Perth Glory vs Newcastle Jets

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Todat’s free tip is in the Australian A-League encounter between Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets. I was torn between handicapping Perth Glory and backing goals in this game. I should probably have put Perth Glory in the ‘bankers’ section, to be honest, because I have no real doubts over them winning this one. It’s the handicap that concerns me as I’d have to go with a blind -1.5, and given the importance of this match to Newcastle Jets, that bothers me.

Essentially, if Newcastle Jets fails to win this game, it’s game over for them in their bid for a play-offs place. Truth be told, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll make it even if they win but whilst it’s possible, Merrick will make them go for it. Besides, this team needs no encouragement in order to attack a lot – it’s what they’ve been doing all season long. I like what I’ve seen from them on that front too. I’d certainly rather watch Newcastle Jets play than Melbourne Victory or Melbourne City, for example, because they’re simply more interested, enthusiastic, and determined despite not possessing as good players as the afore-mentioned.

The trouble with Newcastle Jets this season has been converting their chances though. They’ve not done it anywhere near consistently enough. I know O’Donovan’s suspension at the start of the season hindered them on that front but he’s back now and still the team is wasting too many good opportunities through poor decision-making. Jair in particular is culpable for this, which is probably why he was entirely omitted from their squad last time out – maybe Merrick has finally had enough of it. He’s not the only one, though. Newcastle Jets has one top-drawer finisher in Venezuelan playmaker Vargas. O’Donovan is a good battering ram and a decent finisher, and Champness looks a good finisher for his age too. Aside from that, it’s pot luck in front of goal, which is why, despite creating lots of chances, Newcastle Jets don’t win enough games.

Needless to say that by virtue of attacking so often, this team also gets attacked a lot. Newcastle Jets actually has two very good centre-backs but with little to no protection, you’d never guess that to be true because this team cannot stop opponents from scoring against them. It’s part of Merrick’s style to commit men forward on a regular basis and that’s almost certainly what will happen today, even if they wait a while in order to do so. There’s nothing else Newcastle Jets can do but that. I mean, let’s imagine they tried to play this game tactically, sitting back and waiting for breaks. No matter how many chances they got, they’d miss most of them, and their hosts would convert most of their chances, no matter how few. Therefore, Newcastle Jets’ only real option is to attack here, and although I think it’s a kamikaze mission, it should at least be an entertaining one.

Perth Glory is the best team in Australia, and it’ll be a travesty if they don’t win it after being at the top of the table for so long. The A-League doesn’t work like most leagues, you see. Finishing at the top of the table doesn’t mean you’ve won the competition; it just gives the team in question a far easier route to winning it than the other five teams that can also win it. There is still motivation to finish higher in the table because it affords teams easier run-ins but it’s not the end of the season when they’re secured their final position, basically.

A win today, assuming my mathematics isn’t letting me down, should guarantee Perth Glory top spot. That’d be quite handy for them, considering their next match after this is their main title challengers Sydney FC – away. They don’t want to head to Sydney with their hosts having a chance of toppling them so I expect a well-drilled Perth Glory display today. To be honest, I expect that of a Popovic team every week so this one should be no different.

The reason Perth Glory is the best team in the country is because it has the best manager – Popovic. Tactically, he’s brilliant. His team has a bit of everything, has numerous styles it can play, and is just as good at sitting on leads as it is at taking them. Honestly, the sole weakness Perth Glory has is their lack of speed in the middle of their defence but Popovic’s tactics tends to ensure that that weakness is seldom exposed. The only way Newcastle Jets will get around their hosts today is via quality play, which is why they’ve got players like Vargas in their squad.

The style of this match should really suit the home team though. Their opponents are not savvy when it comes to tactics. They tend to rely upon their tenacity and flexibility rather than their intelligence so Perth Glory is more than capable of sitting back, waiting to see what Newcastle Jets do, and then kill them on the break. That approach has worked on plenty of occasions already this season. There really aren’t any challenges awaiting Perth Glory here, assuming they keep their cool in front of goal – which they tend to do.

Ikonomidis is out for the hosts following his freak injury in their last game but as was demonstrated when he was at the Asian Cup with Australia, Perth Glory can cope without him, which again tells you how strong this squad is. Newcastle Jets cannot stop this team; all they can try to do is outscore them, and although I recognise that there’s a chance of that, I don’t think it’s a big chance.

Whether it’s via a heroic Newcastle Jets display or the more likely Perth Glory demolition job, backing over 3 goals makes a lot of sense to me here. Backing goals in-play is likely to be a gold mine too – Newcastle Jets seldom keeps men back as it is, let alone when they must win, and the likes of Ferreira, Chianese, and Keogh will enjoy the space in behind when that happens.

Verdict: Over 3 goals at 19/20.

Sunday’s Thoughts

As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.

Australian A-League:

Melbourne Victory vs Central Coast Mariners
Perth Glory vs Newcastle Jets

Austrian Bundesliga:

Wolfsberger AC vs Austria Vienna
LASK Linz vs St. Polten
Salzburg vs Sturm Graz

Belgian Eerste Klasse:

Racing Genk vs Club Brugge
Sporting Charleroi vs Westerlo

Bulgarian A PFG:

Levski Sofia vs Ludogorets Razgrad
Botev Vratsa vs Vereya

Croatian Prva Liga:

Gorica vs Slaven Koprivnica
Lokomotiva Zagreb vs Hajduk Split

Czech Republic HET Liga:

Baumit Jablonec vs Dukla Prague
Slavia Prague vs Sparta Prague

Danish Superligaen:

FC Nordsjaelland vs Esbjerg
Brondby vs FC Copenhagen
FC Midtjylland vs OB Odense
Hobro vs Randers

English Premier League:

Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
Liverpool vs Chelsea

Estonian Meistriliiga:

Kuressaare vs Flora Paide
Nomme Kalju vs Tammeka

Faroese Meistaradeildin:

TB vs HB Torshavn
Vikingur Gotu vs B36 Torshavn
KI vs NSI Runavik
IF vs Skala
EB/Streymur vs AB

Finnish Veikkausliiga:

Ilves vs VPS

French Ligue 1:

Montpellier HSC vs Toulouse
Stade Rennais vs OGC Nice
AS Saint-Etienne vs Girondins de Bordeaux
Lille OSC vs Paris Saint-Germain

German Bundesliga:

TSG Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Bayern Munich
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Augsburg

German Bundesliga 2:

VfL Bochum vs Greuther Furth
Ingolstadt vs Holstein Kiel
St. Pauli vs Arminia Bielefeld

Israeli Ligat Ha’al:

Hapoel Hadera vs Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv
Maccabi Haifa vs Maccabi Netanya

Italian Serie A:

Torino vs Cagliari
ACF Fiorentina vs Bologna
Sampdoria vs Genoa
Sassuolo vs Parma
Chievo Verona vs SSC Napoli
Frosinone vs Internazionale

Italian Serie B:

Spezia vs Ascoli
Padova vs Cosenza
Benevento vs Palermo

Lithuanian A Lyga:

Atlantas Klaipeda vs Panevezys
Suduva Marijampole vs Palanga

Dutch Eredivisie:

PSV Eindhoven vs De Graafschap
Willem II vs PEC Zwolle
Heerenveen vs Groningen
FC Utrecht vs Vitesse Arnhem

Norwegian Eliteserien:

Ranheim vs Haugesund
Sarpsborg 08 vs Lillestrom
Odd vs Kristiansund
Bodo/Glimt vs Molde FK
Stabaek vs Rosenborg BK
Valerenga Oslo vs Tromso

Portuguese Liga 1:

Rio Ave vs Vitoria Guimaraes
Maritimo Funchal vs Feirense
Boavista vs CD Nacional de Madeira
Sporting Braga vs Tondela
SL Benfica vs Vitoria Setubal

Portuguese Liga 2:

Farense vs Estoril
Leixoes Matosinhos vs Mafra
Arouca vs Sporting Covilha
Penafiel vs Varzim

Russian Premier League:

Dinamo Moscow vs FK Krasnodar
Zenit St. Petersburg vs Anzhi Makhachkala
FK Rostov vs Spartak Moscow

Spanish Primera Liga:

Real Valladolid vs Getafe
Athletic Club vs Rayo Vallecano de Madrid
Real Sociedad vs Eibar
Girona vs Villarreal CF
Valencia CF vs Levante CF

Swedish Allsvenskan:

Elfsborg Boras vs GIF Sundsvall
AIK Solna vs Sirius
Malmo FF vs Ostersunds FK

Swiss Super League:

Lugano vs FC Sion
FC Thun vs St. Gallen
FC Zurich vs Young Boys Bern

Swiss Challenge League:

Vaduz vs SC Kriens
Servette vs Chiasso

Turkish Super Lig:

Kayserispor vs Ankaragucu
Antalyaspor vs Kasimpasa
Yeni Malatyaspor vs Alanyaspor
Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray

Enjoy your free betting tips!