Western United will play host to Melbourne Victory at GMHBA Stadium in the penultimate round of the A-League season. Last time out, Western United won 4-3, but can they repeat that success on home ground?
Western United vs Melbourne Victory
When: Friday, May 28 – 19:05 AEST
Where: GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Weather: Partly cloudy, 9°C
Western United and Melbourne Victory lost all of their previous five outings. As a result, they’re both very close to the bottom of the table, currently occupying 10th and 11th place respectively.
Western United are in a slightly better position, sitting 13 points clear of Victory, meaning their positions won’t change after this match no matter the outcome.
Western United are viewed as the favourites in bookies’ eyes for this bout, although we see some big odds movements in favour of the outsiders. Melbourne Victory aren’t thought of as such massive underdogs as they were when the market opened. Why is that the case?
Trouble in Western United’s Paradise
Although no one expected Western United to compete for the A-League title, they got off to a strong start of the season. From mid-January to late April, they secured eight victories in 15 A-League matches.
Their decent run kept them in the conversation for the play-offs for most of the season, but then came May. Since the start of the month, Western United have yet to win a single match, scoring only once in the process. In fact, they’re without a goal since May 5.
Seeing Western United struggle so much with the players they have is quite surprising, and it didn’t take long for the fans to start pointing fingers towards their coach, Mark Rudan. The 45-year-old strategist is reportedly at the exit doors of a team he was in charge of since Western United made their debut in A-League in 2019 – some may say rightfully so.
The pressure grows on Rudan to start winning again, but his players don’t seem too motivated. And even that is an understatement considering Ruden’s men managed only five shots on goal last time out.
That might not seem too terrible, however, if we consider that they were facing Wellington Phoenix, it would be fair to expect a bit more from Western United.
Melbourne Victory Looking for Their 5th Victory of the Season
Melbourne Victory enter this match with a streak of five consecutive losses. That’s obviously not great, but perhaps they deserve some slack for it since they had to face tough opponents in Sydney and Adelaide United, who occupy second and third spot in the league, respectively.
They conceded only 10 goals in those five losses, which is not that terrible, relative to their total season record of 58 goals in 24 games.
No other team in the A-League has conceded as many goals this season. That’s 19 goals more than WS Wanderers and Perth Glory, who share the unenviable title of the second-worst defensive team in the league.
Despite Victory’s poor showings throughout the season, they should be highly motivated to win against the struggling Western United to claim their fifth victory of the season. A win on Friday would also mark their first head-to-head Victory against Western United. More than a good incentive, don’t you think?
Western United vs Melbourne Victory Betting Picks
Melbourne Victory are the worst away team in the league. However, they don’t have to travel far for this game, since Geelong is just some 70 miles away from Melbourne.
Sure, the home team has been doing better overall, but they’re not in a good situation right now. On the other hand, Melbourne Victory can play without any pressure since the season is over, and they don’t really have anything to achieve.
Melbourne Victory seem a bit overpriced at the offered odds and are worth a bet at this price.
Prediction: Melbourne Victory to win – 4.00 at Bet365