Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory - Saturday, Fox Sports 4

Last season’s top two have made solid starts this time around, with Sydney unbeaten and top of the standings while Victory are fourth but with a game in hand. The loss of star striker Marc Janko has perhaps taken away some of Sydney’s attacking threat and their performances have not really matched the results so far as they’ve only scored more than once on one occasion (and that was against the woeful Mariner’s defence).

Victory claimed the first trophy of the season last weekend with an FFA Cup win over Perth Glory and the defending champions will now be determined to beat their main rivals in the league. However, they will have to do so without several players, due to injuries, suspensions and international call-ups. Captain Carl Valeri’s absence could be pivotal in the middle of the park after the loss of Mark Milligan in the off season and Victory tend to struggle far more when playing on the road. Since 2013/14 they’ve won only two of 10 trips to top-half teams, with six of the matches finishing all-square.

While Victory have scored six goals in their two home games this term they are still looking find the back of the net on the road, and against a Sydney side that have conceded just twice in their opening five games that could prove problematic. Sydney’s last 10 home games against top-half teams have featured four draws but nine half-time draws and this early in the season we may see a more conservative match than is expected. Under 2.5 Goals can be backed at 23/20 but the half-time draw looks a better bet at 13/10. With Victory’s struggles on the road and Sydney’s unbeaten start we’d make the home side slight favourites in contrast to the bookies and so the Sydney Draw No Bet at 21/20 appeals but nine of the last 15 regular season meetings between these teams have finished level and we prefer the draw at 7/2.
Half-Time Draw - 1pt @ 13/10