Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory are two clubs going in other directions, but can the Reds reverse the form guide to prevail at home?
|By PAUL GOUGH
Adelaide United get an opportunity to revitalise their faltering A-League season when they host a weakened Melbourne Victory on Friday.
The Reds have been in second place for most the season but have self-destructed in recent weeks, with manager John Kosmina resigning - citing a lack of trust at the club - and replaced by his former assistant Michael Valkanis.
The Reds are in fourth spot, some four points behind the Victory in second place and seven points behind league-leaders Central Coast, who kick off Week20 at home to second-bottom Wellington on Thursday.
As a result of their form slump and off-field problems, the Reds have drifted alarmingly in A-League grand final betting in recent weeks and have now hit double figure odds at Betfair at $10.
And Adelaide have been installed as underdogs at home against the in-form Victory on Friday, with the Reds priced at $2.70 at the TAB, $2.90 at sportsbet.com.au and $2.94 at Betfair.
|Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United to win at Betfair
||Central Coast Mariners to win 2-0 v Wellington Phoenix at $7 at Betfair|
Meanwhile, the Mariners have the ideal fixture in which to put their own recent form slump behind them and maintain their grip on top spot.
The Mariners have seen Victory cut their lead at the top to just three points, with Graham Arnold's team having drawn three of their past four matches.
But surely they will bounce back at home against a Phoenix side that have not beaten the Mariners in any of the past seven meetings between the teams, although Ricki Herbert's mendid manage to get off the bottom of the ladder with a 1-0 home win over Perth last Saturday.
The Mariners are short for this one at $1.44 at sportsbet.com.au and $1.52 at both the TAB and Betfair, while the Phoenix are being given little chance at odds of $6 at the TAB, $7 at sportsbet.com.au and $8 at Betfair.
But if you are looking for a bit of extra value, why not back the Mariners to win 2-0 in correct-score betting at odds of $7 at Betfair, which was the scoreline the last time these two sides met in Gosford in February 2012?
* Note prices subject to change