A-League Tips and Predictions - Finals Week 3

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We’re halfway through the semi-final playoffs, the winner of of which will determine contenders for the A-League Grand Final.

Considering that were this no away goal rule, both ties are still evenly poised.

Play-offs now render the home and away season redundant, so its all to play for now.

Melbourne City vs Sydney FC (Aggregate 1-1)

Melbourne City are slight favourites heading into this one, but Sydney will quietly fancy themselves and are peaking just at the right time.

Sydney have been fairly modest by their standards over the course of the season, but they retain a great deal of players from the last few seasons where they’ve enjoyed successful finals runs.

Adam Le Fondre’s penalty conversion last week means he’s now scored in his last six consecutive games, and will be the obvious key man up front.

Melbourne City have an array of attacking options, and can even afford to have the likes of Andrew Nabbout come off the bench.

They have key players in other areas on-field; Tom Glover was inspiring in goals last week in their first leg and kept City in the contest in the second half.

We don’t often see nervy, turgid finals games in the A-League.

One of the main drawcards of this competition is teams habitually chase games that are on the line, rather than retreating into their shell.

Both teams have in-form strikers, and we’re anticipating an entertaining match which will surely deliver goals.

Both teams to score @ $1.52 also looks a safe bet.

Betting Prediction: Over 3 goals @ $1.89

Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United (Aggregate 2-1)

Central Coast head into this contest as favourites, with a handy one goal advantage ahead of a home-tie.

Given Adelaide’s poor performances in the past month, there’s serious question marks over their ability to play in pressure games.

Craig Goodwin has scored all their goals in their last two games, but really Adelaide need to find another avenue to goals.

Wonder-kid Nestory Irakunda was well held when he was subbed on last week.

Central Coast have more obvious scoring avenues up front, and demonstrated last week that they can grind out results if need be.

No doubt they'll be buoyed playing in front of a near sell-out home ground too.

Mariners have had Adelaide’s measure this season, and we think this trend will continue.

Betting Prediction: Central Coast Mariners 1x2 @ $1.89