The Palmerbet Sports Team analyse Round 27 of the A-League, the final round of the season and the last chance for teams to push their way into the final series.
History: Played 45: Sydney 13 V Melbourne 13 (19 Draws).
Last meeting: January 26, 2018: Sydney 3 d Melbourne 1 at AAMI Park.
Final Thoughts: What can you say about Sydney FC this season? The best side to ever play in the A-League? Perhaps. Title Favourite? Absolutely.
Sydney have been a class above all season. Striker Bobo has the golden boot sewn up with 26 goals, 12 clear. The team are also dominant in every stat that matters. Most Goals Scored, Least Goals Conceded, Passes Completed, Accuracy, Least fouls conceded. Their play is just a level ahead of the competition.
Melbourne desperately need to find form and consistency. In a messy year, they’ve found the finals without being a title threat. Berisha and George have been handy without being spectacular and the loss of Mark Milligan has cost them fluency. Their away record is strong though with 6 wins, 3 loss and 2 draws.
Sydney are almost unbeatable at home, with only one loss in their last 29 A-League appearances at home. They have sewn up top spot and will have one eye on their Champions League match on Tuesday. Victory won’t have much to gain other than form and haven’t beaten Sydney for two years. The class that Sydney have should take them through in a bruise free game likely to lack intensity.
History: Played 25: Wellington 8 V Melbourne City 11 (6 Draws).
Last meeting: January 6th, 2018: Melbourne City 2 d Wellington 1 at AAMI Park.
Final Thoughts: Melbourne City have locked in fourth place and a finals place in Week 1 whilst Wellington will be looking for a win to jump off the bottom of the ladder after a horror season.
City have been all or nothing this season. All over the bottom sides, nothing against the top. Ross McCormack was strong up front before his departure, whilst their defence is the second best in the league with just 31 goals conceded. Their midfield has been their weak point with Vidosic, Mauk, Malik, etc are not creating enough. Luckily Bruno Fornaroli is back fit and firing with four from his last five.
Wellingtons season can’t end soon enough. For some it might be their last game for the Phoenix. They rank last in just about every stat; goals conceded, shots converted, clean sheets, passing accuracy. Its the season to forget.
City have taken the last 6 against the Phoenix with the Wellington side conceding in every game for their last 14. City win this easily.
History: Played 43: Central Coast 14 V Newcastle 13 (16 Draws).
Last meeting: January 9th, 2018: Newcastle 2 V Mariners 0 at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Final Thoughts: Central Coast’s year from hell is 90 minutes from over. They’re desperately trying to avoid the wooden spoon and a point against rival Newcastle will get the job done.
Mariners are on a five game losing streak, but the last 3 have been by a solitary goal. They’ve been reasonably solid in defence, but if they concede they inevitably lose, due to a complete lack of strike power up front. They’ve scored just 26 goals in 26 games and have managed the least number of shots on goal in the league.
The Newcastle Jets have been the feel good story of the year. Matching it with the best, their goal scoring is consistent, their defence strong, they just give the ball away too much, owning the equal worst passing effectiveness. Its cost them any shot at the premiers plate and will be trouble going into the higher pressure playoff series.
The Jets have taken both match ups this season and should take the third with ease.
History: Played 39: Perth 9 V Brisbane 21 (9 Draws).
Last meeting: January 18, 2018: 1-1 Draw at Suncorp Stadium.
Final Thoughts: Its do or die for Perth and Brisbane. Win and they have a chance at finals if the Wanderers lose or draw. Lose and its season over.
Perth are 4 wins from their last 5 games at home with a brave effort against all conquering Sydney the blemish. Perth at home breed results. There hasn’t been a draw at NIB for 17 games! Its that inability to turn a losing position into a draw that could cost them finals.
The Roar have been our under performers of the season. Their list is quality but is now showing its age. Their first half of the season was as poor as any put together in the A-League. They have grabbed 10 of the last 15 available points and will worry the Glory.
Averaging almost 4 goals per game in their last 5, this one should be entertaining!
History: Played 18: Western Sydney 5 V Adelaide 6 (7 Draws).
Last meeting: January 10th, 2018: 1-1 draw at Coopers Stadium.
Final Thoughts: The Wanderers task is simple. Win and ensure they play finals. Adelaide can’t improve their position so their intensity could be low.
The Wanderers late season form has been a complete mixed bag. They put away the bottom dwellers with ease, then are dispatched by the top team with disrespect. The Wanderers are equal in terms of passing accuracy, second for shots taken, but their goal conversion is 3rd worst. Tells us their mid field quality desperately needs a striker to support Riera.
Adelaide’s goal conversion is even worse! With the most shots of any team, but just 33 goals for the season, United don’t have any goal scorers in double figures for the year. United away form has fallen away with losses in four of the last five and have only beaten Wanderers at home once.
Leave your bets late in this one, as the Wanderers will know what they need to achieve by Sunday morning and will likely play accordingly. If going in, they have need a point or more, we think they’ll do it quite easily.