A League Picks – Round 14

After a holiday sabbatical, I’m glad to be back and ready to give you the worst tips the A-League can offer!

I start the week at -$20.20 after getting one of my three tips right before Christmas.

Here are this week’s tips.

Newcastle v Victory

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The Jets have continued to not impress me at all this season after losing to 2 mediocre teams over the Christmas period. Their opponents from Melbourne will have their tails between their legs this week after their title ambitions were put well and truly in their place by a rampant Brisbane side whose 3 – 0 win didn’t show the full dominance that they had over the Victory. The dip in quality in this year’s league is saving the pressure from being applied to the walking studs up tackle, Kevin Muscat, but the Victory fans won’t put up with too many more embarrassments and are sure to have some sort of protest again soon. These two teams played each other just one month ago in Melbourne with Newcastle winning, and now the Novacastrians get to play them on their own turf, but I fear that the other shoe may have finally dropped on the Jets’ season. I’m putting a dollar on a draw here (at $3.40)

Perth v Heart

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The Aloisi era finally came to an end at Christmas, but the Melbourne side still haven’t been able to find a win. Astonishingly, they only won 5 of the 26 games they played in the calendar year of 2013, and 2 of those came in the first week of January! The club has forgotten how to win, but with a new, old coach in van’t Schipp at the helm they will be looking to steady the ship and get back in the winner’s circle for the first time since February – 11 months ago – and it will have to happen at some point. Right? Standing in their way is the Perth Glory. One way to look at Perth’s season is that the BEST team they have beaten is Sydney FC. That’s right, the BEST team. They have managed to beat almost all of the teams around and below them at least once*but have struggled against any team of even middling quality. Unfortunately for Melbourne, they are not yet a team of middling quality. I have to go with a dollar on Perth (at $2.00)

Brisbane v Adelaide

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This match is the team that plays the most attractive football in the league against the team that wants to play the most attractive football in the league. United have made no secret of the fact that they want to be doing precisely what the Roar are doing** however it is also abundantly clear that while they have made some strides in recent weeks, they are a long way from being able to perform at the level of the league leaders and certainly have a long way to go in terms of composure. I don’t see them being able to stand up to the pressure that Brisbane will put on them and Gombau will have his eyes closed for much of this one, so I have to put my $2 on Brisbane by 2 or more goals (at $2)

NRMAIWSW v Sydney FC

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The sold out Sydney derby*** could not have two more contrasting teams or organisations competing for bragging rights. The Wanderers are a highly organized unit with the best defence in the league and a clear direction for the future. They have a hands on coach who was considered for the Socceroos job, a stable management team and a fan base with a poor reputation. Sydney are the most unorganized football team on earth,  with the second worst defence in the league and no long term planning at all. They have a coach with a reputation for taking half days that was fired from the Socceroos job, a merry-go-round of management and a fan base that are thought of like this. It’s what makes derbies so great. I don’t think I’m going to like the result on Saturday night, but the part I’m going to like even less is the lack of ripples that it sends through Sydney’s management team and ownership group. Five dollars on the Wanderers to win (at $1.50)

Wellington v CCM

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3 consecutive wins for Wellington has seen them surge from 9th to 9th but a win this week could see them potentially move up to 7th. Dizzy stuff. Meanwhile the Mariners keep plugging away with slightly above average defence, slightly below average attack, and a lack of consistency. In this league it is enough to see them sitting in third.  I have no idea what will happen in this match so I’m going for a more exotic bet and putting a dollar on under 1.5 goals being scored (at $3.15)

Welcome back for the new year ladies and gentlemen.

Let me know what bets you have going for the weekend.

Gamble Responsibly.

*The exception being Adelaide who they have failed to beat in three attempts during Adelaide’s teething period…

**Really, anyone that doesn’t want to be doing what the Roar are doing is clinically insane.

***That should actually get the Wanderers a REAL sell out for the 20,741 seat stadium that has “sold out” several times this season but hasn’t cracked a crowd of 16,300 all year. That’s not even 80% full. The hype machine is strong in Western Sydney.

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