Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers - Friday, Fox Sports 4

City finished their opening season in seventh (having previously existed as Melbourne Heart), which will have been regarded as a disappointment for a side that was backed by Manchester City and signed David Villa, but they’ve had a decent start to this campaign. The Wanderers have an identical W2-D1-L2 record to City and trail them only on goal difference as they look to get back to the form they showed in winning the 2014 AFC Champions League after their disastrous second-bottom finish last season.
After two defeats in their opening four home games – against Sydney and Adelaide – City were unbeaten in their remaining nine home matches last season with six wins and six clean sheets. This defensive toughness meant these games bucked the league trend for goals and five of their final nine home matches had fewer than two strikes. This season, however, both their home games had more than three goals and their last seven matches (five of which have been on the road) have actually seen both teams score.

The Wanderers had a dire W1-D1-L11 record on the road last season as they failed to keep a single clean sheet, a significant departure for a team that had lost just seven of 28 away matches in the previous two years combined. They look to be closer to that form this season as they’ve lost just one of their opening three away games, and that was a narrow 1-0 defeat against last season’s runners-up Sydney, as they beat current third-place Newcastle Jets in their last away game, who had beaten City away the previous week.

Despite the improvement on the road, the Wanderers are yet to keep a clean sheet away since the start of last season, though they’ve lost only one of their last 15 trips by more than one goal and have only failed to score at leaders Sydney this season. City won three of their four home games against bottom-half finishers last season and their recent defeat against the Jets looks like something of an anomaly. Other than that their home form remains strong, with 7/5 on them winning against a Wanderers side that has been dreadful on the road looking a good price. However, City must play without key midfielder Aaron Mooy and with Robert Koren also not fit to start they may not have as much of an edge against a Wanderers squad that has no absences. Instead a safer bet looks to be backing goals at both ends.
Best Bet: Over 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 4/5