The following are previews with betting tips for Week 20 of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
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Wednesday, March 23
Melbourne Victory vs Western United
7:05PM AEDT, AAMI Park
The Victory have tasted success in just two of their last eight overall fixtures, meanwhile Western United haven’t won from their last pair of games. However, in a massive boost for the hosts, they’ve won their last three straight H2Hs against the ‘Green & Black’, in 3-1, 1-0 and 6-1 score-lines. The latest of those successes seeing them score twice inside the match’s opening 20-minutes, courtesy of both Jason Geria (18th-minute) and then Josh Brillante (19th-minute). A victory at AAMI Park would move the Victory up to 4th on the ladder and help them gain further ground on 2nd placed Western United. So, in the newly founded Melbourne Derby, which time will be icy enough to claim all three-points?
Key Player – Leo Lacroix. The Swiss Defender has sensationally bagged three goals and has also been a part of United’s historical defence. Derbies and their intense moments can shape the outcome, so Lacroix’s ability to physically rattle any player will be crucial for the visitors.
Betting tips: Look for the Victory to prevail at $1.95 (Sportsbet)
Also look for there to be over 1.5 goals at $1.25 (Sportsbet)
Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne City
7:35PM AEDT, Moreton Daily Stadium
Melbourne City’s latest affair saw them grind Western United to a jolting halt in what was a fiercely contested 2-2 draw in Victoria. Leo Lacroix and Rene Krhin opened the scoring for John Aloisi’s men in H1, however return strikes to Connor Metcalfe (42nd-minute) and Jamie Maclaren (65th-minute) evened up the scores. City also shot 8/22 on target that day, whilst having a shot also rattle the woodwork. In addition, they kept Western to just nine-shots overall, as well as only 31% ownage of the ball. It was a terrific performance from the ‘Sky Blue’ side of Melbourne. Meanwhile Brisbane was clinical in Perth, thrashing the Glory 4-1 to claim just their fifth win of the season. With the strikes fashioned by Juan Lescano X2 (40th and 59th-minutes), Jay O’Shea X1 (81st-minute) and Luke Ivanovic X1 (89th-minute). They also shot an extremely accurate 7/14 attempted shots on target. With both sides in form, which will have the cojones to walk away with the result?
Key Player – Jay O’Shea. The Irishman might not be the flashiest of players, but he’s a veteran who knows how to get the job done. And this is the type of game where if the Roar want any chance of an upset win, they need their dependable players like O’Shea to be up to the task when the rare few chances do present themselves.
Betting tips: Look for a comfortable City win at $2.10 (Sportsbet)
Also look for there to be over 1.5 strikes scored at $1.20 (Sportsbet)
Friday, March 25
Newcastle Jets vs Sydney FC
7:45PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle have lost three of their last four games, meanwhile Sydney have won three on the trot. Throwing another interesting stat into the mix, the last four H2Hs between these two clubs have been split right down the middle, with a win each + two draws. The latest of those draws was a Kogarah classic as an Adam Le Fondre spot kick in just the 9th-minute, as well as a nicely completed Elvis Kamsoba goal in the 30th-minute handed Sydney a 2-0 lead. However, the second half saw Valentino Yuel dominate Ryan Grant, as the Kenyan born Winger scored two goals (58th and 65th-minutes) to sensationally even the match up. What will this matchup throw up, something spicy no doubt if past results are any indication?
Key Player – Mustafa Amini. Last weekend he locked down his first goal in ‘Sky Blue’ colours after clinically taking advantage of a rare Western United mistake, to thunder the ball into the back of the net. And in the Midfield for Sydney this second half of the season he has proved to be very, very reliable, already fashioning nine-shot assists.
Betting tips: Back Sydney FC to continue their hot streak with a win at $2.25 (Bet365)
Also look for only Sydney to score at $2.00 (Bet365)
Saturday, March 26
Brisbane Roar vs Western United
5:05PM AEDT, Moreton Daily Stadium
The Roar have really come into their own recently at Dolphin Stadium, making it a hostile atmosphere to not only watch Rugby League at, but also Football. Having won four of their last five games contested there to the tune of 2-1, 3-1, 3-0 and 1-0 score-lines. In particular 22-year-old Attacker Henry Hore has done his thing there, having scored two goals from his last two appearances at the boutique venue, whilst having three on the campaign overall. His career has been on an upward trajectory lately, having scored one goal in one game for South Melbourne in 2021 and having bagged eight goals from seven matches for the Queensland Lions, the year prior. Warren Moon is helping him get the chances that he needs and he’s taking advantage of them! Can he help cause an upset against the form team of the year in Western United?
Key Player – Henry Hore. Brisbane is a team that has tantalisingly exciting prospects like Hore filtered throughout the squad. And with Brisbane’s chances of making the finals close to being extinguished, he and others will only get more chances and minutes to show what they’re capable of.
Betting tips: Back both teams to score at $1.90 (Bet365)
Also look for there to be over 0.5 H1 goals at $1.44 (Bet365)
Wellington Phoenix vs Perth Glory
5:05PM AEDT, Leichhardt Oval
For Wellington, a victory may boost them immediately into the Top Six, depending on the Victory’s result prior to this clash. Whilst all three-points for Perth would be vital in not only their pursuit of getting off the foot of the ladder, but also to start the newly appointed Ruben Zadkovich and his Glory tenure the right way, after the unfair but also expected dismissal of Richard Garcia. Fairfield-born Zadkovich previously represented Perth from 2014-16 and was their assistant coach from 2020 onwards. This game represents a chance for the former Socceroo to continue to cement his legacy within the Australian Footballing arena. Especially so with the Glory having claimed just two-points from the last twenty-one available! Will the Phoenix spoil Zadkovich’s party or can he get the job done on Day One?
Key Player – Pacifique Niyongabire. In eleven games this season the former Adelaide United playmaker has conjured up nine-shot assists. While he’s also completed 106 accurate passes (70%) and won 5//13 tackles. He is a raw, unfinished product. But similar to that of Brisbane, with the finals almost assuredly a no-go for Perth, this is his time to continue to work on his game and continue to show why he’s such a highly touted young product.
Betting tips: Look for the Glory to be fired up and win at $2.87 (Sportsbet)
Also look for the away team to put up over 1.5 goals at $2.50 (Sportsbet)
Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United
7:45PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
At the Glen Willow Sporting Field in Mudgee the Mariners put on a real show for the supporters in attendance, beating the ‘Bulls’ thoroughly 4-2. They shot 7/13 on target as Marco Urena scored twice, Matthew Hatch bagged one and Noah Smith secured his first career goal in in the 57th-minute with his strong left-footed attempt. As for Adelaide, their 0-0 draw vs Western Sydney at CommBank Stadium was a serious blow to their top two chances. A victory would’ve seen them go just three-points off 2nd, but now it’s at five instead. With the 2nd placed Western United also having an additional two games in hand over the ‘Reds’ as well. Adelaide had their chances, going 3/14 on target, but they couldn’t take advantage of them. Will it be the firing Central Coast who get the job done in this one, or can Adelaide muster up that typical fighting spirit that was on display for all to see not too long ago?
Key Player – Mark Birighitti. Denied what many think would be a more-than-deserved callup for the Socceroos two latest WCQ, the former Swansea keeper may have a vendetta in this affair. Having stopped three penalty kicks this season, in addition to averaging four saves per match, he is primed for a BIG, BIG performance.
Betting tips: Back Adelaide to come away with the win at $2.87 (Sportsbet)
Also back it to be a goal bonanza with over 2.5 scored at $1.77 (Sportsbet)
Macarthur FC vs Melbourne City
7:45PM AEDT, Campbelltown Stadium
The ‘Bulls’ have been dour as of late, losing three of their last four games, with a brief 3-1 Derby reprieve against the Wanderers the only one of those results to sing home about. Whilst City have drawn three out of their last four, with two of those coming against the other Melbourne based sides. Macarthur have however won four of their last six matches played at home, while City have toppled the opposition in three of their previous four games on the road, turning this into a somewhat interesting affair. Despite City’s distinct edge, Macarthur currently occupy 4th spot, so they are no slouches! Can the ‘Bulls’ ram home a vital victory, or will City be too clinical where it counts?
Key Player – Marco Tilio. With Jamie Maclaren absent on international duty, Tilio’s time to show what he’s really capable of is right now! He glitzed and glammed in last season’s historic Grand Final victory, and he also has two goals and four assists on the season. With an expected uptake in minutes here look for him to take full advantage of it.
Betting tips: Pick City to win what should be a fairly easy encounter at $1.83 (Bet365)
Also look for there to be over 11 corners at $2.00 (Bet365)
Sunday, March 27
Melbourne Victory vs Western Sydney Wanderers
7:05PM AEDT, AAMI Park
As the Victory prepare to host the Wanderers, they do so having recently put out a good account of themselves, in what was a 1-1 Derby draw against City at AAMI Park. They opened the scoring through Marco Rojas in the 19th-minute and secured the point despite having just 39% possession of the ball throughout the toughly contested affair. Meanwhile Western Sydney had every reason to be left disappointed in their nil-all draw vs Adelaide in Parramatta, as they spewed to many quality chances versus the Craig Goodwin-less visitors. Shooting 4/12 on target, they had several good chances to make the back of the net bulge, but they suffered under pressure when it mattered the most. Can the Wanderers finally do what they need to do here, or is it the Victory’s time to shine?
Key Player – Marco Rojas. The 42X New Zealand international opened the Victory’s scoring against City last time out and has been an absolutely vital part of Tony Popovic’s team this season, fashioning two goals, five assists and 13 shot assists. His creativity has the potential to deal a brutal blow to the Wanderers here.
Betting tips: Back Melbourne to see this one out at $1.75 (Bet365)
Also look for both teams to score at $1.75 (Bet365)
Best Bets of the week – Newcastle Jets vs Sydney FC
Back Sydney FC to continue their hot streak with a win at $2.25 (Bet365)
Also look for only Sydney to score at $2.00 (Bet365)