Newcastle v Brisbane Roar - Saturday 17:15, Fox Sports 4

After finishing bottom of the league last season, Newcastle have gotten off to a much better start this time around, losing just twice and with one of their three wins coming against the Victory. Brisbane have similarly started excellently with 14 points from their first seven games enough to top the table.

Both of Newcastle’s defeats this season have come at home and the win over the Champions was only their second home win since the start of last season, with Victory seemingly having something of a mental block when they travel to the Hunter Stadium as they’re yet to win in six trips there. Though they finished 7th last season, Brisbane will be disappointed if they finish outside the top half following their strong start to this campaign and Newcastle’s home record against top-half finishers last season was W1-D1-L5 as they failed to score in three of these defeats, but only two were by more than one goal and they also only trailed at half-time in one of these games.

Brisbane are W1-D1-L1 on the road this season with the defeat coming against the Phoenix and they were held to a 0-0 in their last away game at Sydney. Their away record last season against bottom-three sides was an impressive W4-D1-L0 with three of these wins without conceding. However, Newcastle are playing much better than a bottom-three side at the moment and Brisbane won only two of their other nine road trips.

As a result of the uncertainty over the true level of these two sides, with both performing considerably better in the early stages of this season than they did last, the match outcome markets look best avoided. Instead, since eight of Newcastle’s last 10 home games had fewer than three goals (five had fewer than two) and the first half was goalless in eight of these matches, while Brisbane’s last three matches have seen just three goals in total and four of their seven trips to bottom-half sides last season had fewer than three goals, Under 2.5 goals looks the best option here. Indeed, five of the last nine meetings between these two teams had fewer than three strikes and four had fewer than two.

Under 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 2.04