The A-League Premiers' Plate is firmly in the sights of the Western Sydney Wanderers, and they are tipped to continue their march against Melbourne Heart
|By PAUL GOUGH
Western Sydney Wanderers are warm favourites to chalk up another significant milestone in their debut A-League season, and at the same time all but end Melbourne Heart's fading finals hopes, in the pick of Week 25 A-League action this weekend.
Favourites to win the wooden spoon at the start of the season, the Wanderers can all but seal the minor premiership - and with it a guaranteed place in next season's AFC Champions League - with a win over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday.
The Wanderers are great value at better than even money odds of $2.05 at sportsbet.com.au and $2.14 at Betfair to beat the struggling Heart, whose finals hopes are hanging by a thread after losses to Wellington and Adelaide.
Those results have left the Heart three points adrift of the top six, with just three rounds remaining. But they have a tough run home - with matches against Brisbane and Central Coast to come in the last two rounds - and are unfancied at odds of $3.30 at sportsbet.com.au, $3.45 at Centrebet and $3.70 with Betfair to upset the Wanderers.
It has been a remarkable performance from Tony Popovic's team, who have already broken the record for most successive wins by an A-League club - they have won their past nine matches - this season, as well as having already chalked up 16 wins this campaign, the most ever by a club in the A-League's short history.
The Wanderers look great value at early odds of $3 at Betfair to again keep a clean sheet against the Heart, who have failed to score in three of their past four games, while we fancy the Wanderers to win 1-0 at $8.20 in Betfair's correct score betting market.
|Sydney FC to win v Melbourne Victory at $2.30 at Betfair
||Western Sydney to win 1-0 v Melbourne Heart at $8.20 at Betfair
Despite their dominance, the more experienced Mariners remain the favourites to win this season's grand final at $3.20 at Betfair, compared to $3.35for the Wanderers. At Centrebet, however, itis the Wanderers that are favourites at $2.85 compared to the Mariners at $3.50.
The Mariners are favoured to keep that race alive for at least another week by beating the Roar in Gosford on Sunday, when they are the $1.87 favourites at Betfair, with the Roar at $4 and the draw paying $3.35.
But the Roar are unbeaten in their past four and could well pull off at least a draw, particularly as the Mariners are coming off a mid-week ACL trip to Japan and with the Roar needing to keep picking up points to stay in touch with fifth-placed Sydney FC and sixth-placed Newcastle.
Newcastle are the most vulnerable of the teams inside the top six, given they have already played a game more than all of their rivals battling it out for the last two spots on offer in April's finals series.
But the Jets will struggle to get anything away to fourth-placed Adelaide on Friday, with the Reds - fresh from their return to form against the Heart on Labour Day - $2 favourites at Betfair with the draw priced at $3.60 and Newcastle paying $3.95.
In the other two games in Week 25, Sydney FC look a good bet to win a seventh successive home game at odds of $2.30 on Saturday against Melbourne Victory, who are paying $3.10 while the draw is at $3.50.
*Note prices are subject to change