SYDNEY FC are running away with it again.
The defending champions are 11 points clear in the 2017/18 A-League Premiership race after downing Brisbane Roar 3-0 on Monday night.
Sydney’s closest challengers are the Newcastle Jets, who hold a five-point advantage over Melbourne City.
Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory are locked in a tussle for fourth place while the rest of competition struggles to keep touch.
We have four more midweek games to enjoy in round 15, starting with a derby date on the New South Wales coast.
A-League multi odds at Neds
- Jets to beat Mariners – -153.85
- City to beat Glory – +115
- Victory to beat Phoenix – -117.65
- Wanderers and United to draw – +240
Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners
Tuesday, January 9 – 7:50pm AEDT – McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Jets – -153.85
Draw – +285
Mariners – +400
The Jets are without doubt the most improved team in the division. Their altitude has dropped a fraction after two games without a win, but they look odds-on for finals nevertheless. The Novacastrians have done remarkably well in the absence of star striker Roy O’Donovan, who is out with a severe groin tear.
The Mariners have not had a win since the first week of December. At least they have snapped their losing streak with draws against the Phoenix and the Victory. The equaliser from Blake Powell in Geelong was Central Coast’s first goal in five games.
CCM have some fine technicians, but they lack a killer instinct. The Jets are already 5-1 up on aggregate in this derby fixture and should improve that tally on Tuesday.
Perth Glory vs. Melbourne City
Tuesday, January 9 – 7:00pm AWST – NIB Stadium, Perth
Glory – +220
Draw – +250
City – +115
The Glory have disappointed this season. For all their attacking riches, they continue to leak goals like they are going out of fashion. The West Australians have conceded nine in their last two games and have the worst goal differential in the division (-13).
City have not exactly lived up to their billing, either. Once touted as the biggest threat to Sydney’s title defence, the Melburnians have slipped 16 points off the pace with three defeats in their last four games. They returned to the winners’ circle on Saturday thanks to a second-half brace from Ross McCormack against Wellington.
Both of these teams boast quality in the forward third, but their defensive records are incomparable. Back in City for an important win on the road.
Wellington Phoenix vs. Melbourne Victory
Wednesday, January 10 – 7:35pm NZDT – Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Phoenix – +285
Draw – +275
Victory – -117.65
If the A-League had promotion and relegation, Wellington would be preparing for life in the second tier. The Phoenix have managed just one win in 13 games and appear destined for the wooden spoon.
Things are looking up for the Victory. Their 1-1 draw with the Mariners on Saturday capped a run of three consecutive wins that included results over the Jets and City. Only Sydney can claim a richer vein of form.
Don’t think too hard about this one. Melbourne are on the up at last and should put away the worst team in the comp.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Adelaide United
Wednesday, January 10 – 7:50pm AEDT – ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Wanderers – +140
Draw – +240
United – +180
Things have turned around for Wanderers since their 5-0 capitulation in the Sydney derby. The red and black have won three out of four since then, only tripping up against the Jets. Oriol Riera and Mark Bridge have found a nice groove with goals in Western Sydney’s wins over City and the Roar.
Adelaide need to start stringing together results if they plan to play finals. They have not won back-to-back league games since beating the Mariners and Wanderers in November, and even those results were punctuated by defeat in the FFA Cup final. Fourth spot is United’s for now, but that may well change if they cannot back up their 3-0 win over Perth.
These two teams are both very capable, but they are also inconsistent and prone to costly lapses. A draw with a few goals looks like the way to go.
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