A-League round 11 betting: Melbourne rivals at the peak of their powers

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Updated: December 17, 2016

A-League round 11 betting preview: Melbourne City (5-3-2, 18 pts) v Melbourne Victory (5-2-2, 17 pts); AAMI Park, Melbourne, Vic; Saturday, December 17, 7.50pm (AEDT) – latest A-League standings here

 

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There are just two genuine Melbourne derbies in national sport – the Stars and Renegades will meet in the Big Bash League later this week while tonight, it’s the A-League version as City host the Victory at AAMI Park. The 22nd edition of Melbourne derby follows in the wake of two wins for City over their neighbours twice this season already –in the FFA Cup semi-final, and a 4-1 hiding handed out in round two. The Victory will be desperate to give their supporters a first win in five derby meetings while both sides will be eager to stay in touch with Sydney (24) this week, with the Sky Blues set to take on Perth Glory in Western Australia later tonight.

Victory have named Marco Rojas in their squad, paving the way for the Kiwi winger to make his return from a hamstring strain that kept him out of last week’s 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. Rojas has been brilliant for Victory so far this season, scoring five goals and setting up another five in his six appearances, including a goal in that 4-1 derby defeat in round 2 at Etihad Stadium. With Besart Berisha also hitting his straps following a hat-trick against Western Sydney, the Victory enter round 11 as the A-League’s second-highest scorers with 20 goals behind only Sydney FC (21).

 

City almost clinched a win away to Sydney last week but Bobo’s late penalty salvaged the leaders a 1-1 draw. John van’t Schip’s men were disappointed to miss out on those three points but will enter the third derby of the season full of confidence as they are unbeaten in their past six matches in all competitions. City’s performance in round 2 was arguably the most impressive of any A-League club this term, as they baffled the Victory with their game style and slick ball movement. It was also the first time that the away team had scored a win in this derby in the Melbourne City era.

Bruce Kamau, who was brilliant in that match, returns to City’s squad this week. Bruno Fornaroli (seven goals, pictured above) is just one goal behind Berisha this season and loves playing in the derby, with the Uruguayan having scored four goals in as many A-League games against Victory. Tim Cahill (who had no shortage of derby experience on Merseyside during a decorated stint with Everton) also looks set to return to the starting XI after starting on the bench against Sydney FC. There have been at least three goals in the past six matches between them at a rate of almost four per game and, with the current prolific form of the two sides, goals are again likely.

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory +2.5/total (two units @ $1.75)
Melbourne City WIN v Melbourne Victory (one unit @ $2.70)
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar WIN (two units @ $1.65)

 

R10 update: 0-0-3, -4.0 units; overall record: 18-1-11, +13.95 units

Sydney FC v Melbourne City +2.5/total (one unit @ $1.90) LOSE (1-1)
Perth Glory WIN v Newcastle Jets (two units @ $1.70) LOSE (1-2)
Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United -2.5/total (one unit @ $2.00) LOSE (4-0)

Note: The Hyundai A-League sits on the cusp of our integrity protocols that monitor the potential for match-fixing. This data is monitored weekly so we’ll constantly update punters throughout the season should circumstances change. Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to William Hill (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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