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Odds and Contender Analysis for the 2021-22 A-League Season

| September 5, 2021 7:24 am PDT

Are you ready to bet on the 2021/22 A-League season?

The previous campaign may have only finished in June, with Melbourne City beating Sydney FC in the Grand Final, but on October 29th, the 201-22 A-League season gets underway.

In this post, I take a look back at what happened in the previous campaign and discuss last season’s ladder. I then check out the latest 2021/22 A-League odds and see what the top A-League betting sites think about the upcoming season.

I also analyze the favorites to win the next A-League title before detailing the outsiders and potential sleepers that could upset the A-League odds. If you need even more help betting this year, be sure to check out this guide to betting on the A-League.

Let’s start by reliving last season.

What Happened Last Season?

Melbourne City won both the premiership and championship last season, finishing two points ahead of the Sky Blues before beating them 3-1 in the Grand Final.

There is no denying that Patrick Kisnorbo’s side was the best team in the A-League by a considerable margin last term.

The Mariners were the great overachievers in the previous campaign, recording their highest finish since 2013/14. At the opposite end of the ladder, Melbourne Victory endured the worst season in the club’s history.

This is how the 2020/21 A-League ladder ended up.

Team Wins Draws Losses GD Points
Melbourne City 15 4 7 +25 49
Sydney FC 13 8 5 +16 47
Central Coast 12 6 8 +4 42
Brisbane Roar 11 7 8 +8 40
Adelaide United 11 6 9 -2 39
Macarthur 11 6 9 -3 39
Wellington 10 8 8 +10 38
Western Sydney 9 8 9 +2 35
Perth Glory 9 7 10 0 34
Western United 8 4 14 -17 28
Newcastle Jets 5 6 15 -14 21
Melbourne Victory 5 4 17 -29 19


Macarthur clinched a top-six finish in their maiden A-League campaign, bowing out to Melbourne City in the semi-finals. Brisbane and Adelaide also reached the finals series, although neither side was able to reach showpiece.

Disappointingly, both the Wanderers and Glory finished outside the top six. Western United dropped massively, too, having finished fifth their debut season.

Let’s see if last season’s A-League player stats or standings are reflected in the bookmakers’ odds for the A-League championship in 2021/22.

A-League Championship Betting Odds for 2021/22

I’m not surprised. Are you!?

As expected, Melbourne City (4.00) and Sydney FC (4.50) find themselves atop the bookies’ 2021/22 A-League odds list.

I mean, last season’s Grand Finalists have dominated Australian soccer in recent years – winning four of the last five premierships and four of the previous five championships between them.

Macarthur, Perth, and Western Sydney are all priced at 9.00, with Adelaide (11.00), Victory (11.00), and Brisbane (13.00) just behind.

Despite their phenomenal efforts last season, the Mariners are priced at 21.00 to go all the way this time around. Western United has the same price, while Wellington (26.00) and Newcastle (34.00) are the outsiders.

Can Melbourne City Defend Their Crown?

Having lost to Sydney FC in the 2019/20 Grand Final, Melbourne City headed into the previous campaign with a point to prove. As it turned out, Kisnorbo’s men ended up clinching both the premiership and championship for the very first time.

A remarkable run of just one loss in 17 matches between February and May ultimately sealed the premiership. City enjoyed six and four-game winning streaks during that period, underlining their dominance.

Although Curtis Good, Scott Jamieson, and Connor Metcalfe were all named in the 2020/21 A-League Team of the Season, we all know that Jamie Maclaren is City’s most important player, right?

Player Team Goals
Jamie Maclaren Melbourne City 25
Matt Derbyshire Macarthur FC 14
Bruno Fornaroli Perth Glory 13
Bobo Sydney FC 12
Tomor Hemed Wellington Phoenix 11

Maclaren netted a whopping 25 goals in 24 games last term, 11 more than his nearest challenger – Matt Derbyshire. He has now scored 100 goals in 142 A-League appearances.

If Maclaren picks up where he left off last season, City will be difficult to stop.

Kisnorbo’s squad has been bolstered by the arrival of Matthew Leckie, too. The legendary Socceroo – who has 63 international caps under his belt – has signed from German side Hertha BSC, enhancing City’s chances of success.

So, can Melbourne City defend their crown? If you’re looking for a short answer, then it’s a yes from me!

Will Sydney FC Bounce Back?

You can bet your bottom dollar that Sydney FC will be desperate to make amends for last season’s Grand Final loss when the new campaign gets underway.

The Sky Blues were heavy favorites to win both pieces of silverware last term, having clinched three of the previous four premierships and three of the past four championships. However, City spoiled the party.

You only have to take a quick glance at Sydney FC’s recent Grand Final record to understand why the bookies’ view Steve Corica’s team as the only genuine challenger to City’s throne.

Season Grand Final Winner Runner-Up
2016/17 Sydney FC Melbourne Victory
2017/18 Melbourne Victory Newcastle Jets
2018/19 Sydney FC Perth Glory
2019/20 Sydney FC Melbourne City
2020/21 Melbourne City Sydney FC

Having featured in four of the last five Grand Finals, the Sky Blues clearly know what it takes to go all the way. They triumphed in 2017, 2019, and 2020 before falling to City last season.

That said, the club has made a number of relatively underwhelming signings during the offseason. It’s fair to say that Melbourne Victory reject Elvis Kamsoba and ex-Western United midfielder, Max Burgess hasn’t exactly excited many Sydney FC fans.

Despite the obvious attacking threat that players like Bobo, Adam Le Fondre, and Kosta Barbarouses pose, I can’t help but feel as though Corica’s squad requires reinforcements in other departments.

Are the Bulls Realistic Title Contenders?

Macarthur FC stunned everyone by finishing sixth and reaching the semi-finals in their maiden A-League campaign. The question on everyone’s lips is – can they go one better this season?

Well, the A-League oddsmakers certainly seem to think they can. Considering Melbourne City and Sydney FC are the only two sides above the Bulls on the bookies’ current A-League championship odds list, they have to be taken seriously.

Macarthur’s squad looks seriously strong now, too, thanks to the arrival of numerous big-name players. In fact, it feels like the Bulls have poached a number of their rivals’ star performers.

  • Tomislav Uskok – Western United
  • Ulises Davila – Wellington Phoenix
  • Daniel De Silva – Central Coast Mariners
  • Craig Noone – Melbourne City
  • Tomi Juric – Adelaide United
  • Jordon Mutch – Western Sydney Wanderers

Both Craig Noone and Jordon Mutch arrive at the club with vast English Premier League experience, while Tomi Juric, Daniel De Silva, and Tomislav Uskok are all proven A-League campaigners.

Macarthur’s biggest offseason move, though, has to be the arrival of Ulises Davila. The Mexican magician was named PFA Football of the Year last season and also picked up the Johnny Warren Medal.

If manager Ante Milicic can integrate all the new signings efficiently, the Bulls could challenge the two frontrunners this season.

Could Anyone Else Win the A-League Title?

Below, I detail three clubs that could break the Melbourne City/Sydney FC duopoly and clinch the 2021/22 A-League championship.

Can Perth Return to the Top?

In the past five seasons, only one team has prevented Melbourne City and Sydney FC from winning the A-League premiership. That team is Perth Glory.

In the same season that Perth won the premiership (2018/19), they also reached the Grand Final. However, they eventually lost to Sydney FC on penalties.

The Glory’s last championship wins came all the way back in 2002/03 and 2003/04. Since then, they have only managed to make it to two Grand Finals – losing on both occasions.

It is no secret that the Western Australians underachieved last term, finishing ninth on the ladder – their worst-ever finish. If they want to challenge for the championship this season, they will need to up their game.

What About the Wanderers?

Scoring goals wasn’t a problem for Western Sydney last season. In fact, only Melbourne City outscored them. But if they are serious about challenging for the title this term, they must tighten things up at the back.

The Wanderers conceded a whopping 43 goals in the previous campaign, while just three sides conceded more. Needless to say, they won’t win silverware if they carry on like that.

WSW lost three Grand Finals in four years between 2012/13 and 2015/16. Can they go one better this time around?

Will Popovic Galvanize Victory?

Melbourne Victory endured a campaign to forget last season. For the first time in history, the legendary A-League club picked up the ironic “wooden spoon” – finishing rock bottom of the ladder.

The Boys in Blue have plenty of reasons to be optimistic, though. With Tony Popovic now at the helm, Victory will be confident of returning to the top of Australian soccer once again.

Popovic – who led Perth to the premiership in 2018/19 – won two A-League Coach of the Year awards during his first spell in the division. Following managerial stints in Turkey and Greece, the highly-rated coach is back.

Given his managerial record, I wouldn’t be surprised if Popovic totally transformed Victory’s fortunes and put the club back on the map.

Betting on the 2021/22 A-League Season

Ultimately, it is difficult to look past Melbourne City when it comes to betting on the A-League in 2021/22.

The defending champions won both the premiership and championship last season.

If Maclaren continues to shine and Leckie finds his feet quickly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sealed the double again.

Although Sydney FC is City’s nearest challenger in the eyes of the bookies, I think Macarthur stands the best chance snatching City’s crown. The Bulls have made multiple top-quality signings during the offseason, giving them even more firepower than last season.

You would be foolish to write off Melbourne Victory, too. Of course, they finished bottom last term. But with Popovic in control, don’t be shocked if the Boys in Blue enjoy a significant resurgence this year.

Remember – the 2021/22 A-League season gets underway on October 29. If you’re planning to wager on individual matches when the new campaign kicks off, make sure you check out our free soccer picks page.

In the meantime, why not take a look at the best overseas players in A-League history?

Ranking the Top 10 Overseas Players in A-League History

Australia has welcomed countless overseas soccer stars to its shores, with World Cup winners like Alessandro Del Pierro and Romario gracing the A-League over the years. But who are the greatest overseas players in A-League history? Of course, whittling down...

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Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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