The following is a preview with betting tips for the Grand Final of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
Saturday, May 28
Melbourne City vs Western United
7:45PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Over two semi final legs, both Melbourne City and Western United were well deserved winners. Yet despite the two fierce rivals advancing through to the ‘Final Level,’ it wasn’t always easy goings for either of Patrick Kisnorbo or John Alosi’s troops. As midweek City contested a tough first up 0-0 draw vs the ‘Reds’ at Coopers Stadium. Meanwhile the ‘Green and Black’ suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of the Victory at AAMI Park.
The turnaround however was recently completed by both teams, as we played witness to two simply scintillating second clashes. Last seasons 2X trophy victors edged out Adelaide 2-1 in extra time via Jamie Maclaren’s classy 92nd-minute winner in Victoria. Whilst also at the very same venue (AAMI Park), an Aleksander Prijovic double helped propel the ‘Sneaky Serbian’s’ side to a 4-1 win over Melbourne. A clash in which despite ceding 21 shots to 8, they still came out on top in! ‘Maccas’ strike was his 16th of the A-League campaign, while former Champions League Striker Prijovic has now banged in two goals from his last three affairs.
As if these two clubs formidable form wasn’t enough to get your out of your chairs, then the fact that their last game was a tightly contested 2-2 draw should be. As that only adds to the intensity surrounding this star-studded Grand Final affair, as well as the entertainment value! It was an affair in which Western United started out on top, then the script was switched for the second half. As they had two goals inside the opening thirty-minutes thanks to Leo Lacroix (16th-min) and Rene Krhin (30th-min). Whilst City snapped back twelve-minutes later thanks to Connor Metcalfe and then Jamie Maclaren in the 65th-minute. That day it was City who saw some phenomenal efforts, 8/23 on target, put away by Jamie Young repeatedly. However, given how easily they disposed of Sydney in last season’s Grand Final (3-1), without Maclaren in tow mind you, it’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll see similar poor mistakes on display in this encounter.
The stars will make this game a show, no doubt, even in the absence of 2020 Johnny Warren Medal winner Allesandro Diamanti. As the likes of Jamie Maclaren, Aleksander Prijovic, Matthew Leckie, Niel Kilkenny, Scott Jamieson and Jamie Young will no doubt make their presence felt within this game in one way or another, such is their high standard of Footballing pedigree.
But the one name that wasn’t mentioned there was ex-Brisbane Roar Striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls (forty strikes converted during the 2017-18 Queensland Premier League season). And the exact same 24-year-old who put the icing on the cake in his side’s blowout of Melbourne with a clinical goal from outside the box in the 99th-minute. With five goals, one goal assist and seven shot assists on the season, he has at times been a severely underrated part of Western United’s attack. And while his finishing may not always be on, his speed and ability to move onto the ball at lightning pace make him a crucial component of this game. As we were privy to last time out, Prijovic needed a herculean effort from his cohort, and he got exactly that out of his young and pacy attacking Aussie-born teammate.
For the hosts, the sort of gameplan they need to execute is a collaborative one. As despite all of Jamie Maclaren’s efforts, he has just one goal to show from his nine total shots over City’s back-to-back efforts against Adelaide. Because backing him up extremely capably in his teams Midfield is Bundesliga-laden veteran Matthew Leckie, 10X capped Socceroo Andrew Nabbout and young gun Marco Tilio. Whilst further back is another Socceroo and budding star of the future, Connor Metcalfe, along with the assistance of Taras Gomulka, an extremely capable Midfielder. Having only won three of their last seven matches, City are in a bit of a rut at the moment, but it’s evidently clear they have the calibre of players necessary to cut the shackles wide, wide open.
Picking a winner here is extremely difficult, as we’ve seen all season long, despite suffering some unexpected turbulences i.e., their nil-all draw in Adelaide, they’re never down and out for very long. Whilst Western United’s recent record against Melbourne City is nothing short of exemplary, three wins from their last four games + one draw. The ‘Green & Blacks’ utter, and total resilience should etch them over the line at AAMI Park! However, were in for a grand Grand Final affair either way!
Betting tips: Pick Western United to hoist aloft the Championship at $3.25 (Bet365)
Also back the clash to have a few goals at over 1.5 $1.25 (Bet365)
Whilst Aleksander Prijovic should be one of those goal scorers at $3.00 (Bet365)
And despite both teams having wobbly defences at times there should be no own goals at $1.08 (Bet365)
Grand Final best picks:
A second half City goal should be on the cards at $1.44 (Bet365)
Whilst there should be no goals in the opening exchanges or 00:00-09:59 to be exact at $1.20 (Bet365)