A-League Betting: Melbourne City capable of inflicting second straight defeat on Sydney FC
Recommended bet: Melbourne City to beat Sydney FC @ 31/20 (2.55) with bet365
It’s the A-League game of the week on Friday, as Melbourne City play host to Sydney FC at AAMI Park.
City are still chasing a top-two A-League finish in the regular campaign following last weekend’s comprehensive 5-1 thrashing of Wellington Phoenix at the Westpac Stadium.
They benefited from having no fewer than six players back from suspension at the Phoenix and it appears that the enforced mini-break worked in their favour.
Melbourne City still have plenty of ground to make up on city rivals Melbourne Victory if they are to avoid having to go through the Elimination Finals, but they are still just about within striking distance of securing a place in the Finals Series semi-finals.
Sydney’s direct qualification for the semi-finals has looked a foregone conclusion for weeks now and they are also already all but assured of being crowned Minor Premiers.
However, after a 19-match unbeaten start to the season the Sky Blues tasted defeat for the first time last weekend when they lost the Sydney Derby 1-0 at Western Sydney Wanderers. Sydney did have a few penalty claims turned down in what was a frenetic encounter in front of 44,843 supporters, but their quest to go through the season as ‘Invincibles’ is now at an end.
The question is how Graham Arnold’s men react to that first reversal now that they no longer have that record to drive them on.
With top spot in the regular season realistically already in the bag (they are 11 points clear of Victory ahead of the Melbourne club’s game in hand away to Central Coast Mariners on Sunday), it might prove difficult for the Sky Blues to regain the momentum over the run-in. The trip to Melbourne will certainly provide a stern test.
The head-to-head record this season favours City. The previous A-League meeting this season at the ANZ Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw, but a Tim Cahill goal did give City a 1-0 win in the FFA Cup at AAMI Park.
The motivation going into this game all looks to be with Melbourne City and at best odds of 31/20 (2.55), they look worth a punt to hand Sydney consecutive defeats.