A-League 2020/21 Round 2 Betting Previews and Predictions
It was not the start of the season we expected, with only one out of three of our betting previews for A-League 2020/21 Round 1 hitting the mark (although we did hit two out of three on our premium page, CMM +0.00 AH and Macarthur FC +0.00 AH). Regardless, we are back with another set of three free betting predictions, focusing on the weekend’s fixtures in the second round of the A-League.
Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC
When: Saturday, January 2 at 5:05 PM AEDT
Where: WIN Stadium
Weather: Rain, 21°C
Referee: Alex King
Sydney FC will kick off their 2020/21 A-League campaign at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia in what should be a favorable match for the Sky Blues. That is namely because Sydney historically match up well against Wellington Phoenix, having won all but three of their last 12 meetings.
In their most recent clash in July, Sydney secured a two-goal win (3:1) at Jubilee Oval thanks to a late-game comeback with Adam Le Fondre scoring a penalty in 76′ and Trent Buhagiar adding two more in 88′ and 90′. Before that, Phoenix and Sydney parted ways with a 2:2 draw when Le Fondre scored an early 14th-minute goal to which Phoenix responded with two goals in 25′ and 37′ and an own goal in 56th minute.
Besides Sydney’s stronger H2H record, it’s also worth considering they’re entering their season opener in a much better shape than Nix. Sydney have not long ago attended the AFC Champions League, where they finished the group stage last with a 1-2-3 record.
Even though Sydney did not win big at the ACL, they at least got a chance to warm up, unlike Wellington who played their last game in late August, when they reached the quarter-finals of A-League playoffs. Nix’s lack of playtime becomes much more concerning with all the new signings, who we don’t believe had a proper chance to gel with their teammates.
Saturday’s referee is Alex King, who will be in charge of his first game of the season and 49th in his career. King’s last game was the clash between Adelaide United and Sydney FC in October when the hosts won 3-2. He has issued one yellow and one red card that game and has shown 72 yellow and four red cards in 17 games last season.
Prediction: Sydney FC to win, 2.10 at Pinnacle
Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
When: Saturday, January 2 at 7:10 PM AEDT
Where: AAMI Park
Weather: Storm, 26°C
Referee: Shaun Evans
Melbourne Victory have won eight out of 12 meetings with Brisbane Roar and seem set to continue the tradition in their first clash of the 2020/21 season. Their run of eight head-to-head victories includes a commanding 5:0 win in 2019, although it’s worth noting that it was Roar who won their most recent clash in July with 2:1 at Bankwest Stadium.
The match was fairly close, with Victory holding a 55% ball possession and a 4/19 shooting. Brisbane meanwhile managed five shots on goal from 15 attempts but were slightly more successful with their attempts and managed to score twice in 56′ and 78′, whereas Victory’s only goal came in 86′ via a penalty.
This will mark Victory’s first match of the season, however, we don’t see that as an issue as far as ring rust is concerned. They have attended the ACL in December where they have reached RD16, which is good enough for us to say they won’t be entering the 2020/21 A-League season cold.
Roar have already played out their season opener on Tuesday when they lost against Melbourne City (0:1) in an otherwise very closely contested match. Despite their loss, Roar have proven they are capable of playing solid football, so it’s safe to expect another solid effort and an exciting bout between these two Queensland- based squads.
This will be a match where all the spotlight will be on the strikers, as it will be on them to secure the first three points for their teams. Rudy Gestede and Scott McDonald will both have a lot to prove, considering neither has impressed with their recent showing.
Gestede managed only one goal from eight matches in the Championship, whereas McDonald managed only one shot against City. Regardless of their lack of success, the motivation to find their form will be there and with talented players supporting their attacking ambitions, it’s not entirely unlikely we could see at last one goal per side.
The referee for this match is Shaun Evans, who will look over his second game of the 2020/21 season. He has refereed 19 games in 2019/20 and has shown 38 yellow cards and one red. His last game was the 0:0 draw between Western United and Adelaide United on Monday when he handed out nine yellow cards.
Injured/ missing players:
Melbourne Victory: Robbie Kruse ( knee – indefinite)
Prediction: Melbourne Victory to win, 2.26 at Pinnacle
Adelaide United v Melbourne City
When: Sunday, January 3 at 6:05 PM AEDT
Where: Coopers Stadium
Weather: Sun, 25°C
Adelaide United enter this match off a 0:0 stalemate in their season opener against Western United. Melbourne City, meanwhile, edged past Brisbane Roar with 1:0 at the Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday and will look to extend their momentum and secure their second W of the season.
In five meetings between these two sides, Adelaide secured three victories, while the other two ended in a stalemate and a win for City. Their most recent clash ended in a 2:2 draw at ANZ Stadium, where City got themselves two goals up in the first half before Craig Noone received a red card, which allowed Adelaide to catch up with two goals in 78′ and 90’+1.
It’s fair to say Adelaide deserved to walk away with something that day, considering they had 64% ball possession and shot 6/30, whereas City managed only 36% possession and 2/9. In their previous clash, in February, Adelaide won 3:1, although they once again ended the match with a man advantage.
City enter this match off a very solid performance against Brisbane, where we got to see just how potent this side can be and how much quality they have. That is not to say Adelaide are a bad team, but they lack that little something City have, namely young talent and individual quality.
If City’s performance against Roar is any indication, they should have this one in the bag with ease. Still, this is one of the first fixtures of the season and City are playing on the road, so we might be in for a slightly tighter match.
Injured/ missing players:
Adelaide United: Yared Abetew (knee – indefinite), Ryan Kitto (groin – indefinite), Al Hassan Toure (ankle – indefinite)
Melbourne City: Nathaniel Atkinson (hamstring – indefinite)
Prediction: Melbourne City +0.00, 1.80 at Pinnacle
We have a total of four predictions posted at premium.betting-previews.com for A-League, so head there if you are serious about making a profit from sports betting!