It was hardly a vintage regular season for either Melbourne City or Perth Glory. Both teams went into the league campaign with lofty ambitions but they had to put in hard graft to book their place in the Finals Series. Both sets of fans will believe that they largely improved as the season went on and so we could be in line for a cracking match at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
Glory had a horrible start to the season, winning just one of their first eight matches so the fact that they managed to finish fifth is a real credit to head coach, Kenny Lowe. If they had started their campaign in the same way they ended it, Glory would have had a great chance of topping the A-League ladder and Lowe will doing all he can to ensure that his players capitalise on their good form to make the most of their first playoff appearance for three years.
City only finished one place above Glory in the final league positions but they had a significantly better all-round season. Only a few weeks ago John van ‘t Schip’s men were in with a chance of winning the Premiers Plate but their hopes were eventually dashed by a pulsating 3-2 defeat against Glory.
When the City Group effectively bought Melbourne Heart in 2014 – turning them into City as part of the process – the goal was to turn the club into the premier side in Australia. That is a long term goal but there have been some very encouraging early signs. For a start, City are by far the best attacking team in the A-League. Boosted by Bruno Fornaroli’s exploits up front, City scored 63 goals in the regular season but they have had problems at the other end. Glory, too, have a sometimes shaky defence and that leads us to our first bet – backing over 3.5 goals at 2.3 with Centrebet. This should be a real exhibition of attacking football so betting on goals looks the way to go.
In the match odds market, City are the narrow favourites across the board. Some bookies even make the home side odds-on shots but that looks a little short in what should be a very keenly contested match. In fact, there is a good chance that this could end up a draw with extra time needed to separate the two. In the end though, we think that City are the better side and with home advantage we recommend betting on them to qualify at 1.57 with Sportsbet.
That man Fornaroli is going to be pivotal to any success that Melbourne City have this year and in the seasons to come. The Uruguayan broke the A-League scoring record with 23 goals and it is safe to say that he has had a bigger impact than anybody could have predicted when he first joined the club. City will work their game to make sure that he is on the end of as many chances as possible and he could well be the man to break the deadlock so bet on him to score the first goal of the game at 5.25 with William Hill.
The A-League season may be drawing to its climax but there is still loads of time to take advantage of the free bets and enhanced odds offers that we have collected for you. All the free bet and enhanced odds details are on our homepage.