League leaders Brisbane Roar travel to Melbourne to take on the rock bottom Heart this weekend, in what’s one for the more intriguing A-League games we’ve had for quite a while.
The black and white way of looking at this game is that Brisbane are top of the pile and will certainly still be there come the end of the 27 game regular season. Melbourne have managed just four wins to Brisbane’s 12 this year. On paper, easy win for the Roar.
In reality, Melbourne have been in some remarkable form as of late. All four of the above mentioned wins have come in the past five games, a run in which they’ve also drawn 2-2 in Adelaide.
You have to admit the fixtures won have been the four sides immediately above them, but you can’t ignore the 2-2 draw in Adelaide. You also have to note just how emphatic their winning run has been.
They aren’t grinding out ugly result in tight games, but instead we’ve seen a 3-1 win over Newcastle and a 0-5 mauling in Wellington.
Last week I backed Brisbane to overcome their previous poor form against Newcastle to steady the ship after a recent dip in form. That didn’t happen, as Newcastle left with a 0-1 win.
The Jets completely have their number for some reason, but in this particular fixture, the home side has won the last four meetings, and gone unbeaten in eight of 10. One of those trend breaking away wins belongs to the Heart.
Brisbane have been fairy consistent on the road this season, but they did alternate wins and losses on the road between January and mid-December in 2013, and they have lost two and drawn two.
The Roar like to push forward on the road and whilst they managed to notch up 1-2, 1-2, 2-5 and 0-3 wins in succession earlier this season, it’ll be the goals against column that’s the concern.
They’ve conceded in seven of their 10 away games, whilst Melbourne have now scored in their last five overall, including seven in three home games. Melbourne suddenly present more than enough of a threat to make Brisbane think twice about pushing forward too freely.
All of that said, I still think the visitors will play in the right way and push forward as they do. They still have the much better side and fixture strength leaves a question mark over Melbourne’s improved form.
If they’ve really turned a corner in a big way, this would be one hell of a way to prove it, but it’s going to be a tough game.
I think both sides are confident enough right now that they’ll attack each other and leave gaps at the back.
Let’s back Over 2.5 goals at 4/5 (1.80) with Bet365
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