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The bookmakers expect Graham Arnold's men to get the better of last season's premiers in Gosford, as Paul Gough identifies all the value in the A-League on Saturday

The grand final re-match of last season and the Melbourne derby between Victory and Heart ensures a bumper betting day as the opening round of the 2013-14 A-League season continues with two huge games on Saturday night.

In an explosive double header the defending champions Central Coast host last year's surprise Premier's Plate winners Western Sydney in the opening game while immediately after that match the Victory host the Heart in front of an expected 45,000 plus crowd at Etihad Stadium.

Heading into the new season and the Mariners and Wanderers are the equal $4.25 favourites to win this season's grand final at bet365 with two-time champions Melbourne Victory on the next line of betting at $5.50.

And while the Heart could only finish ninth last season in John Aloisi's first season in charge, they are tipped to be the big improvers in season 2013-14 after a huge recruiting spree in the off-season - headlined by Socceroos legend Harry Kewell and experienced Australian defender Patrick Kisnorbo from English giants Leeds.

However Heart still enter the season as only eighth favourites to win the grand final at bet365 at $15 - above only Newcastle and Wellington.

Firstly to the grand final re-match and the Mariners are the $2.37 favourites at bet365 to win at home, with the Wanderers at $3 and the draw paying $3.25.

The Wanderers produced the feel good story of last season when they finished the home and away season on top of the ladder in their first season, only to lose the grand final 2-0 to the Mariners.

But the Wanderers - who have kept the bulk of their successful squad of last season together and have added experienced pair Matthew Spiranovic and Dean Heffernan - will no longer have the surprise factor that they enjoyed last season.

The Mariners - under former Socceroos boss Graham Arnold - remain the team to beat this season and have further boosted their squad with the arrival of former Adelaide and Victory star Marco Flores and Dutchman Marcel Seip.

Central Coast won 11 and drew one of their 13 home matches last season, although it should be pointed out that their only loss at home came against the Wanderers in Round 23.

The Wanderers went 10 wins, one draw and two losses away from home last year but in the opening round of the season - when so much is a mystery from a betting point of view - the Mariners look the safer bet at home.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET

Back the Mariners to beat Western Sydney and go for the draw in the Victory-Heart game

Go for a 1-1 draw in the Melbourne derby at odds of $6.50 in correct score betting at bet365

In the Melbourne derby the Victory look a risk as the $1.95 favourites at bet365 against the Heart at $3.75, with the draw paying $3.50.

The opening round of the A-League season clashes with a full round of international fixtures around the globe robbing Victory of their captain in Mark Milligan, who is away with the Socceroos, as well as New Zealand striker Kostas Barbarouses.

And with last year's star man Marco Rojas now in Germany, the Victory will be heavily reliant on underdone veteran Archie Thompson to score.

The Heart however will also be without their main striker in Malta's Michael Mifsud.

But the Heart stunned Victory to win this corresponding fixture last year and look well worth a bet in the draw no bet market at odds of $2.62 - where punters get their money back of the game ends in a draw.

A 1-1 draw is the favoured option in correct score betting at odds of $6.50 while Thompson is the same price to score the game's opening goal.

Kewell is priced at $12 to score the game's first goal on his Heart debut and a tempting $4.33 to score at any time.

*Note prices subject to change

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