THE winter footy codes are over for another year, but never fear sport fans, the A-League begins this weekend.
This season shapes as one of the biggest in the league’s history.
Melbourne City acquired Australia’s most prolific Socceroo in the form of Tim Cahill, the Wellington Phoenix stole a pair of the Victory’s main men and the big V were able to nab a pair of prodigal sons of their own.
Round one shapes as a great yard stick for the league as the competition’s heavyweights are set to duke it out for early season supremacy, and we have put together a monster multi to kick off the campaign.
All odds for the opening round of the A-League season were provided by Sportsbet.com.au.
New customers can get their first bet at Sportsbet matched up to the value of $501.
Selections for the Round 1 A-League multi of the week:
Wellington Phoenix to defeat Melbourne City ($3)
Western Sydney Wanderers to beat Sydney FC ($2.50)
Perth Glory to beat Centeral Coast Mariners ($1.50)
Adelaide United to win against Newcastle Jets ($2)
Wellington Phoenix vs. Melbourne City
Saturday, October 8 from 5.35 pm AEDST at Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Two success-starved clubs kick off our multi this week as the City-dwelling Melbourne face the Phoenix of Wellington.
The home side added former Victory duo Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler to their playing ranks this season, which suddenly makes Wellington one of the best attacking sides in the competition.
Melbourne City got their man in Tim Cahill in the door during the off-season, but the former Everton striker will not take part in Saturday’s contest due to international commitments.
The absence of Cahill swings the pendulum in favour of the Phoenix and we are expecting the home side to kick off their season in a winning way at odds.
Our tip: Wellington Phoenix to win – $3
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Sydney FC
Saturday, 8 October from 7.50pm AEDST at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The biggest Sydney derby of all-time takes place on Saturday night for the second leg of our multi.
The Western Sydney Wanderers are aiming high this season, despite over half the squad that travelled to Adelaide in last year’s grand final not taking part in Saturday’s derby.
Wanderers’ captain Nikoli Topor-Stanley said the club brings wonderful form into the season opener.
“Aside from the last FFA Cup game, we’ve won every game. We were in good form and we are still in good form. We’ve only got one injury in the squad and everyone else is available.” Topor-Stanley said.
This game is a true toss of the coin but we taking the red and blacks in a crunch derby match against the Sydney Sky Blues.
Our tip: Western Sydney Wanderers to win – $2.50
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners
Saturday, 8 October from 10pm AEDST at NIB Stadium, Perth
Last year’s bolters the Perth Glory face the Central Coast Mariners in the third game of a Saturday triple header.
The Glory go into Saturday on the second line of premiership betting ($6 at Sportsbet.com.au) tackling the biggest long-shot league the Mariners who are at the huge $34 price.
Perth signed Socceroos duo Rhys Williams and Adam Taggart while also penning a new deal for Johnny Warren medallist Diego Castro to a long-term deal. The future looks bright in the west.
The Mariners have been an absolute basket case over the last two years, and after no key acquisitions in the off-season, it could be a long year for the Central Coasters.
This is the safest bet of the weekend, the Glory could win this match in their sleep.
Our tip: Perth Glory to win – $1.50
Newcastle Jets vs. Adelaide United
Sunday, 9 October from 5pm AEDST at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
The last match of our multi pits two teams who finished at opposite ends of the season in 2015/16.
The Adelaide Reds were the feel-good story of last season after winning their first-ever title, but after several key departures and a season ending injury to Jordan Elsey, Adelaide United have their work cut out for them if they are to defend their title.
Newcastle is still in the midst of learning their game plan under freshly appointed coach Scott Miller, and without any key additions to the playing stocks the Jets look to be in for another poor season.
The Reds should start their title defence off on the right foot.
Our tip: Adelaide United to win – $2