Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners
Tuesday 22nd February – 8:55AM KO
Melbourne City got back to winning ways at the weekend, easily beating Newcastle Jets 3-0, briefly returning to the top of the league as a result. This is in stark contrast to Central Coast, who picked up their third loss in five games after being defeated 1-0 by Melbourne Victory.
Melbourne City have been able to keep pace with Western United at the top of the A-League but recent defeats to the top club and Adelaide United have left City a point behind in second, despite playing a game more than their title rivals. One thing that Melbourne City can’t be accused of, though, is scoring goals. They are currently the highest scorers in the league with 26 goals, at least five more than any other side.
Central Coast Mariners looked as though they could’ve been looking optimistically towards Finals Series football at one point this season but a recent poor run of form has seen them drop to 10th place, joining three other teams on 11 points at the bottom of the league. There seems to be a stark contrast between the top half of the table and the bottom with Central Coast falling into the latter group after a run of five games without a win.
Melbourne City come into this game as red hot favourites and there isn’t much value in the full time market. That does leave plenty in the handicap market however and Melbourne City -1 on the handicap looks a very intriguing price, especially in a game that they should dominate.
Prediction: Melbourne City -1, 2.4 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Western United v Sydney FC
Wednesday 23rd February – 6:25AM KO
Western United recorded yet another victory by a single goal with their 3-2 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at the weekend. That game marked the seventh game they have won by one goal in 12 games this season. Sydney FC didn’t fare quite as well with their match with Wellington Phoenix ending in a 1-1 draw.
Western United have been the pace setters so far this season and, at present, they are one point clear at the top of the league with a game in hand. They have become masters at taking leads and keeping them, conceding less than a goal a game and winning 50% of their games this season by a 1-0 scoreline. Their defensive capabilities have seen them excel but with the chasing pack not far behind, they will need to continue their form to secure their first ever league title.
Sydney FC haven’t been the same side that swept everyone aside in recent years and, whilst they are still in fourth position and very likely to qualify for Finals Series football, they only have two wins in their last seven games. Times are certainly tougher for the side, noticeably in defence where they have conceded more than a goal a game.
This game should be a very close one with neither side looking to give too much in their own half. That bodes well for the under 2.5 goal market, especially considering Western Sydney’s knack for keeping the scores low and in their favour.
Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals, 1.91 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
Wednesday 23rd February – 8:55AM KO
Newcastle Jets continued their season of inconsistency with a 3-0 loss to Melbourne City last weekend, meaning they’ve won three and lost four of their last seven games. Western Sydney also tasted defeat, being beaten by league leaders Western United by a 3-2 scoreline. Those results leave Wanderers just one point above Newcastle ahead of this crunch game in the race to move away from the foot of the table.
Newcastle Jets have struggled to find consistent form this season and this has stopped them from challenging for a top six finish. They have scored at a good rate, averaging 1.7 goals per game so far but their defensive record is awful, with an average of 1.9 goals conceded. They have failed to capitalise on recent wins over Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, sandwiching them between two losses to Melbourne City.
Western Sydney have the same issues as their opponents this weekend as they continue to struggle to pick up consecutive wins. Three losses in their last five games have seen them slip to eighth position, six points behind seventh place as the league starts to really divide in two. They have only scored at a rate of just over a goal a game but have conceded 19 times in 12 matches, with their defensive woes not looking like improving.
With both teams being so poor defensively, this could be a relatively high scoring game and the over 2.5 goal market looks enticing. Newcastle games have averaged 3.6 goals this season with The Jets certainly providing the entertainment at either end of the pitch so far this season.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.73 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Perth Glory v Macarthur
Wednesday 23rd February – 8:55AM KO
Perth Glory look as though they have been finding their feet in recent games, putting a slow start to the season behind them. Their win over Brisbane Roar at the weekend looked assured and Perth will be hoping the rest of their season won’t be quite so stunted. Macarthur picked up their first win in five games at the weekend, returning to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Adelaide United.
Perth Glory found the start of the season very tricky with COVID restrictions keeping them from playing many of their fixtures. Things are looking more positive for the side now though and they will be hoping to play consistently from here on. The main positive for the side has been an improvement in front of goal, with Bruno Fornaroli looking back his best and Daniel Sturridge still to fully integrate into the team.
Macarthur started the season superbly with four wins in their first five games but a run of five games without a victory brought them crashing back down to Earth. The impressive win over Adelaide United at the weekend would’ve restored a lot of confidence though and they will hope for another positive result as they look to reignite their title challenge.
Six out of the last seven games for Macarthur have seen both teams score, as they continue to perform in front of goal but struggle to keep clean sheets. This, coupled with Perth’s new found optimism in front of goal, makes the both teams to score market really catch the eye ahead of this game.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.6 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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