Newcastle – Head to Head – $2.50
I’ve got to stick with Newcastle again here in the big one. They’ve been so good to me their last couple of games, and I can’t see why they won’t go out there and win again. They’ve been clearly the second best team throughout the season, and with no Sydney to stand in their way they get to face Melbourne Victory at home, which is an extremely winnable match for them. If they just play like they have been, then they’ll be raising the trophy at the end of the game.
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Saturday 5 May, 7:50pm (AET) – Hunter Stadium
After an exciting 2017/18 season we’re finally here, the A-League Grand Final. I think most people expected to see Newcastle lining up this week, but the real surprise packet was Melbourne Victory making the final game of the season, after finishing fourth on the table. The big match kicks-off at 7:50pm AEST Saturday at Hunter Stadium, which you’d expect to be packed to the rafters.
Newcastle’s Semi Final was against Melbourne City, and it wasn’t the easiest of matches for them. Early in the match Fornaroli broke through for Melbourne City, giving them the 1-0 lead. The teams went into the halftime break without altering that score line, leaving Newcastle with an uphill task in the final 45 minutes. The game turned around though when McGree kicked one of the most incredible goals you’ll see, anywhere. I guess you’d describe it as a scorpion kick from the top of the box, that found the top right-hand corner of the goal. Footage of the goal went viral world-wide, and after watching it a ton of times I still don’t know how he scored it. That goal gave Newcastle the energy they needed and a second goal looked inevitable after that. The honours went to Hoffman who buried what would be the match winning goal with about 15 minutes to go. Newcastle controlled the play thereafter, running the clock where they could, to lock themselves down a spot in the Grand Final.
Melbourne Victory had a much tougher Semi Final, Sydney away, the most dreaded match on the A-League calendar for any team. Things didn’t start the best for the Melbournians when Nigro conceding an own goal in the first 30 minutes of the match. Thankfully for him they fought back and Barbarouses levelled things up shortly after making it 1-1 as the teams went into the break. Another of Melbourne Victory’s gun forwards came to the fore shortly after the teams returned to the field, this time it was Troisi who found the back of the net. From now until injury time Melbourne Victory faced a barrage of shots from Sydney, who looked certain to equalise, but they just couldn’t beat Thomas in goals. After a long period of injury time (5 minutes) Sydney had one last chance to equal by whipping in a cross, it wasn’t the best of kicks though, with no Sydney players getting close to the ball, but as Antonis tried to clear it the ball it skimmed off his shin and found the back of the Melbourne Victory goal, the worst luck you’ve ever seen. That was basically the last kick of regular time, and you could see how distraught Melbourne Victory were, especially Antonis, as they had their spot in the Grand Final secured, only to have it cruelly taken away from them at the death. Now they’d have to fight again to try and regain it. The first period of extra time began, and it was pretty uneventful really, both teams had minor chances, but nothing that looked too dangerous. The second period of extra time got under way, and this was both teams final chance to win the game before going into the lottery that is penalties. The game started to get quite rough here, with plenty of fouls and cards being given. With only few minutes on the clock before the final injury time Antonis started a run that Melbourne Victory supporters won’t forget for a long time. He got the ball near the center line, got past two players and then put the burners on as he flew down the wing towards goals. As he entered the box there was crossing opportunities but he backed himself and rocketed the ball into the back of the net, redeeming himself, and sending Melbourne Victory into the Grand Final.
Obviously this will be another cracking match with both teams giving 110%, and when that happens you can often see teams run out of legs late in the game. It will be interesting to see how the coaches manage that, especially if extra time is required. Newcastle got the best of Melbourne Victory last time they faced off (February), and although there is a lot more pressure on their shoulders this time around, I think they can do it again. While Melbourne Victory have been up and down all season, Newcastle have consistently been the second best team in the comp, and there’s no Sydney here to stop them lifting the silverware.
$2.50 for them looks a very juicy price too, if this was a regular season match, and not the Grand Final, I think you’d find they’d be a lot closer to my rated price of $2.10. I can’t knock the $1.78 for them in the Draw No Bet market (or similar in the Raise The Trophy market).
Thanks again for all my loyal readers, it’s been another great season, and although I am a Melbourne Victory supporter, so obviously going for them, it would also be great to see Newcastle lift that trophy.
Cheers for following, and good luck!
Last 10 games:
Melbourne Victory 5
Head to Head
Melbourne Victory $3.73
Newcastle $2.50 Everywhere
Melbourne Victory $2.80 Everywhere
Draw $3.60 TopBetta
Draw No Bet
Melbourne Victory $2.77
Market Price: Newcastle $1.78 Ubet
Melbourne Victory $2.06 Unibet
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Under $2.20 Sportsbet
Over $1.70 Everywhere
Value: Newcastle – Head to Head – $2.50
Newcastle – Draw No Bet – $1.78