Western United v Sydney FC – A-League Betting Preview and Prediction
Western United and Sydney FC will play out their fifth fixture of the 2021 season on Saturday, February 13, when they clash at GMHBA Stadium. This will mark only the third head-to-head bout between these two A-League squads and the first of the season.
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Western United v Sydney FC
When: Saturday, February 13 – 17:05 AEDT
Where: GMHBA Stadium
Weather: Partly Sunny, 24 °C
Western United enter this match off a 2-3 loss against Central Coast Mariners at the Central Coast Stadium, which marked their second loss of the season. With that loss, W.U are now 1-2-2 on the season with only five points to their name, which sits them in 10th place on the ladder.
W.U.’s situation is obviously not optimal, but there are some positives to take from their recent match. Western United scored the first goal of the game only four minutes in, and later added another one in 42nd via Berisha to enter the second half 2-1 up. Unfortunately, things turned sour for the visitors at around the 80th-minute mark when Alou Kuol scored twice (77th and 81st) for Mariners which proved to be enough for a comfortable win.
W.U.’s next opponents, Sydney FC won their most recent bout with Wellington Phoenix 2-1 to lock in their second consecutive win and third of the season. They’re now fifth in the league with 10 points and a 3-1-1 record, albeit they’re only five points behind the league frontrunners Mariners who have already played out seven games.
While we can praise Sydney FC for their recent win, it was not an easy one. The Sky Blues ended the game with 45% ball possession and shot with only 2/7, whereas Nix managed 55% ball possession and shot with 4/20. Sydney still ended up winning, but it was solely due to Kosta Barbarouses’ two goals (32nd and 64th minute).
It’s also worth noting that Sydney ended the game with only 10 men on the field after Chris Zuvela went off injured in the 87th minute with Steve Corica out of available subs. Sydney still completed 85% of their passes, which is fairly impressive, albeit they gave up 17 fouls and received four yellows in the process.
Sydney FC and Western United last met in August 2020, when Western United won 2-1. Their only previous meeting happened in December 2019, when Sydney won with 2-0 on the road. Even though their most recent clash happened six months ago, W.U. were still the better team and even hit the woodwork while shooting 5/13 with 47% ball possession.
Based on these sides’ recent showings, Sydney come off as a better team and perhaps they should be viewed as a strong favorite, but we are not quite ready to believe they’re as strong as many people believe. A lot of their success will come down to Barbarouses and while his two goals against Nix might seem like he is back in form and ready to lead his team to another title, it’s also important to note he has managed only one goal before that, so it’s not like he is showing any exceptional form as of yet.
W.U. are a fairly solid team when they play at home, where they have dropped only one game in their last six outings (3-2-1) and have not lost a single home game this season. Out of three home league games, two ended in a stalemate – against Adelaide United (0-0) and Melbourne Victory (0-0) – and one with a 5-4 win against Perth Glory.
Sydney might be the better team and they will likely end the season in a much better spot than Western United, but as it stands now, they have yet to show anything that would lead us to believe they will have an easy time at GMHBA Stadium. Bet on the hosts to keep it close.
Prediction: Western United +0.25 Asian Handicap