Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Prediction: Melbourne City vs Western United

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 26 May 2022

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

With this season’s A-League play-off title up for grabs on Saturday morning, Melbourne City and Western United will face off at AAMI Park.

Melbourne City

Starting with the hosts, managing to edge their way past Adelaide last week as they picked up a 2-1 aggregate victory, many across Australia have tipped Melbourne City as a standout pick to reclaim their domestic crown. Signing off their regular-season run with a 2-1 win against Wellington home soil, Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo also saw his side claim back-to-back Premiership titles. Losing just one of their previous 10 outings, a run that stems all the way back to April 9th, they have also gained a reputation for their continued success at AAMI Park. Including their AFC Champions League run this season, Saturday’s hosts are unbeaten in each of their last 11 straight home fixtures across all formats. Smelling the chance to extend on their purple patch here, it is well worth keeping an eye out for attacking talisman Jamie Maclaren. Bagging the winner against Adelaide last week, the 28-year-old has recorded 16 A-League strikes this season and also claimed the Golden Boot.

Team News

Coming off the bench and finding the net against Adelaide last week, 20-year-old Marco Tilio is in line for a start here.

Experienced Australian international Matthew Leckie should join Maclaren in attack on Saturday morning.

Western United

As for the visitors, managing to mount a stunning comeback away at Melbourne Victory last week, there is no doubt that Western will be desperate to keep up that momentum here. Eventually claiming a 4-1 second-leg win away at their local rivals, Head Coach John Aloisi has seen his side enjoy another eye-catching A-League campaign. However, while United might have laid down a real marker across Melbourne last time out, they have shown some recent issues over the past few weeks. Including a 2-1 loss at the hands of Adelaide earlier in the month, Western have managed to win just a pair of their last six A-League contests. Nevertheless, while Aloisi will know that his side face a stern test at AAMI Park in Saturday’s showpiece event, the Green and Blacks do hold a hugely impressive record against the defending champions. It should be highlighted, they are unbeaten in each of their last four meetings against Melbourne City, a run that has seen them collect three victories.

Team News

Limping off against the Victory last week, Steven Lustica is a major doubt on Saturday morning.

Likewise, Western United have already confirmed that the duo of Alessandro Diamanti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley will certainly miss out here.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off back on March 12th, Saturday’s opponents played out a 2-2 draw.
    • Likewise, Western are unbeaten in each of their last four meetings against the defending A-League champions, recording three victories.
    • However, Melbourne City are unbeaten in each of their last 11 straight home fixtures across all formats.
    • Australian international Jamie Maclaren has recorded 16 A-League goals this season on route to claiming the Golden Boot.
    • Six of the nine meetings between the two sides have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    While Melbourne City might open Saturday’s meeting tipped as a real standout pick, we could be in for a hugely enjoyable affair here. Watching Western storm their way to a stunning 4-1 romp away at Melbourne Victory in their second-leg showdown last week, they also hold a rather rampant record against the defending A-League champions. Along with a lively 2-2 draw when the two sides faced off back on March 12th, the Green are Blacks are unbeaten in each of their last four meetings against the Australian heavyweights. Likewise, with six of the nine meetings between Saturday’s opponents finishing with both teams finding the net, we’re backing a similar outcome here.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 8/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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