A-League Betting: Melbourne Victory set for Grand Final with win over Brisbane Roar
April 25, 2017
Recommended bet: Melbourne Victory to Win @ 5/6 (1.83) with bet365
It’s the second semi-final in the A-League play-offs, with Melbourne Victory playing host to Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.
Victory finished the regular season in second spot, a full 17 points behind Sydney FC but seven points ahead of Roar in third place. They were generally strong on home turf, winning 10 and drawing one of their 14 games and scoring 34 goals in the process – more than any other team managed at home.
Roar’s place in the semi-finals was secured with a 6-5 penalty shoot-out win over Western Sydney Wanderers at the Elimination Finals stage after a 1-1 draw. It needed a save from back-up goalkeeper Jamie Young from Jumpei Kusugami to see Roar home as the penalties went to sudden-death.
Roar can perhaps count themselves somewhat fortunate to have overcome the Wanderers, who took the lead and had much the better of the opening half.
As for this game, there was little to choose between the teams in their three meetings in the regular season, with both teams winning once with one draw. The first game at the Suncorp Stadium in October ended in a 1-1 draw, with Luke DeVere equalizing for the Roar deep into stoppage-time.
Victory then won 3-2 at AAMI Park in January, with all the goals coming before the interval. The most recent meeting in March resulted in a 1-0 win for the Roar at the Suncorp Stadium.
Home advantage and the fact that Victory have had a week’s extra rest since their last game are obvious factors in their favour here, but they were more or less assured of a second place finish and a semi-final spot long ago, so they’ve not really had a truly competitive ‘must-win’ game for weeks now.
A big factor against Roar could be fatigue. Not only did they need extra-time and penalties to overcome Western Sydney Wanderers, but on the Wednesday before this game they take on Muang Thong United in Thailand in a must-win AFC Champions League match.
It all suggests that this game should go with the league standings and Melbourne Victory should be able to secure their place in the Grand Final with a win.