The following are previews with betting tips for the G2 Semifinals of the 2021/22 A-League Men season.
Saturday, May 21
Melbourne Victory vs Western United
5:15PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Up until the 74th-minute at AAMI Park, in what was a tightly contested 1-0 result, Western United and the Melbourne Victory were neck and neck, with the respective rivals each exchanging multiple near-blows prior to Jake Brimmer’s moment of brilliance which tore the encounter wide open. As the 24-year-old Victorian-born Midfielder received the ball on the edge of the box, he struck the ball perfectly leaving Jamie Young in awe, as it nestled into the top lefthand corner. His preceding celebration equally as beautiful, with his hands cupped around his ears as a sign of respect for his deaf son. And if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned veteran Goalkeeper, Young, Brimmer’s scintillating strike may have just been one of two or three that the ‘visitors’ could have locked down on the evening. Still however with just one goal separating Tony Popovic’s and John Aloisi’s troops, it’s all to play for in the second leg! As each side fight desperately for a spot in the Grand Final.
While Brimmer worked his magic against the ‘Green & Black’, the herculean defensive efforts of both Jason Davidson and Jason Geria cannot be discounted either! They were both immense in keeping the likes of Aleksander Prijovic (one shot in total), Connor Pain (both his attempts were off target) and Dylan Wenzel-Halls (no shots at all and rendered completely useless) at bay. They were proactive in their work, whilst also winning eleven combined duels. However, Prijovic, as he displayed in the game prior against Wellington, is capable of unleashing offence from even the weirdest of angles. While both Pain and Wenzel-Halls are A-League experienced stars. The Victory’s defensive stalwarts did it once, but they’ll have to do it all over again on Saturday night in order to ensure that their side advances through to the ‘Big Dance’.
The ’Boys in Blue’ have won the Championship four times, whilst they also won a domestic cup earlier this season as well (FFA, now Australia Cup). They are experienced and used to the pressure. Meanwhile Western’s best player (or arguably), Allesandro Diamanti, can only make his voice heard from the sidelines, as the ‘Italian Maestro’ deals with injury. The Victory are too good and too experienced to let this incredible opportunity slip by them. Expect them to pip the ‘Green & Black’ in what should be an absolute thriller of a contest.
*Key Statistic: Over their last five consecutive appearances, Western United have registered just a goal or less!!!
Betting tips: Look for the Victory to win at $1.83 (Bet365)
Whilst that victory should be aided by a Nick D’Agostino strike anytime at $3.60 (Bet365)
Also look for the total goals scored by Melbourne to be at over 1.5 at $1.83 (Bet365)
Sunday, May 22
Melbourne City vs Adelaide United
2:05PM AEDT, AAMI Park
Contesting what was a 0-0 draw at Coopers Stadium, Adelaide United shocked Melbourne City, stifling last seasons double trophy victors to just four shots on target throughout the entire matchup. Joe Gauci was the hero for the home side, as the 21-year-old emerging talent was a rock at the back for the ‘Reds’, making four incredible saves, one of which he thwarted Jamie Maclaren from near point-blank range. Whilst Spaniard Juande, the former Spezia and Betis Midfielder, also made life severely difficult for Patrick Kisnorbo’s side. Positioned close to the back, he won 8/14 duels and 4/7 aerial duels, whilst also making sixty-three accurate passes at an 85% completion rate. He wasn’t afraid to back off when his side needed him the most and he was extremely relentless in what he did. Those two players in particular left it all out on the field and now Adelaide have been left with the chance to secure their first Grand Final finish since the 2015-16 campaign! Suffice to say Finals time is certainly not disappointing in the A-League.
Maclaren is considered by many to be the face of the competition, whilst there’s a reason that City pay him the big bucks. And relatively speaking he’s lived up to the hype this season, with thirty goals and four assists across the A-League, FFA Cup (now Australia Cup), Champions League and International Qualifiers. However, his efforts against Adelaide were simply put, horrendous, as he struggled to produce the goods against a young and energetic ‘Reds’ side. He had double the number of shots off target than he did on (two vs one). Whilst he also made just seven passes in total, and he also failed to complete his only tackle attempt within the clash. His Japanese counterpart and opposition Striker Hiroshi Ibusuki severely outshone him, and he was devilishly unlucky not to sneak the ball into the back of the net early on. Simply put, these sorts of occasions are why Maclaren represents City Football Group. I believe he’ll step up to the plate and fashion a five-star performance, but he’s under a hell of a lot of pressure to do so.
City win this. There’s just too much going for them! They have the home advantage. Maclaren is seeking a ‘revenge’ game. Meanwhile Adelaide’s youth may not particularly work in their favour here. That inexperience could cost the ‘Reds’ in the game’s crucial moments. As could the raring inconsistences that are extremely evident in the performances of starters George Blackwood and Lachlan Brook. + With a Melbourne decider more than likely on the line, provided the result of the Victory’s affair goes the way it’s expected to, then there will just be even more motivation there! It won’t be easy, but Melbourne ought to get it done in the end.
*Key Statistic: In seven of their last eight games, Adelaide have kept the opposition to one goal or less!!!
Betting tips: Back City to win at $1.57 (Bet365)
Also look for Maclaren to get off to the perfect start at home by scoring first at $3.40 (Bet365)
While Scott Jamieson’s passion may get the better of him with a booking anytime at $2.50 (Bet365)
Best G2 Semifinals Picks –
Look for both the Victory and United to score in their rivalry at $1.75 (Bet365)
Also look for Melbourne City to score in H1 vs Adelaide at $1.57 (Bet365)