A-League, Sochi and Rugby League…

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You don’t have to be a true football fan to know that Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United don’t like each other. It probably stems from the fact the teams played one of the more memorable Grand Finals back in A-League Season II.

It was memorable for all the wrong reasons for Adelaide, who were thumped 6-0 thanks largely to one of Melbourne’s favourite sons, Archie Thompson, putting five in the back of the net. Another Grand Final loss to the Victory two season later, along with a famous sideline altercation between then Adelaide coach John Kosmina and Melbourne’s Kevin Muscat served further to add fuel to the ‘cross border rivalry’.

Melbourne will go into the game as hot favourites off the back of their imposing record against the Reds at home.They have lost just once in the last 14 times they have played Adelaide on their home ground, a remarkable statistic to say the least. Another interesting point for Melbourne fans is the fact they haven’t lost back-to-back home matches since 2005. The last time they played at AAMI Park they were hammered 5-0 by Sydney FC.

If you fancy Adelaide, however, there are plenty of reasons for you to wager on them; In the last 10 encounters between the sides, Adelaide has won five of them and with three Draws thrown into the mix, it appears as though they definitely possess the talent to give the Victory a run for their money. Scoring hasn’t been a problem for Adelaide either as they are on an eight-match scoring streak, which is the longest in the league.

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One of the other interesting games in the A-League on the weekend will come when Newcastle play host to Sydney FC. Both teams have struggled for the greater part of the season but are still in playoff contention. Newcastle head into the game off the back of beating league leaders Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium 1-0. While the Roar have humbled most teams this season, it appears as though the Jets are their bogey team, with the Queenslanders going winless against them since the 2011/12 season. Prior to that, the Jets hadn’t secured maximum points in their last five games. Sydney FC could be regarded as the most erratic team in the competition.They either win or lose their games. Their record stands at eight wins, 10 losses and a solitary draw; three games ago they smashed Melbourne Victory away 5-0 before falling to a 10-man Heart outfit 2-1. They will head into round 20 after knocking off Perth Glory 2-1.

Switching focus to Sochi and the Men’s Olympic Hockey Final is sure to be one of the pinnacle events at The Games. Defending champions Canada will square off with the USA for a spot in the Gold Medal Playoff. In the other semi, Sweden will play Finland. The four remaining sides have featured in the last three Olympic Finals. Canada defeated USA in 2010 with Sweden victorious over Finland in the 2006 Final. In 2002, it was the Canadians again knocking off the Americans in the decider.

We’re giving you the perfect reason to have a bet on the Gold Medal playoff. Place a Total Goals Over/Under bet on the Final and if scores are level at the end of any period, we’ll give you a bonus bet up to the value of $50.Coming back closer to home and the footy is back in New South Wales and Victoria.

The World Club Challenge will see NRL champions Sydney Roosters taken on English champions Wigan this Saturday night. On the same evening, the traditional start of the season is once again upon us with the Dragons taking on the Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield. AFL is back in a big way with the NAB Challenge continuing on the weekend too.??