|By PAUL GOUGH
Melbourne Victory are being heavily backed to overcome recent bogey side Perth Glory in their Friday's A-League clash at AAMI Park, despite being without star pair Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan due to international commitments.
Victory, after a slow start to the season under new coach Ange Postecoglou, have begun to hit form in the past month with three wins and a draw from their past four matches to move up to third spot on the table.
In contrast, the Glory have slipped to fifth after just one win from their past five matches.
And the punters are clearly taking more notice of recent form than the head-to-head record of the two teams coming into this game.
Victory have already firmed from $2.26 into $2.16 at Betfair in head-to-head betting, with nearly all the early money running in favour of the home team.
The home side are also short at $2.15 at sportsbet.com.au, where the Glory are priced at $3.20 and the draw at $3.40.
The backing for Victory on Friday comes despite the face they have won just one of their past six matches against the Glory.
Melbourne will be without key pair Thompson and Milligan, who between them have scored five goals this season, with the duo away on Socceroos duty at the upcoming East Asia Cup qualifying tournament.
|Melbourne Victory to win v Perth Glory at $2.16 at Betfair
||Melbourne Victory to win 1-0 v Perth Glory at $9.60 at Betfair|
However, Perth Glory will also be without two key players for the same reason in Michael Thwaite and Scott Jamieson.
But Victory showed in last week's 2-0 win on the road against Western Sydney they can overcome setbacks when they ultimately cruised home despite being reduced to 10 men.
The past seven games between these two teams have produced an extraordinary 31 goals, with the Glory scoring four in each of their past two wins against Melbourne Victory last season - both in Perth.
While a 2-1 Melbourne Victory win over Perth is priced at $8.80 at Betfair and $8.50 with sportsbet.com.au in correct score markets, we like the look of the Victory to win 1-0.
That is priced at $8.50 at sportsbet.com.au, and a tempting $9.60 with Betfair.
*Note prices subject to change