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Perth Glory hold early A-League favouritism

Thu, Aug 25, 10:38am by Jake Equid

With six weeks to go until the opening round of the A-League season we’ve run our eye over the contenders to give you the best chance of backing a winner come season’s end.

There’s been plenty of work done in the transfer market headlined by Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer Tim Cahill who committed to Melbourne City which has seen them rocket to the second line of betting for the championship at $6 with William Hill. While Cahill has grabbed all the headlines, the re-signing of Uruguayan Bruno Fornaroli is just as crucial. The latter scored with a record-breaking 27 goals and finished third in the Johnny Warren Medal standings for the player of the year last season.

It’s worth noting that in the A-League, the Championship refers to the team who wins the Grand Final, the Premiership, or Premiers Plate, refers to who finishes top at the end of the regular season.

The winner of that medal was Perth Glory’s Spanish winger Diego Castro. His club are $5.50 favourites to win the Championship for the first time. They lost the elimination final 2-0 to Melbourne City last year but having made some solid signings including former Serbian international Milan Smiljanic will be looking to go deep into the finals.

Western Sydney Wanderers ($7) announced the return of one of their favourite sons in Karem Bulut who originally joined the Wanderers from Turkey in January 2015. Bulut scored six goals in only 13 appearances before heading overseas at the end of the season. The signing was only announced on August 24 with Bulut returning from Greek club Iraklis 1908. He will take part in the biggest game of the opening round when the Sydney Derby is held at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium for the very first time.

Last year’s champions Adelaide United kick off their title defence away at Newcastle but having lost both Craig Goodwin and Eli Babalj in the off-season they have slipped to the fourth line of betting at $7. Just ahead of them on the third line of betting is Melbourne Victory at $6.50, the biggest club in Australia have had to play the unfamiliar role of second fiddle behind their younger brother City this off-season. Their biggest signing came in the form of Socceroo James Troisi who returned from a two-year spell in Europe which included a short-stay at Juventus. Marco Rojas has also returned to the club.

In an incredibly tight Championship market, Sydney FC ($7) and Brisbane Roar ($8) are also in single figures. Truth be told, the bookies don’t have a clue how the season will evolve by the fact that just $2.50 separates the top seven in the market.

I’m backing Melbourne City to win their first-ever A-League Grand Final. They have a strong, well balanced squad with the experience required to win the big games. Cahill will be an x-factor while Fornaroli is a star.

BEST BET: Melbourne City to win. $6

A-League Championship odds:

Perth Glory: $5.50

Melbourne City: $6

Melbourne Victory: $6.50

Adelaide United: $7

Sydney FC: $7

Western Sydney Wanderers: $7

Brisbane Roar: $8

Wellington Phoenix: $13

Newcastle Jets: $34

Central Coast Mariners: $41

Opening Round:

Brisbane Roar ($2.40) v Melbourne Victory ($2.60), Suncorp Stadium, 7.50pm, Friday 7 October

Wellington Phoenix ($2.65) v Melbourne City ($2.40), Westpac Stadium, 5.35pm, Saturday 8 October

Western Sydney Wanderers ($2) v Sydney FC ($3.50), ANZ Stadium, 7.50pm, Saturday 8 October

Perth Glory ($1.53) v Central Coast Mariners ($6), nib Stadium, 10.00pm, Saturday 8 October

Newcastle Jets ($3.75) v Adelaide United ($1.90), Hunter Stadium, 5.00pm, Sunday 9 October

*All times are Australian Eastern Standard Time

 

*All odds were provided by William Hill and were correct at the time of publishing


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