The Australia A-League continues on Friday with a matchup that wasn’t supposed to be right now. As a result of the coronavirus crisis, the schedule has been retooled to shorten the season. The Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets were set to play later in the season, but that’s been moved up to Friday night at 6:30 PM in Gold Coast. Brisbane was originally scheduled to tangle with the Melbourne Victory, while Newcastle were going to play host to the Wellington Phoenix.
That has all been changed, though, with both of their opponents staying in isolation after trips to New Zealand. There was an opening in the schedule to fit a game in, so Brisbane and Newcastle were called on to hit the pitch at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast. This will naturally be a match on a neutral field.
There will be no fans in attendance either, so a hometown advantage is not going to be present for this contest, or the rest of the schedule for that matter. While the A-League in Australia is attempting to get their season in and reward a champion, all matches will be played behind closed doors. This isn’t a sport that plays well in front of an empty stadium, but I’ve bet on some degenerate events in the past with what felt like empty facilities.
Whether it’s table tennis, A-League, or the Super Bowl, money doesn’t know the difference. If a game pays regardless of what it is, the way I see it, that’s all that matters. This is coming from somebody who has raked in on Joey Chestnut in hot dog eating contests, so A-League soccer is big time compared to competitive eating. Along with the A-League, the NRL, and AFL are still playing games, albeit behind closed doors as well.
The A-League schedule is being played under extraordinary circumstances. Credit the league for finding a way to reschedule at the last minute and still keep soccer going in Australia. Despite the distractions for everyone, this is a big time match for two clubs who enter on hot runs recently. One team is going to have to cool off, though, in an important game for the ladder in the A-League.
Brisbane are threatening to bypass Wellington for 3rd in the league, as they head into Friday with a record of 9-5-7 and 32 points. The Roar are coming off back-to-back wins, while Newcastle are as well. Newcastle have to be the more desperate club in this one, as they enter with a record of 5-6-9 and 21 points for 9th in the A-League. Head below for our free Newcastle vs. Brisbane pick in the Australia A-League on Friday night in Gold Coast.
Brisbane Roar vs. Newcastle Jets Betting Odds:
Brisbane vs. Newcastle Prediction:
Newcastle desperately needed positive showings recently and got exactly that. They topped the Adelaide United in an impressive showing by 3-0 on March 15 and edged out the Perth Glory by a score of 2-1 on February 29. Prior to those two wins, Newcastle tied the Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney in final scores of 1-1.
If you want to go further back to early February, Newcastle found a 4-3 win against Central Coast and a tie against Western United, 0-0. Their most recent loss was on January 24 versus a solid Wellington club. While this is nice and all, the onslaught for Newcastle may have come too late. Especially with a reduced schedule now, the Jets are running out of room to navigate.
That’s not the case with Brisbane, as they’ve played more of a consistent schedule in 2019-20. That’s not to say they are in form to appear in the finals, because Melbourne City and Wellington are going to be difficult outs. Sydney FC are going to be a lock to go to the championship. That leaves Melbourne City, Wellington, and Brisbane all scrambling to get into position to get a chance to beat Sydney in the final contest of the year.
Brisbane are going into Friday with wins over Central Coast and Western Sydney. They’ve won or tied in eight of their last ten outings. Their only losses came against Melbourne City and powerhouse, Sydney FC. Both were competitive matches as well, with Brisbane losing 1-0 in each fixture.
The best team that Newcastle has beaten during their recent run is the 8-7-5 Perth Glory. They were on a four-game losing streak, with losses versus the Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, Melbourne City, and Wellington before turning things around. It’s not like they were beating up on powerhouses, though. Perth does not qualify as a powerhouse contender.
The offence has struggled throughout the year, and they’re up against a decent Brisbane defence on Friday. They’ve netted just 1.2 goals per match, while conceding 1.85 goals per match. The Brisbane offence has been nothing to get excited about either, but their defence has been suffocating at times. They’ve conceded an average of 1.14 goals per match in their 21 matches in 2019-20. Expect a 2-1 win for the Brisbane Roar in Round 27 of the Australia A-League.