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Duff’s Lock of the Week: It's Sydney in the A-League

Posted at 17:46 2010-01-16

While I’ve been lucky enough so far this year to profit on the A-League, I think that Soccer betting is not my strongest suit, and it’s probably the hardest way to make an easy living. That said, with a tough lineup of games in the NFL and no College Football action, I’ve been forced to look a little further afield for my Lock of the Week.

Hence this week’s pick comes from the local Hyundai A-League.

Sunday afternoon pits a top of the table clash with first placed Sydney FC and second placed Gold Coast United colliding in Sydney in a game that is set to have a big impact on the race for the premiership.

The two teams have met twice since the Gold Coast entered the league and on both occasions the Queenslanders have emerged victorious. Gold Coast’s New Zealand international striker Shane Smeltz has been the key in both games scoring all three goals in the 2-1 and 1-0 wins at the Gold Coast Stadium. This will be the first time the two teams have played in Sydney.

Both teams are currently enjoying good form with Sydney on a six game unbeaten streak (including five games without giving up a goal), and Gold Coast going four games without losing. It doesn’t tell the whole story though. All four of the Gold Coast games have been at Skilled Park. Sydney have been competitive against top quality opposition anywhere, while the Gold Coast have only one draw and no wins against top six opposition on the road.

October 10 was the last time Gold Coast United won away from Skilled Park and on that occasion they just squeaked by strugglers Brisbane, less than 100km from their home base. The Gold Coast are a different team away from home, losing half of their games and being outscored 2-1 on average. Their three away victories have come over Brisbane twice, and Adelaide, both which are anchored in the bottom three of the league.

The Gold Coast are on a streak of four away matches without a win including a 4-0 loss away at Melbourne, and a 6-0 loss away in New Zealand. Adding to their road woes is the fact that this will be their third game in nine days after they drew 1-1 with Adelaide last weekend and beat Newcastle mid-week. Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg has named an extended squad for the match in case some of his first choice line-up fail to recover to full fitness in time for the game.

Sydney FC come into the game on the verge of setting an A-League record for longest without conceding a goal. The last time a team scored on Sydney was at the very start of December. It’s an impressive feat given that they have played games away at Melbourne, Wellington and Perth during that period. They will be keen to make it six games on the trot without conceding a goal.

Sydney will be improving in strength, welcoming back Simon Colosimo (suspension) and star attacking player Alex Brosque (international duty) into the team. They also boast some imposing home form winning seven of their last eight games at home.

I think that they win this game at least half of the time, and in that respect the $2.16 that’s about for a Sydney FC win is where I will be betting this week. To bet this or any number of games in a wide range of sports, check out Bet247!

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