After almost six months, the regular season of the Australian A-League has come to an end. For the six bottom teams, the campaign is over. For the top six, things are only starting to heat up!
The Australian A-League Finals start on Saturday and will last until the last weekend of the month. On Saturday, June 26, the team that wins the Grand Final will be crowned the A-League winner.
A total of seven games are going to be played over the course of the next two weeks, with the playoffs starting at the quarterfinal stage.
Australian A-League Finals Format
As per the rules of the A-League, the teams that finish the regular season in the top 6 get to play in the playoffs. This season, those teams are:
- Melbourne City
- Sydney FC
- Central Coast Mariners
- Brisbane Roar
- Adelaide United
- Macarthur FC
The top two, Melbourne City and Sydney FC, start their playoff campaigns in the semis. The other four will have to battle it out in the quarterfinal a.k.a. the A-League 2021 Elimination Finals.
A-League 2021 Elimination Finals Schedule
|Central Coast Mariners vs Macarthur FC||Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, NSW||Saturday, June 12||7:05 pm (AEST)|
|Brisbane Roar vs Adelaide United||Moreton Daily Stadium in Kippa-Ring, QLD||Sunday, June 13||3:05 pm (AEST)|
The first match on the program is Central Coast Mariners vs Macarthur FC. As they finished just below the two semi-finalists, Mariners got a seemingly easier job in the first round. They’re taking on the team that booked the last available spot in the Finals, Macarthur FC.
In the other matchup of the Elimination Finals, Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United square off. These two teams finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
A-League 2021 Semi Finals Schedule
|Melbourne City vs Lowest-Ranked EF Winner||AAMI Park in Melbourne, VIC||Friday, June 18||7:05 pm (AEST)|
|Sydney FC vs Highest-Ranked Ranked EF Winner||Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Sydney, NSW||Saturday, June 19||7:05 pm (AEST)|
In the Semi Finals, Melbourne City, the regular-season champ, awaits the lowest-ranked winner of the Elimination Round. Sydney
FC, the runner-up in the regular season, gets to play the highest-ranked EF winner. The reason for this is that the earliest that the top two teams could meet is the Grand Final.
A-League 2021 Grand Final Schedule
On Saturday, June 26, the A-League 2021 Grand Final is going to take place. Where? We don’t know yet, as it depends on which teams get to the last game.
A season of contenders. Right down to the wire.
Who will rise up? 🏆
— A-League (@ALeague) June 9, 2021
According to the A-League rules, the higher-ranked team from the regular season gets to be the host in the playoffs. What this means is that if Melbourne City gets to the Grand Final, the match will take place at AAMI Park.
This explains why the higher-ranked teams always tend to be the main title favorites. It’s been like that in the past, and the same is the case in 2021.
Examining Australian A-League Odds
The two main A-League title favorites are Melbourne City and Sydney FC, with odds being somewhere in the ballpark of 4.00. These two met two times in the Grand Finals in the past five seasons. Sydney FC winning on both occasions, most recently in the 2020 Grand Final. However, in their most recent matchup (during the regular season), Melbourne City was the winner.
Considering that these teams finished in the top two positions, they will start their A-League Finals campaign in the semi-final stage, thus having more time to prepare than the other four teams. Another reason why Melbourne City and Sydney FC are the strongest favorites is that both teams did great in the regular season.
Melbourne City finished at the very summit of the table, scoring way more goals than other teams. With 56 goals, they had, by far the best offense in the league. Meanwhile, Sydney FC had the best defense. This team conceded only 23 goals in 26 games, which makes Sydney FC the only Australian team with an average of under one goal allowed per game.
Of course, upsets do happen, so none of the other four teams should be underestimated. To do well betting-wise, you need to keep your eye on the team forms, injury news, and so on. Check out our sports betting guide on soccer for more useful tips.