Get your A-League tips for Week 4 of the the 2019-20 season, including the inaugural derby between Melbourne Victory and Western United.
History: Played 42: Sydney 26 V Newcastle 7 (9 Draws)
Last meeting: September 21, 2019: 0-0 draw at Apex Oval
Final Thoughts: Sydney FC are brooding from their first loss of their title defence. After getting the W in somewhat shaky style against Adelaide (3-2) and Wellington (2-1), they went down in the derby to Western Sydney 1-0. The champs had more than two-thirds possession but couldn’t make it count.
The Newcastle Jets are desperate to get on the board. Following their Week 1 bye, the Jets drew 1-1 at Gosford and went down 2-1 at home to Adelaide. The Jets led United 1-0 at halftime after Abdiel Arroyo’s goal but were run down.
The teams played out a scoreless draw in Dubbo in a pre-season friendly. After losing nine straight in the rivalry, the Jets have enjoyed a decent record against the Sky Blues in the past two seasons with two wins and two draws. But they have not won in Sydney since 2012.
Sydney FC will be looking to create opportunities for Adam le Fondre and Kosta Barbrouses after a frustrating outing offensively against Wanderers. The Jets are still searching for their 2019-20 identity and may struggle at Leichhardt.
17:00 (AEDT), Sat 2nd Nov @ BankWest Stadium, Sydney
History: Played 25: Western Sydney 10 V Brisbane 9 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: March 8, 2019: Western Sydney 4 d Brisbane 1 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: Western Sydney Wanderers are riding high on top of the A-League ladder as the only team to record three wins in the opening three rounds. They edged the Mariners 2-1 in Week 1, upset the Victory 2-1 six days later and stymied Sydney FC 1-0 last weekend. Starved of possession, Wanderers won the derby via Mitchell Duke’s 19th-minute goal and a supreme defensive effort.
Brisbane Roar drew with Perth 1-1 away and went down 1-0 to the Victory at home either side of the Round 2 bye. The defensive grit new coach Robbie Fowler promised is evident, but they need to find a balance – and some attacking enterprise.
WSW are unbeaten in their last five against Brisbane, winning three. All three encounters last season produced four goals or more; the teams played out 2-all draws in Sydney and Brisbane, before Wanderers romped to a 4-1 win at Suncorp.
But these sides have both plugged up their defences this season and a low-scorer looms.
19:30 (AEDT), Sat 2nd Nov @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Newcomers Western United face up to their second Melbourne derby in a week when they head up the highway to play the Victory.
Western United won first-up against the Phoenix and drew at home against the Glory, but Melbourne City burst their bubble somewhat with a 2-1 result in Geelong. They levelled the scores through Besart Berisha’s second-half penalty but conceded in the 85th minute.
Melbourne Victory got off the mark last weekend with a 1-0 away win over the Roar. Andrew Nabbout goaled in the 19th minute and the Victory closed out the result despite having just one-third possession.
Nabbout is out with a hamstring injury this week, however. This shapes as a defensive grind with neither side having scored more than one goal in a game this season. Lean towards the Victory head-to-head, but the under may be the best option once again.
16:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Nov @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 28: Melbourne City 12 V Wellington 10 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: April 21, 2019: Wellington 3 d Melbourne City 2 at Westpac Stadium
Final Thoughts: One of only three unbeaten teams in the A-League, Melbourne City FC followed up their opening-week scoreless draw with the Victory by beating Adelaide and Western United by identical 2-1 scorelines. The hero of both wins was Jamie Maclaren, who scored a brace in each match.
Wellington Phoenix, meanwhile, are the only side without a competition point. They have losses to Western United (1-0), Sydney FC (2-1) and Perth (2-1) so far, with Ulises Davila notching both of the Phoenix’s goals so far.
The last six matches straight between these sides were won by the home team. City FC won 2-0 early last season, but the Phoenix prevailed 1-0 and 3-2 in subsequent encounters in Wellington.
Melbourne City are on a nice roll, while the Phoenix look destined to be bottom-two fodder. Bet accordingly.
18:00 (AEDT), Sun 3rd Nov @ nib Stadium, Perth
History: Played 40: Central Coast 19 V Perth 15 (6 Draws)
Last meeting: April 7, 2019: Perth 3 d Central Coast 0 at Central Coast Stadium
Final Thoughts: Perth Glory remain unbeaten after chalking up their first win of the season – a 2-1 result away to Wellington. They played out 1-1 draws with the Roar and Western United in the opening fortnight. Chris Ikonomidis has scored two of the Glory’s four goals so far.
Central Coast come off the Week 3 bye and straight into a daunting road trip. The Mariners were a touch unlucky in losing to Wanderers 2-1 first up, then drew 1-1 at home against the Jets. Milan Duric scored the Mariners’ goal in both games.
Perth have won four straight against Central Coast, scoring at least three goals in each. The Glory have also won eight and drawn one of their last nine against the Mariners at home.
After some early rust, the Glory seem to be clicking into gear. Expect the shortest-priced favourites of Week 4 to account for the Mariners at home.