A-League - Round 18 Preview

Source: Image courtesy of www.foxsports.com.au
TattsBet football expert James 'Hamez' Clark previews Round 18 of the A-League. Image courtesy of: www.foxsports.com.au

Brisbane Roar A-League Logo

Brisbane Roar


Melbourne Victory

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday, February 20
7.00 PM (AEST)

Melbourne Victory A-League Logo

After winning three in a row since the Asian Cup lay-off, this promises to be a litmus test for the Roar, who are looking to consolidate their position in the top six. As the dust settles after the #BigBlue against Sydney last weekend, Kevin Muscat will be hoping his side can re-focus as Besart Berisha returns back the scene of so much success. I’m leaning towards the classy squad of the Victory to snatch the three points, but expect a low scoring affair, as the last three meetings between the teams have ended 1-0 in favour of the home side. Victory have not won in Brisbane since November 2009, a run of seven matches (1D & 6L), but they are a different team this year, and plenty of class across the pitch.

Fox Sports 4

My tip: Melbourne Victory H2H and don’t be surprised if Besart Berisha gets on the scoresheet as in 40 games at Suncorp Stadium he has scored 32 goals in a remarkable strike-rate.


Sydney FC Logo

Sydney FC


Central Coast Mariners

Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, February 21
4.00 PM (AEST)

Central Coast Mariners A-League Logo


The Mariners are back on the road after a winless week that saw them eliminated from this year’s Asian Champions League competition before it really started. Phil Moss hopes they can stop the rot quickly against the Sky Blues, given the Mariners have failed to score in three of their last four visits to Sydney. With the second worst defence in the league, the CCM have won two of their last four league games, but weren't successful in any of their previous 12. I can’t see the record improving anytime soon as they come up against a Sydney side looking like they have recaptured that mojo from early in the season

Fox Sports 4

My tip: Sydney FC H2H and Marc Janko is a good option for the “First Goal Scorer’ market after scoring four goals in his last three games, including a brace in the 5-1 win against CCM in Round 15.

Adelaide United A-League Logo

Adelaide United


Western Sydney Wanderers

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Saturday, February 21
6.30 PM (AEST)

Western Sydney Wanderers A-League Logo

Adelaide will still be rueing their missed opportunities last weekend against Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium, where they shared the points with the league leaders. Josep Gombau will be wary of wounded Wanderers who still languish at the bottom of the ladder with only one win to their name. The poor season for the Wanderers is about to get a little tougher, as they look to defend their Asian Champions League title that seems an age ago, on the back of current form. This is a crucial game for Adelaide, as a win will keep their top two hopes alive. The Reds have scored 20 more goals than the Wanderers this season, so on that stat alone, I am tipping them to win this one comfortably in front of their loyal fans.

Fox Sports 4

My tip: Adelaide United H2H, but for a little more value, try the ‘Both Teams To Score” market and take the ‘Only One or Neither To Score’ option.

Wellington Phoenix A-League Logo

Wellington Phoenix 


Newcastle Jets

Hutt Recreational Ground, Wellington
Sunday, February 22
2.00 PM (AEST)

Newcastle United Jets A-League Logo



After such an attacking season, the Wellington Phoenix have hit a scoreless patch over the past two rounds. It’s unfamiliar territory for the club, as they haven’t gone three games without a goal since September 2008. Thankfully they host a Newcastle Jets side, with only one win recorded for the season. With the Cake Tin being used for the Cricket World Cup, the Hutt Recreation Ground is their temporary residence, and I’m tipping the Nix to continue their good form at home after going seven games without defeat (5W & 2D), and keeping a clean sheet in the last three.

Fox Sports 4

My tip: Wellington Phoenix H2H; although I do like the Phoenix to be the ‘First Half Winner’ as they try to break the recent duck on the scoresheet early. Nathan Burns is a handy ‘First Goal Scorer’ given he’s the only A-League player in double figures in the Golden Boot standings.



Melbourne City A-League Logo

Melbourne City 


Perth Glory

AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday, February 22
4.00 PM (AEST)

Perth Glory A-League Logo

This game at AAMI Park looks to be the hardest to pick of the round. City travel back to Melbourne after keeping the Nix scoreless, but face a tough challenge against league leaders Perth, who battled out an impressive draw against Adelaide. After a run of 10 games without defeat (8W & 2D), Glory have failed to win in their last four games (2D & 2L). I get the feeling the Glory may come up flat for this game after the off -field distractions dominating the headlines. Their poor run against City in their last four away games against them (1D & 3L) will be a worrying trend that Kenny Lowe will be hoping to break.

Fox Sports 4

My tip: Melbourne City H2H; Given this could be a tight contest early on the ‘Half/Full Double’ of (Draw/Melbourne City) is worth considering.


I’ll be on @RadioTABAus every Friday and Monday morning around 7:45am AEST over the course of the entire A-league season with my previews and reviews of every game.

James Clark - RadioTAB

View Full Rugby Markets