A-League Grand Final betting (May 7): Sydney FC to complete historic season in Big Blue decider

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Updated: May 3, 2017

Sydney FC have established all sorts of records in the Hyundai A-League this season but one hurdle remains for them to complete what would be the greatest season in competition history. The Big Blue derby has rarely disappointed and another chapter will be written between the two bitter rivals in Sunday’s A-League Grand Final as they meet to decide the champion for the second time in three years; overall record: 37-3-23, +28.21 units

 

A-League Grand Final: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Where: Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
When: Sunday, May 7, 5pm (AET)
Prices: Sydney $1.80, Melbourne $4.25, DRAW $3.70

Confirmed bets: -2.5/total (two units @ $2.12); correct score – Sydney 1-0 (0.5 units @ $8.50), correct score – Sydney 2-0 (0.5 units @ $9.50)

TIW says: For all intents and purposes, Sydney FC are the champion team of the Hyundai A-League for 2016-17. They finished a staggering 17 points ahead of their closest rival, the Melbourne Victory, and lost just one game across the 27-game regular season. They have gone 14 games without defeat and conceded just one goal in their past nine matches at Allianz. But as one of the few footballing nations on the planet that feels compelled to add the extra layer of a finals series to its national league season, Sydney FC are yet to confirm their status as that champion team. Worse still, they are going to play for all the marbles on a surface not fit for an Amateur League game.

Last Saturday’s semi-final between the Sky Blues and Perth was played in a quagmire, in stark difference to AAMI Park, which hosted Sunday’s other semi between Victory and Brisbane. Now, the NSW Waratahs have ruled out moving their Saturday Super Rugby match to preserve Allianz Stadium’s poor pitch for the Grand Final. The Waratahs considered a NSW government request to shift their clash with the Blues to North Sydney Oval to avoid further damaging the surface less than a day before the A-League’s showpiece. But on Tuesday afternoon the club confirmed they’ve decided to keep the match at Allianz in the interests of their fans, supporters and other stakeholders. The standard of Allianz’s deck has undergone an alarming drop-off in recent weeks amid heavy cross-code traffic from rugby and the NRL.

 

There will also be an extremely vocal minority in attendance with Victory fans set to take every spare seat available for the season decider. The sides met three times this season and it was Sydney that came out on top in all three matches – the first ever clean sweep of the Big Blue derby. Their most recent encounter in March virtually sealed the Premier’s Plate and the 1-0 scoreline didn’t reflect the dominance of the Sky Blues. In the other two meetings, Sydney came from a goal down to win 2-1 on both occasions. Melbourne have been very inconsistent, especially on the road, with just one win in their past seven away games. They have scored just two goals in their past five games with Besart Berisha providing the winner on both occasions.

There has been an average of just two goals per game in the past five meetings with neither team able to win by more than a single goal in that stretch. Sydney maintained a record 16 clean sheets compared to nine for the Victory. The Sky Blues conceded 12 goals, 19 fewer than their Grand Final opponents. More specifically Sydney’s defence was breached just four times in their 14 games at home. Melbourne have failed to score in five of their past seven away games while Sydney are averaging two goals per game at home this season. Given the situation with the surface, this looms as a low scoring affair which, if there’s any justice, ends in victory for Sydney FC.

 

Week 2 finals results: 1-0-0, +1.7 units

Melbourne Victory WIN v Perth Glory (two units @ $1.85) WIN (1-0)

 

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 Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (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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