It’s 1st v 2nd in the A-League Grand Final when Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC battle it out for the coveted silver toilet seat. A-League man Brad Hutchings breaks down all the info you need to know on who will be lifting the trophy come the end of the weekend.
MELBOURNE VICTORY v SYDNEY FC
Sunday May 17, 4pm
Melbourne Victory 2.32, Sydney FC 3.3, Draw 3.65
The league two biggest sides will face off in the seasons biggest game when Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC meet in the A-League Grand Final this Sunday.
It will be a fitting conclusion to the season with both sides finishing first and second respectively with Victory taking the regular season honours by claiming the Premiers Plate.
They call it the Big Blue when these two sides meet and on Sunday it may well be the biggest one yet. A packed out AAMI Park is expected to watch one of the most anticipated Grand Finals in the league ten year history.
Victory and Sydney have been the standout sides all year and are more than deserving of their place in the big dance.
Victory blitzed the completion on their way to the Premier Plate with a deadly front third which managed a league-record 56 goals.
The trio of Besart Berisha, Fahid Ben Khallfallah and Kosta Barbarouses has been a testament to their success this season and have tormented defences all across the country.
Sydney FC have been rejuvenated under Graham Arnold in his first season and look to return to the pantheon of Australian football for the first item since 2010.
Victory may enjoy home ground advantage for the decider but the truth that doesn’t equate too much of a real advantage.
Sydney’s form on the road this season has been phenomenal, going the season undefeated away from Allianz Stadium with 10 wins and four draws from 14 trips.
It’s an outstanding record that will give them plenty of confidence in claiming this one.
Victory only dropped four games all season with three of those coming at AAMI Park, which included a loss to the lonely Newcastle Jets just four weeks ago.
The Sky Blues impeccable form away from home a lot of the home ground advantage out of the picture, but the boisterous Victory fans in attendance swings it back in their favour.
On paper these are two very similar sides. Up front both are led by potent target men in Berisha and Sydney’s Golden Boot winner Marc Janko while the midfield boasts classy players on both sides with Victory skipper Mark Milligan and former Socceroo Carl Valeri marshalling the middle for the home side with star imports Milos Dimitrijevic and Jaquces Faty for Sydney.
This will be a battle between the league two star strikers. Janko has adapted to life in Australia with aplomb in claiming the leagues Golden Boot. The Austrian national team caption has bagged 16 goals this campaign to help his side claim second place.
Berisha hasn’t hit the headlines he was used to during his magical time in Brisbane thus far in his Victory career but the Albanian has still had a stellar season.
14 goals for his new side combined with 7 goals makes him the man most involved in his sides goals than any other player in the league.
This game could well be decided by the two imports. Whoever bags the most goals should see their side to victory.
Looking at the game off the team sheet and it’s even harder to pick a winner. Four out of the past seven Big Blues have ended in draw, including all three this season.
The last two Big Blues of the 2014-2015 season have both ended in high-scoring affairs at 3-3. With both sides enjoying the best attacks in the league that statistic is little surprise.
The last Big Blue that took place in February offers another insight on how this match may transpire.
The lead changed hands four time during that match and as the above graph suggests the prices had some serious fluctuations.
The previous match took a similar route as again the above graph suggest.
An early goal pushed the home team out on both occasions only for the away side to rally and hit back…multiple times.
Goals in football has a major impact on the in-play market arguably more so than in any other sport. The graphs supplied showed how much impact goals have on markets, and if there are multiple goals that doubles.
For those getting involved in in-play betting wait and see if there is an early goal. If there is than holding out on the team you want to back as their price will seriously move.
While there will be a winner at the end of the day, a draw after 90 minutes is a smart option. Sydney and Melbourne are the two highest scoring sides all year so despite the stakes will back themselves to take the game out.
The draw at $3.65 looks good vaule. That will trigger the Extra Time market into action which depending on how the game rolls could go either way.
An early goal will make things very interesting and ensure more goals will follow. Over 3.5 goals at 2.96 is outstanding value and I’d be very surprised if that doesn’t eventuate.
For me Victory have just that little bit more firepower. The way the games between these two have panned out expect the lead to change hands multiple times. The $10 on offer on Victory to win from behind is too good not to take up.
Victory 4-3 AET
Back the draw @ 3.65
Over 3.5 goals @ 2.96
Victory to win from behind @ 10
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