A-League Finals Week 1

The view from our man, Tom McDonald:

Match Details: Friday 21st April
7:50pm @ Suncorp Stadium

H2H Betting (Bet365):
Brisbane Roar $2.25
Draw $3.40
Western Sydney $3.25

Thoughts: Should be a cracker of a game this to start off the finals series. Brisbane opened up at $2.05 in the H2H markets but have surprisingly drifted to as long as $2.30 with some bookmakers. That betting move surprises me as I expect Brisbane to win this game and think the price on offer is very hard to refuse. Not only is it potentially Thomas Broich’s last game at home – which should lift the crowd and give the players big motivation to win – Roar have a superior record over the Wanderers in the league, unbeaten in 12/14 previous meetings. Here at home they haven’t lost to Tony Popovic’s side in 6/7 encounters, while they have only lost 2/13 home games this season overall. Since John Aloisi took charge, Suncorp Stadium has been a paradise for Brisbane, who have only been beaten there three times in the league – an imposing record for any travelling away side needing to win. The Wanderers haven’t been too bad away from home recently, but have only won 2/9, and were perhaps fortunate to get a point last week as Adelaide let them back into the game. I don’t see Roar doing that here – they will be out for revenge after last’s year’s defeat to the Wanderers in the preliminary final, a game which they at one stage led 3-0. All three encounters this season finished with both teams scoring so there will surely be goals, but Roar should have no trouble getting at least two as they have scored 10 goals in their previous three league games at home.

Prediction: Brisbane
Suggested Bet: Brisbane to win @ $2.30

Match Details: Sunday 23rd April
7:00pm @ AAMI Park

H2H Betting (Bet365):
Melbourne City $1.91
Draw $3.80
Perth Glory $3.80

Thoughts: The final knockout match of the weekend sees Melbourne City face Perth Glory for the second time inside a week, after these two sides played out an almost comical but entertaining 5-4 result to end the regular season. Perth won the match and perhaps took their foot off the gas towards the end, allowing City to score some late goals. This will be a different game however with so much on the line, but 7/8 recent encounters have been over 3.5 goals so it is possible this could be another high scoring contest. These two also met at the some stage last season, a game which saw City win comfortably by two goals to nil. I’m expecting a much tighter game this time around, and find it hard to split either side. City have a decent home record it’s true, undefeated in 10/12 games here, but they don’t seem to be travelling all that well under Michael Valkanis. They face a side which has scored an outstanding 11 goals against them this season, taking seven points off them including four points at this venue. Glory are also undefeated in 4/6 previous visits to Melbourne to face City. As a result they will have no fears travelling here. Perth’s away form isn’t too bad either. While having only won 1/12 away games in the league recently, they have only actually lost two from the last nine, so away draws have been the norm for Kenny Lowe’s side. Get the feeling this could be another one and with it, extra time.

Prediction: Draw
Suggested Bet: Perth win/draw double chance @ $1.95
Value Bet: Draw @ $3.95
One for the multiples: Suggested Bet double @ $4.50

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