Melbourne Victory – Kawasaki Frontale:
Both Melbourne and Kawasaki are without a win so far in this year’s ACL, and only a win is good enough for either team here. Melbourne got 2 points from 3 games, and can get on even points with 2nd placed Ulsan with a win here ( and if Ulsan lose against Shanghai SIPG).
In ACL Melbourne are a typical home-team, and are now undefeated in 11 home-games in a row in Asia while they have played 18 matches in a row away without a win. Kawasaki have travelled to Australia with a pretty strong squad, but have left their veteran playmaker Kengo Nakamura back home in Japan. Other than that they are more or less full-strength, and to send such a strong squad shows that they are taking this one seriously.
A draw isn’t worth much to either teams at this point and I expect a fast-paced game between 2 attacking teams. 10 out of Melbourne’s last 11 games have gone over 2,5, but unfortunately it seems like the bookies got the total right in this one. I think the odds on Kawasaki is too low though, and find some decent value on Melbourne. No HCP-bets (with the must-win factor), but a 1×2 at around 2,80 is interesting.
Prediction 2-1 or 1-2
Melbourne Victory 1×2 @ 2,80 ( 10 units)
Kashima Antlers – Sydney FC:
Kashima got 7 points from 3 matches so far in ACL, and can already secure their place in the next round with a win here. That’s probably something they want to get out of the way, so that they don’t have to send their best players to the away-match in China next round.
Sydney FC have been dominating the A-League for the past season and a half, but those good performances haven’t transfered to ACL yet. They only got 1 point from 3 games meaning this is a 100% must-win for them. Their league form is still good, although they suffered their first loss in the league in 16 matches last round away against Newcastle.
Sydney is not a bad team, and Kashima have slipped up at home many times before in ACL so I’m not ruling out an upset-win for the visitors here. Especially considering Kashima are still struggling with a lot of injuries and absent players as well as the must-win factor for Sydney. At 6,20 it’s worth a shot.
Prediction 2-0 or 2-1
Sydney FC 1×2 @ 6,20 (5 units)
Ulsan Hyundai – Shanghai SIPG:
Ulsan were lucky to avoid defeat away against SIPG last round according to chances, but took the lead twice and did well to get away with a point in the end. That means they are still unbeaten in this year’s ACL, which is impressive considering the tough group they are in.
Shanghai SIPG are also unbeaten, but they haven’t been that impressive playwise. They blew Melbourne Victory away in the 4-1 win at home in R2, but were a bit lucky to get away with all 3 points in the away-match vs Kawasaki in R1. Surely they are the better team here, but their track record away in ACL so far isn’t the best. In 12 away-matches in ACL they got 4 wins and 8 losses.
Don’t really agree on Shanghai being the favorite team here all things considered, and find very good value on Ulsan. The odds have already moved a bit, but you can get as high as 3,20 on the 1×2.
Prediction: 2-2 or 3-2
Ulsan 1×2 @ 3,30 (5 units)
Ulsan +0,5 @ 2,05 (10 units)
Shanghai Shenhua – Suwon Bluewings:
Shenhua aren’t being rated highly by the bookmakers it seems, but they are actually still unbeaten in this year’s ACL with 3 straight draws. If they want any chance of progressing to the next stage they will need to pick up a win soon though. They are yet to win in any competitions so far with 0-4-2 overall.
Suwon got 4 points from 3 matches so far, but have had 2 rather disappointing matches in a row now at home. They are somehow a much better team away than home though in ACL, and there’s few teams with a better away-record than them. On their last 19 away-matches in Asia they only got 2 losses which is nothing else than remarkable.
It might be a bit dangerous to go against them here then, but the odds in Shenhua is too good to pass. Also find good value on the under.
Prediction: 1-1 or 2-1
Shenhua +0,25 @ 1,94 ( 10 units)
Under 2,75 @ 1,95 ( 10 units)