A-League Predictions for Matchday 19: Predictions for Every Game
With the Sydney derby washed out thanks to the torrential rain that the region endured at the weekend, Melbourne City and Perth Glory took full advantage of the chance to close the gap between Sydney FC and the rest. That postponement gave the reigning champions another game in hand, but points on the board can prove to be a big psychological plus at this time of the season.
Elsewhere, Newcastle beat Central Coast to give its own finals series chances a boost. Brisbane also picked up some valuable points in its climb up the A-League table.
Just four games this weekend, as Sydney gets another week off. But there are a number of intriguing-looking fixtures that you can bet on at the top soccer betting sites online, and I’ll be offering my Australian A-League matchday 19 predictions for all games.
Adelaide United to Beat Central Coast Mariners
The early downpour might have affected Adelaide’s game with Brisbane at the weekend, but Gertjan Verbeek knows that it wasn’t the weather that gifted the points to the Roar. His team just couldn’t hold onto a 1-0 lead that always seemed precarious.
This was a perfect opportunity for the Reds to involve itself in the chasing pack behind Sydney. But another defeat means that it is more likely to just be battling for a finals spot. This week’s fixture should be slightly easier, but there can be no more mistakes from Adelaide.
Central Coast Mariners lost the F3 derby against a revitalized Newcastle Jets on Saturday to make it four defeats in a row. It is just goal difference that keeps the Mariners off the bottom of the table now. Either side could have won the game, but that was more down to the defensive units gifting chances rather than any attacking flair on show. I keep on saying it, but there is a good core of a squad at Central Coast, but it just doesn’t seem to be able to compete on a regular basis quite yet.
Wellington Phoenix to Beat Melbourne City
Wellington was stung by a Perth Glory side that raced into a 3-0 lead early on at the weekend. The Phoenix had actually played some very nice soccer and was arguably the better of the two sides before the first goal. But Perth was far deadlier with its finishing and looked like it was proving that it was the main challenger to Sydney. But there is a lot for Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay to feel happy about concerning his side.
There is definitely a better team spirit this season, with a very watchable brand of soccer on show. Wellington could surprise Melbourne City this weekend.
City won the Melbourne derby thanks to a battling display against the Victory. Even a terrible mistake that gifted Ola Toivonen another goal couldn’t stop City taking the points and the bragging rights. The win was the first in three games and much needed considering Sydney’s postponed game.
Melbourne City will definitely be pushing all the way to be involved in the finals, but I’m worried about the lack of consistency that sees the club a full 10 points behind the runaway leaders. If Wellington is on its game, City could fall further adrift on Saturday.
Newcastle Jets to Beat Western Sydney Wanderers
If you are looking for a surprise win this weekend that will probably attract some enticing odds, then picking Newcastle might not be a bad choice. The Jets are bottom of the A-League and have only won three games all season, but I feel there is a change in the air. Carl Robinson has come in as permanent manager and will benefit from the return of the majority of the club’s top players. Wes Hoolahan is still missing, but the new Welsh coach will be hoping that the potential of this squad can be realized now.
Western Sydney Wanderers may have been up for the derby game against the league leaders at the weekend, but the weather put paid to any hopes of a confidence-boosting victory. Now the Black and Red needs to travel the short distance to Newcastle and refocus after a week off.
It has not been a good season for WSW, and the new manager, Jean-Paul de Marigny, will need to capture the mood of the players that were able to beat Central Coast two weeks ago if his unbeaten run is to continue.
I feel that the Jets will be out to impress their new manager, however, and can take all three points.
Brisbane Roar to Beat Western United
It was perhaps to be expected that this inaugural season for Western United would be a disjointed affair. A brand-new club, with a squad that had never played together before, was always going to experience an element of inconsistency. At times, Western United has looked like it could beat anyone in the A-League, but those times have been few and far between recently. There is some obvious talent in the team, but head coach Mark Rudan will need to coax it out more regularly to ensure a top-six finish.
Robbie Fowler has really worked hard at making his Brisbane Roar team a contender this season, and it is just about coming good at the right time. This is a real six-point fixture, with both the Roar and Western United battling it out for a place in the finals series.
Both clubs could end up making the playoffs, but it is looking more likely that the sixth and final spot will be taken by one of these two. Brisbane’s comeback win against Adelaide last week was impressive, and if the Roar can summon up that kind of determination once again, there could be another three points for the cause here.
So, no Sydney for another week. But at this point, there really is no doubt that the Sky Blues will top the table at the end of the regular season. What happens in the five places below the reigning champions is far harder to call, however.
There are a couple of games this week that could tell us a little more about the identities of the remaining finals series clubs. But with most teams facing ten more games, there is a lot that can still happen over the next few weeks.