Matchweek 17 of the A-League brings us a good old-fashioned full weekend of football of the round ball variety.
That’s right, no exotic midweek fixtures at strange locations, no teams doubling it up, just six games from Friday night to Sunday.
The A-League is having its best season in years.
Exciting, high scoring, fast-paced and choc-full of promising homegrown young talent.
It remains the best-kept secret in Australian sport.
If you’re not following the A-League, you truly don’t know what you’re missing.
Can we make MW17 of the A-League a profitable one? Read on in our tips and preview.
We kick-off match week 17 with the 6th placed Wanderers playing host to the 7th placed Roar at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.
The Wanderers have mastered splitting the points in recent weeks with their last three contests resulting in a draw.
If they are able to get the job done over the Roar, they can potentially cement their top-six spot.
It will be interesting to see how the Wanderers pull up after fighting out a thrilling 1-1 draw away at Adelaide United last week, with both sides down to ten men.
Bernie Ibini will be during his missed opportunity to snare the three points for the Wanderers with the last kick of the game which went wide from five meters.
Brisbane Roar got a much-needed win last week against an ordinary performance from Macarthur.
Both sides have been relatively ordinary in recent weeks, but hopefully, this clash won’t be anything from it.
Carl Robinson’s men should be able to get the job done at home in this one.
Tassie gets a taste of the A-League action as the team with no home, Western United plays host to the top-of-the-table Central Coast Mariners on Saturday in Launceston.
Western United are very hard to get a read of, with most matches involving this club the home ground advantage does not exist.
If there ever were a more appropriate sponsorship opportunity for an A-League club, Western United should get flatmate finder.com on board.
As for the game itself, it’s hard to get a read of.
You’d think the Mariners would be too good, but Western United can be very hot and cold this season.
The Mariners will be well-rested and are without doubt the real deal, but this is a game Western United tends to cause upsets in.
I can’t commit to an upset, but the draw looks like good a good value play.
After finally breaking through for a win against Newcastle last week can Melbourne Victory back it up against their cross-town rivals Melbourne City on Saturday night?
That win over Newcastle was a much-needed sugar hit, but they won’t beat Melbourne City.
Not a chance.
If Victory can do better than the 6-0 drubbing they copped from City in the most recent edition of the Derby, consider it a win.
City is short-priced $1.26 favourites, so for a bit of value, I’ve gone with a Same Game Multi option with HT/FT City, Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score.
Get involved or have a crack at your own in this game.
Sydney FC will open this game as favourites against the second-placed Adelaide United.
Perhaps its home ground advantage is the factor at play here, but the game is being played at Leichardt rather than Kogorah, so there’s a somewhat novelty about the venue.
The Sky Blues are slowly shifting into another gear.
If they can click, they are a good chance at knocking of Adelaide United who is one of the most entertaining teams in the A-League at present.
The Reds will be taking plenty of confidence from the 3-1 win over Macarthur at Hindmarsh on Wednesday night and pressing for the top spot on the A-League ladder.
If the win on Wednesday night wasn’t a warning to the competition then an away win over Sydney FC most certainly will be.
Expect this game to be an arm wrestle, Sydney FC has gone under 2.5 goals in four out of their past five games and I expect this trend may continue on Sunday.
There’s no doubting the Bulls will be glad to be back home facing Newcastle this Sunday.
Licking their wounds from a 3-1 loss to Adelaide United on Wednesday night, the Bulls have hit a two-game losing streak and would love to get the full three points on offer, consolidating their spot in the top six.
The Jets have gone eight games without a win, have shown to be competitive at times, but if you’re losing to Melbourne Victory at home you don’t stand a chance against the Bulls away.
I’ll take the Macarthur half time/full-time double option in this one.
The distance derby is always a fun fixture, and while the flight from Woolongong – Perth is still long, it’s not quite the trip across the pond and beyond it usually is.
Perth has gone three games without a win and an upcoming slate of home fixtures is important should they want to feature in finals.
The Nix has been playing some decent football recently and will take plenty of confidence heading to WA from their thrilling 3-2 win over Western United.
Whoever wins this game keeps their season alive, the loser will have to rely on obscure mathematical equations and hypotheticals to work out their future prospects.
I’m backing Perth Glory. Just.