The following are previews with betting tips for Week 26 of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
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Wednesday, May 04
Newcastle Jets vs Western United
7:05PM AEDT, McDonald Jones Stadium
A victory for the visiting ‘Green & Black’ would reascend them into first place on the ladder, however a win for the Jets would be their seventh from their past thirteen home appearances and would also help them strongly back up their 3-0 thumping of Macarthur last weekend. With everything that’s on the line in this game for Western United, they’re a safe pick to collect all three-points at McDonald Jones Stadium.
To date Western United have had a very impressive campaign, collecting thirteen wins and five draws from twenty-four regular season games. And with John Aloisi on the verge of helping his club collect their maiden piece of silverware, it’s difficult to envision how anything other then a commanding victory from his side will be the end result here. With Beka Mikeltadze on thirteen goals this season, he is just one behind Jamie Maclaren in being equal top goal-scorer this domestic campaign. So, whilst he may star, defensive resilience will get the job done for Jamie Young (3.54 saves per match this season), Leo Lacroix (sixty-nine duels won this season) & Co.
Betting tips: Look for Western United to inch closer to a maiden trophy by winning at $2.62 (Bet365)
Also back there to be over 1.5 goals scored at $1.22 (Bet365)
Perth Glory vs Melbourne City
9:05PM AEDT, HBF Park
Melbourne City have won six of their last eleven clashes and most recently ended their time in Asia undefeated in their group and perpetually unlucky not to advance through to the next stage. As for the hosting Perth Glory, their latest clash was a thrilling 1-1 draw against the Wanderers at HBF Park. Despite ex-City Striker Bruno Fornaroli starring for the Wooden Spooners, a win for last season’s championship victors should be the only result on the cards during this feisty head-to-head.
The Glory should consider themselves lucky if City don’t put five or six goals past them in this encounter and I say that extremely seriously. Back in the A-League after their tour of Asia, Melbourne is once again back in their comfort zone and ready to fire. There’s ‘J-Mac’ ready to pounce again after his disappointing international visit, as he’s locked down fourteen strikes and nineteen shot assists this campaign. Whilst Matthew Leckie will be patiently waiting too, with nine goals, four goal assists and nineteen shot assists to his name. This fearsome duo should tear Perth to shreds as they gear up for another tilt at the Championship.
Betting tips: Pick City to thump Perth at $1.33 (Bet365)
Also look for over 2.5 strikes to be fashioned at $1.57 (Bet365)
Thursday, May 05
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Wellington Phoenix
7:05PM AEDT, CommBank Stadium
A win in Western Sydney against Western Sydney would mathematically guarantee the Phoenix a much craved after Top Six berth within this season’s finals. However, for the hosts, anything is possible given their up and down form lately. From scoring five combined goals against F3 rivals Newcastle and the Central Coast in back-to-back clashes, before drawing 1-1 vs Perth and going down 1-0 to the ‘Nix’, highlighting their major inconsistences. With late season Football within Wellington’s grasp, expect them to etch their way to a victory in this encounter.
Ufuk Talay is an extremely smart coach. The 46-year-old has already delivered Wellington Finals Football once, whilst when playing in Australia he won an Oceania Club Championship, an A-League Championship and an NSL Championship. That’s not even including all that he achieved with Turkish giants Galatasaray. He knows and understands Football better then most. That’s why I am completely confident that this game will once again see him work his elusive sideline magic and deliver Wellington what they so desperately crave and deserve might I add.
Betting tips: Look for both outfits to score 1+ goal each in H2 at $2.75 (Bet365)
And also look for the strikes scored in H1 to be over 0.5 at $1.30 (Bet365)
Saturday, May 07
Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory
7:45PM AEDT, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Mathematically Sydney’s finals hopes could be dashed, dead and buried by the time they face the Victory in what is their final ever match at Jubilee Stadium, ahead of their return to Allianz Stadium next season. As they head into the latest edition of the Big Blue off the back of a disastrous Asian Champions League campaign in which they claimed just two solitary points throughout the entirety of it. The ‘trusty’ highlight coming when they were thrashed 3-0 by former Victory coach Kevin Muscat by his Yokohama troops. The Victory on the other hand currently reside in second place, thus meaning this could be a very, very one-sided encounter.
Bobo has enjoyed one hell of a time during his stay in Eastern Sydney. With the Sky Blues he’s collected countless accolades, including an A-League Championship, Premiership and FFA Cup. Whilst in 2017-18 he was both the A-League’s and Cup’s top goal-scorer. The Striker has scored some truly memorable goals and has been of a great service to both Sydney and Australian Football in general. Now with this clash against the Victory being his final home match for the club he’s grown so fond of, the fans will surely reciprocate. Because it’s ‘Always believe in Bobo, he is the one who scores goals, he’s indestructible’. This clash should be all about paying service to this awesome, awesome player!
Betting tips: Back both rivals to score 1+ goal each at $1.67 (Sportsbet)
Also look for Sydney to register 1+ strikes in H1 at $1.91 (Sportsbet)
Central Coast Mariners vs Newcastle Jets
7:45PM AEDT, Central Coast Stadium
By the time this latest rendition of the F3 Debry comes around, the Central Coast may well have already secured their place in this season’s finals series. Regardless of what could or may not happen headed into this clash though, it’s still guaranteed to be a banger! When they last went head-to-head up in Newcastle, it was the Mariners who fought their way to a spirited 4-2 victory, a win which essentially ended the Jets faint top six hopes. So, will revenge perhaps be on their minds this time around? However, no matter what happens, pick this to be a game and a half in Gosford!
Every Mariners member is allowed to bring as many mates as they want for free to this crucial clash, in what is simply put a freaking awesome initiate generated by the club ahead of their 99.9999% secured second finals appearance in as many seasons. Thus, meaning there could be a dangerously hostile crowd facing Newcastle as they attempt to back up their most recent three-goal thumping over Macarthur. They should get 10,000+ spectators attending this exciting clash and the Mariners will be all there for it! Despite the Jets form, it’s exceedingly difficult to envision the Central Coast not winning what is an absolutely humongous home clash for them.
Betting tips: This is a simply massive clash that the Mariners will win at $2.00 (Sportsbet)
Also look for the Jets to feature on the score sheet at least once at $1.22 (Sportsbet)
Sunday, May 08
Macarthur FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers
4:05PM AEDT, Campbelltown Stadium
The Derby between Macarthur and Western Sydney being contested at Campbelltown Stadium essentially has no meaning, with both clubs guaranteed to miss out on playing late-season Football this year. However, in what is inaugural coach Ante Milicic’s final game in charge of the ‘Bulls’, there should be a bit of ‘go-forward grunt’ attitude in their game out of respect and love for the man who delivered them a top six berth during his first season in charge of the club. Yet if nothing else, we also might get a good glimpse of each side’s future talents. Despite the lack of fanfare surrounding this clash, it should still be worth a watch.
With Tomi Juric expected to play what will be just his eighth game of the season, it’ll be interesting to witness how he plays against fellow underperforming Striker and opposing Wanderer, Tomer Hemed. Juric has zero goals this season, whilst Hemed has just five from eighteen games. Whilst he’s shot the ball off target more times than he has on, at 14 vs 13. Both players arrived at their respective clubs this season and to a lot of fanfare at that, but clearly the two moves have failed to pan out. And with the regular season winding shut to a close, both men desperately need to prove why they need to be kept on for next season. Because at this current point in time, it’s looking drastically dire for the both of them.
Betting tips: Look for Macarthur to claim a closely contested victory over their rivals at $2.50 (Sportsbet)
Also look for them to seek refuge in the back of the net first at $1.91 (Sportsbet)
Adelaide United vs Western United
6:20PM AEDT, Coopers Stadium
Over the last three encounters played between these two teams, a single Connor Pain goal is the only strike that’s been struck into the back of the net. It’s not been from a lack of trying though, with a combined twenty shots taken that game. Meanwhile in their head-to-head prior to that, twenty-three shots were attempted. It’s not entirely surprising that that’s the case however, as outside of both Craig Goodwin and Aleksander Prijovic (nine A-League goals apiece this campaign), both clubs lack any real and recognisable goal-scorers. Instead pick defence to be the key here, as both sides battle in their pursuit of a home final (or two).
Adelaide can still lock down a home final, while for Western a win here may gift wrap them first position, so it is paramount that both clubs head into this clash seeking all three-points. For the ‘Reds’ they’ve won their last four matches on the trot and have kept the opposition to zero goals in three of them. Meanwhile for Western, they’ve won two of their last three matches. With victories against Macarthur and prior to that Perth, resulting in a cumulative 8-0 score line. Meanwhile this will also be a great test for both teams headed into the latter part of the season, as they evidently face off against sturdy opposition (each other). No doubt this game could be very fun.
Betting tips: Both teams are in scintillating form at the moment meaning a draw may be the end result at $3.60 (Sportsbet)
Also look for at least one penalty to be scored at $3.24 (Sportsbet)
Monday, May 09
Melbourne City vs Wellington Phoenix
7:05PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Melbourne City up against the Wellington Phoenix is the battle we never knew we needed in our lives until recently. During the most recent edition City thumped the ‘Nix’ in what was a commanding six goal to nothing victory at Shark Park. As Melbourne produced a scintillating performance filled to the brim with blistering strikes. In the head-to-head prior to that however, Wellington caused a stir as they knocked Melbourne out of the FFA Cup (now known as Australia Cup) on penalties. That clash preceded their exciting 2-2 draw at AAMI Park and one in which Jamie Maclaren thought he had secured the 81st-minute winner. That was before Tomer Hemed found refuge in the back of the net just seven-minutes later to cap off what was a truly exciting encounter. Hopefully there’s more in store here!
To rest players or aim for first? That is the biggest question surrounding Patrick Kisnorbo and his men headed into this affair. If he plays the big guns in pursuit of first, they might win the Premiership. But he also risks them tiring out, especially after their recent Asian Champions League expedition. But there’s also the argument to be made that it’ll be more then likely that two out of the three Melbourne teams, Victory, City and Western will reach the Grand Final, thus rendering trying to gain a home advantage not all that important. It would also be catastrophic if Victory fans largely outnumbered City fans on the day of the big event. Questions that loom large now, will no doubt be answered come game day.
Betting tips: When the match odds become available pick one or both of Jamie Maclaren and Ben Waine to score. Or if Maclaren doesn’t feature, Andrew Nabbout is the go!
Tuesday, May 10
Brisbane Roar vs Sydney FC
7:05PM AEDT, Moreton Daily Stadium
When Brisbane have versed Sydney in Brisbane, two of the last three matches have been 1-1 stalemates. This QLD vs NSW battle always seems to bring out scrappy elements from both clubs, as they fight hard for the win. Despite both clubs’ poor seasons to date, this game still possesses plenty of reasons to tune in. Luke Ivanovic up against his former team is always fun, especially with Sydney struggling due to a lack of youth talent this campaign (cough, cough, they let go of Ivanovic pretty quickly). Whilst it will also be Bobo’s final game as a professional Footballer, with the Brazilian legend hanging up his boots at the conclusion of this clash. There should also be exciting stars of the future such as Henry Hore and Patrick Wood featuring and being allowed to roam around free too. This’ll be a better matchup than what most anticipate it to be.
This is the type of bogey clash that has haunted Sydney all season long. Not too long ago the Jets smacked them 3-0 in Newcastle. Whilst prior to that there was an extremely disheartening 2-1 loss to the Glory at home. That being amongst a myriad of other shocking and saddening clashes. Brisbane could quite easily take out this clash here based on that alone. So, if Sydney don’t turn up to play, then Steve Corcia and his men could find themselves in some damaging trouble early on. Brisbane’s youth aren’t to be sneezed at and contesting this clash at Dolphin Stadium, they may well certainly turn up the heat on the ‘Sky Blues’.
Betting tips: When the match odds become available pick one or both of Henry Hore and Adam Le Fondre to score at anytime. Whilst if Bobo plays and ‘Alfie’ for whatever reason doesn’t, he could potentially be a good pick too.
Best Bets of the week – Central Coast Mariners vs Newcastle Jets
This is a simply massive clash that the Mariners will win at $2.00 (Sportsbet)
Also look for the Jets to feature on the score sheet at least once at $1.22 (Sportsbet)