They were supposed to be the new Manchester City. They were supposed to be the new dominant force in the A-League. Alas, things haven’t started well for Melbourne City.
Without a win in their opening three league matches, the pressure is on Dutch coach John van’t Schip to turn round what has been a very shaky start to the campaign.
They are 5/4 to get their first win on the board against Adelaide City, but that will be easier said than done with the Reds’ winning two and drawing the other of their trio of games so far.
Ladbrokes News’ Ben Stones picks out three bets worth having in Melbourne.
Yes, Melbourne have the quality of David Villa and Damien Duff, amongst others in their squad, but until they click they simply cannot be backed as such short-priced favourites.
Opponents Adelaide kicked off their A League campaign with an impressive win against defending champions Brisbane before just being held by Melbourne Victory, and bounced back with a win over Perth last week.
Victory took apart their City neighbours in the wide areas in a 5-2 win seven days ago, and with the visitors here particularly strong down the flanks, we fancy an away win.
Josep Gombau’s side have bagged in both halves in two of their three league encounters this season, and are a free-flowing attacking side that can do damage all game.
Melbourne’s defensive frailties were none more obvious when conceding five against Victory, two in the first half in which they actually played quite well.
This looks a cracking bet in a game that should rain goals.
If there is to be a shining light for the hosts, it is likely to come from the Spaniard.
Set to make his final appearance for the club before moving to New York, the former Barcelona man is likely to go out on a bang after four appearances for Melbourne.
He has already come to his side’s rescue late on twice this season, scoring late on to snatch a point against both Sydney and Newcastle.
Whether a late goal here is a mere consolation or something more significant remains to be seen, but he’s a good bet to pop up late.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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