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A-League 2023/24 Outright: Phoenix and Victory leading the way

Melbourne Victory may have won just one of their last nine A-League games, but they remain market leaders for grand final success alongside ladder leaders Wellington Phoenix.

Victory have dropped down to fourth place in the standings on the back of their poor run of recent form and they trail Phoenix by nine points, with the Wellington outfit unbeaten in their last 10 league outings.

Looming large for both of those title hopefuls are the defending champion Central Coast Mariners, who have suffered a single defeat since losing their first four games of the current campaign.

Macarthur FC, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers are the other teams currently sat inside the all-important top six, with Brisbane Roar and an out-of-form Melbourne City on the outside looking in.

Outright Odds

Melbourne Victory - 4.50
Wellington Phoenix -
Central Coast Mariners -
Sydney FC -
Western Sydney Wanderers -
Macarthur FC -

Melbourne Victory @ 4.50

The Victory started the season by going undefeated across their first 15 games, but since then they have won just one of their last five and suffered three losses during that time.

Their season record against their main title rivals, the Phoenix and the Mariners, reads played four, lost one, drawn three, so there is good reason to be concerned.

Star striker Bruno Fornaroli netted 13 A-League goals before leaving for Asian Cup duty with the Socceroos, but he has been unable to add to his tally in four appearances since his return.

The Victory need him to rediscover his touch in front of goal if they are to join Sydney FC on a record five A-League championships.

Wellington Phoenix @ 4.50

Alongside the Victory at the top of the outright market are the Phoenix, which is something of a surprise seeing as they are nine points better off than their rivals and clearly in better form.

The Nix may be unbeaten in 10 matches, but five of those games have ended in draws, so head coach Giancarlo Italiano may well feel that his side should be in an even stronger position.

Polish striker Oskar Zawada started the season with a bang, but a groin injury then halted his progress and he has netted once in four outings since returning to the fold in late January.

Kosta Barbarouses stepped up in the absence of Zawada by netting eight times in five games, but since then his only goals were a double in an important 2-1 win at Macarthur FC.

More goals from both Barbarouses and Zawada may well be needed if the Phoenix are to finally land a first A-League title.

Central Coast Mariners @ 5.00

The Phoenix and Victory may head the outright market, but the Mariners will surely be catching the eye of many an observer.

Having struggled to adjust following the exit of head coach Nick Montgomery, the Mariners are now flying under the guidance of Mark Jackson and have lost once in 16 matches, while winning their last three in the A-League.

Defensive solidity is very much the name of the game, with the Mariners having kept six clean sheets in their last seven games, with their run of three victories all coming by 1-0 scorelines.

There is still a regular season meeting with the Phoenix to come and that may well provide a decent pointer to what is to come in finals, with Central Coast looking to claim back-to-back titles.

Sydney FC @ 6.50

Outside of the three main contenders, Sydney FC are next in line, having recovered from a Mariners-like dismal start to the season to become genuine contenders.

Unbeaten in seven, the Blues won 3-1 at Central Coast just under a month ago to show what they are capable of and, with a record five A-League titles to their name, they cannot be discounted when the end-of-season shake-up arrives.

Having scored a joint league high 37 goals and conceded more than any other top-six side apart from Macarthur, they are clearly entertainers and in loan striker Fabio and midfielder Joe Lolley they have two quality goal threats.

Western Sydney Wanderers @ 9.00

Western Sydney are the team currently in possession of the all-important sixth place in the standings, but they still have work to do to ensure a finals spot and they have been anything but consistent in recent weeks.

A 4-1 derby thrashing by Sydney FC last time out made it one win in five, with 13 goals conceded during that time, so it is hard to see WSW as genuine contenders for grand final glory as things stand.

Macarthur FC @ 9.00

Macarthur FC are an interesting prospect, as they remain lower in the outright market than their third place on the ladder suggests that they should be.

Their one loss in their last 10 games was a narrow 2-1 defeat to the Nix, while during that time they have beaten both Western Sydney and the Victory.

The January signing of winger Bernardo Oliveira may yet prove to be a masterstroke, as the Australia Under23 international has scored three times in seven appearances since his arrival from Adelaide United, including both goals in a 2-0 win over Melbourne City last time out.

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