to score five or more goals across the same timeframe.
The Wanderers have a good recent record in this fixture, winning the last three contests and I’m backing that to continue here.
BEST BET: Wanderers to win: $1.67
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining all of the below for $9.65 at Sportsbet
Melbourne City to win: $1.70
Adelaide v Victory – Draw: $3.40
Wanderers to win: $1.67
A-League Round 1 odds:
Melbourne City $1.70 v Perth Glory $4.50 Draw $3.75
Central Coast Mariners $4.25 v Brisbane Roar $1.75 Draw $3.75
Adelaide United $2.30 v Melbourne Victory $2.80 Draw $3.40
Wellington Phoenix $3.90 v Sydney FC $1.85 Draw $3.60
Western Sydney Wanderers $1.67 v Newcastle Jets $4.75 Draw $3.80
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
Stay tuned to australiangambling.com.au. Where we will bring you the best bets each and every week of the A-League season.
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