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Australian A-League Sunday Soccer Preview Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Australian A-League Top Betting Picks For Sunday

Melbourne Victory vs Wellington Phoenix

Sunday, March 15, 2020 — 1:20 a.m. EST

Wellington currently enjoys a three-match win streak, outscoring Central Coast Mariners, Western United FC, and Melbourne City FC by a combined total of 6-1 (the one goal that Wellington allowed was a garbage-time goal while up 3-0 against Central Coast).

Melbourne Victory, on the contrary, has managed just one win in its last five A-League matches.

That one win came against an Adelaide United squad that has also been struggling greatly for recent form.

Victory ranks towards the bottom of the A-League in terms of goals scored and goals allowed.

One reason why I don’t see Victory improving in either respect is because they are missing some players.

In terms of defending, Victory will be without two of their usual defenders.

Tim Hoogland was sent off in Victory’s last match.

As his side was already down 3-1, he was found to have denied the opponent a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Moreover, Giancarlo Gallifuoco will not join his teammates as he has been suspended for this match after picking up his fifth yellow card.

As for the attack, Marco Rojas, who scored the squad’s only goal in its last game, (a 4-1 loss to Sydney FC) suffered an injury.

He rolled his ankle, causing him to ask to be switched out of the match.

Rojas is capably an efficient goal scorer in terms of goals per match. So his fitness is crucial.

Even if Rojas were completely recovered, the squad still misses national team-caliber forward Robbie Kruse.

Victory’s poor form coincides with Kruse’s early-February hamstring injury.

Recent hire Carlos Salvachua doesn’t have his squad playing well as a team.

When a squad doesn’t show good chemistry together, then it has to rely more on the individual quality of its players.

But when guys like Kruse are injured, then that necessary individual quality goes missing.

When Victory’s goal-scoring opportunities don’t find their way into the opposing squad’s back of the net, then the match opens up for the opponent.

I expect Ulises Davila to be one relatively important force going forward for Wellington.

Davila leads the Phoenix with five assists after adding to his total in his team’s last match.

With his positive vision, Davila is good at anticipating a well-timed run from a teammate and he’s good at making that important pass behind the opponent’s backline.

It’s that sort of vision which will be fundamental to Wellington exploiting a beleaguered and anyhow poor Victory defense.

For the above reasons, take the Phoenix to beat Victory.

Best Bet: Phoenix -.5 at -105 with BetOnline

Newcastle Jets vs Adelaide United

Sunday, March 15, 2020 -- 3:20 a.m. EST

Adelaide United is currently suffering terrible form.

They have lost their last three matches by a combined total of 10-4.

Despite getting to return home for their last fixture against Western United FC, they lost 5-1 in a match that quickly looked out of reach.

Conversely, Newcastle Jets are undefeated in their last five league matches.

New hire Carl Robinson deserves much of the credit.

He has his Jets on the rise, having been manager for their past four matches.

Robinson was regarded with skepticism from some Newcastle fans, citing his apparent preference for defensive-focused football.

But since he began overseeing Newcastle, the Jets have begun to show more offensive ability than the players whom Robinson had previously managed at Vancouver.

They have scored eight goals in their past four matches combined, which represents a massive step up from the dearth of scoring that they had displayed before.

Robinson’s ability to get more goals out of his squad will be decisive against Adelaide United’s defense.

Adelaide United — which is one of multiple A-League squads that had shown interest in Robinson — has allowed 39 goals, second-most in the League.

One player to look out for will be Dimitrios Petratos. Petratos has scored two goals in his squad’s past four games and is one of the team-leaders in scoring.

His technique is wonderful, particularly on longer shot attempts. For example, he’s very capable at taking volleys.

Petratos’ ability to find the back of the net from far out is so helpful in case the Newcastle offense ever stalls going forward.

Oddsmakers do not account for recent form. But Newcastle is a different team under Robinson.

So, be sure to take the Jets for the above reasons.

Best Bet: Jets ML (+166) at BetOnline